Malaysia court overturns landmark citizenship ruling for women

by | Aug 5, 2022 | World

Court finds for the government after it appealed a lower court decision that women, like men, should be allowed to pass their citizenship to children born overseas.Malaysia’s appeal court has overturned a landmark decision that women should be able to pass on their citizenship to children born overseas in the same way as Malaysian men.
In a 2-1 decision, the judges sided with the government and rejected the September 2021 ruling by the High Court that Malaysian women had the same right as men to confer citizenship on their children.
The case hinges on Article 14(1)(b) of Malaysia’s constitution, which expressly gives fathers the automatic right to confer citizenship on their children born abroad, but omits any mention of mothers.
Advocacy group Family Frontiers, along with six affected mothers, challenged the constitutionality of the clause in December 2020, arguing that the judges should interpret the clause in line with the principle of gender equality.
The group’s lawyers said they would take their case to the Federal Court, Malaysia’s highest court.
The home minister has said previously that the government appealed the High Court’s decision to buy time to amend the constitution in favour of mothers, beginning with the formation of a new parliamentary committee to study the issue in December last year.
Kasthuri Patto, an opposition member of parliament, called on the government to move forward with the constitutional amendment and ensure equality for women.
“Do the right thing PM @I …

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