57,191 foreigners issued citizenship over the past 10 years

Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 57,191 foreigners have been given Malaysian citizenship over the past 10 years, the majority of whom are from Indonesia, followed by India and China, the home ministry told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman said 24,005 Indonesians, 12,097 Indians and 7,252 Chinese had received citizenship, while the rest were from various other countries.

Following the formation of the new government after May 9, he said, another 1,244 permanent residence holders were issued citizenship.

On stateless people in Malaysia, Azis said the National Registration Department only records those who are Malaysians and non-citizens.

“Issuing of citizenship is the exclusive right of the federal government and is not offered arbitrarily,” he said.

“As of now, there is no policy on issuing citizenship to refugees.”

He was replying to Noor Amin Ahmad (PH-Kangar), who asked the home ministry to state the number of foreigners issued citizenship over the past decade.

Azis said his ministry also issued green identity cards, or MyKAS, to those without birth certificates or whose parents lacked proper documentation.

“MyKAS does not offer citizenship to this group,” he added. “It is a temporary measure until they provide the proper documents.”

In August, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said citizenship would be offered to all those above 60 years of age with permanent residence status.

Since the announcement, Azis said, 876 applications had been received.

“From those, 834 applications are being processed and 42 applications were rejected,” he added.