KUALA LUMPUR: A task force comprising the Malaysian Bar and several NGOs is recommending that the government grant citizenship to children born to either a Malaysian father or mother, regardless of whether the parents are married.
Women’s rights activist Ivy Josiah said they also wanted the government to amend several provisions in the Federal Constitution that touched on citizenship.
She said the recommendations were formulated from a two-day meeting with various individuals who were facing difficulties in being recognised as Malaysians.
“With the help of (Petaling Jaya MP) Maria Chin Abdullah, we will be meeting the MPs in Parliament tomorrow.
“We hope the government will listen to civil societies in solving the problem that has been troubling these people for many years,” she said in a joint press conference with the Malaysian Bar today.
The task force will also submit the recommendations to the home ministry.
The former executive director for the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) said the Pakatan Harapan government needed to have the political will to solve citizenship woes, unlike the previous administration.
“I don’t think this issue can be resolved within 100 days but we want a show of political will and we will keep pushing them to implement the recommendations,” Josiah said.
Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said previously that the government had set up a committee to resolve long-standing applications for citizenship.
He said the National Registration Department (JPN) received over 200,000 applications for citizenship, which included old cases that had been pending for a long time.
Then deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in the Dewan Rakyat two years ago that 300,000 children born locally had been listed as stateless.