Putrajaya grants citizenship to 3 stateless children

PUTRAJAYA: Putrajaya today announced its decision to grant citizenship to three stateless children, prompting their parents to withdraw their appeals before a nine-member Federal Court bench.

The appellants withdrew their appeals before the bench chaired by Ahmad Maarop, following the decision of Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Lawyer Cyrus Das.

Lawyer Cyrus Das, appearing for two of the appellants, said they were informed of the decision by the Home Ministry, to grant citizenship under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution.

“It comes after a long time after the court had adjourned the appeals several times,” he said.

Das said he was prepared to withdraw the appeal subject to confirmation by the home ministry’s legal adviser Mohammad Al-Saifi Hashim, who was also in court today.

Al-Saifi said a due process would take its course to implement the decision.

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, who represented the third case, also withdrew his appeal.

Ahmad then struck out the appeal with no order to costs.

Cyrus later told reporters the citizenships were issued by Muhyiddin using his discretion under Article 15A.

In October last year, two of the five cases involving stateless children before the Federal Court were also resolved after Muhyiddin granted the children’s registration as Malaysian citizens.

The applications of the 18-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl were also approved under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution.

The media is prohibited from identifying the children, their parents or adoptive parents due to a court order.

On Sept 11 last year, the Federal Court allowed leave applications by three sets of parents who wanted their applications to be heard on the position of stateless children.

The fundamental question before the apex court was whether blood or lineage was a requirement under the Federal Constitution in determining the citizenship of a child.

In all three cases, the Court of Appeal rejected the citizenship applications because the mother was a foreigner even though the children were born in Malaysia.

In the fourth case, a Court of Appeal bench ordered the government to issue citizenship to a child born to a Malaysian father and a mother from Papua New Guinea.

In the fifth case, the High Court in Shah Alam referred the matter straight to the Federal Court as constitutional issues were involved.

In this case, the biological parents were unknown but the child was adopted by Malaysian citizens.

The National Registration Department refused to grant citizenship as the birth certificate stated that the child was not Malaysian.