Constitutional Law & Civil Rights

Malaysia does not Recognize Dual Citizenship - Muhyiddin

Date: 21 March 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, Mar 21 (Bernama) - Malaysia does not recognise dual citizenship, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said. In response to the report alleging that thousands of Thai nationals were having dual citizenship which allowed them to go in and out of Malaysia without restriction since the 1980s, Muhyiddin said such dual citizenship holders will lose their Malaysian citizenship as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. He said the Malaysians who obtained the citizenship of another country, either by registration, naturalization or by other voluntary and formal act other than marriage, could be deprived of their Malaysian citizenship under Article 24(1) of the Federal Constitution.

The deprivation of citizenship could also be done according to Article 24(2) of the Constitution for any Malaysian who voluntarily claimed and exercised in another country any rights available to him or her under the law of that country, he said.

It includes the rights to vote in political elections in another country, to apply for passport/travel document from another country and to use passport/travel document of another country, he told a press conference after attending the presentation of Home Ministry’s Excellence Service Award here today.

According to Muhyiddin, if a Malaysian citizen, by operation of law, obtained the nationality of another country, he did not commit an offence under Article 24 (1) of the Constitution as he has the legal rights in both countries.

However, the minister said the individual would commit an offence under Article 24 (2) of the Constitution if he applied for or used a passport/travel document from the other country.

He said any report on dual citizenship among Malaysians could be lodged by any agency or individual but must be accompanied by relevant details and solid evidence to facilitate further investigation by the National Registration Department.

“Reports without evidence will hamper the investigations and will not make a strong case, hence deprivation of the citizenship will not be possible.

“Investigations cannot be carried out based on mere allegations without the evidence to support it,” he said.

On the claim that the Malaysian identity card was easily obtained in the 1980s, the home minister refuted the allegation, saying that Malaysia had not allowed its citizens to have dual citizenship ever since the Federal Constitution was formulated in 1957.

Earlier, in his speech, Muhyiddin said the Home Ministry had to come out with a comprehensive capacity development plan, which covers the needs of all departments and agencies and involves all service groups.

“Each of the ministry’s staff should improve their cooperation in discharging their duties and work as a team. Avoid working in silo and cut the red tape or excessive bureaucracy that burdens the people,” he said.

At the event, 252 of the ministry’s staff from various departments and agencies received the Excellence Service Award.

MY Bernama

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