Home minister says citizenship applications for illegitimate and adopted children priority as cases top 15,000; promises to help Sungai Bakap ethnic Indians if Joohari Ariffin wins by-election

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — The Home Ministry is prioritising citizenship applications for illegitimate and adopted children under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said these categories have the highest number of applications to date, followed by children born overseas to Malaysian mothers with non-citizen fathers, national news agency Bernama reported today.

“Upon reviewing the application data, we found a high number of children born out of wedlock. Therefore, I believe these children should not be penalised for their parents’ mistakes.

“We are processing these cases promptly; hence, we set a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) last year to complete 14,000 cases, and we achieved this by December 2023. Now, the figure has surpassed 15,000.

“We have met last year’s target, and we aim to maintain the same momentum this year,” he was quoted as telling reporters after a gathering with the ethnic Indian community at the Sungai Bakap Multipurpose Hall in Penang.

He added that applications are minimal for naturalised citizenship and for Malaysians married to foreigners.

Saifuddin Nasution assured Sungai Bakap residents, particularly its Indian community, that their citizenship issues would be resolved if Joohari Ariffin, the candidate representing the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional alliance for the Penang state by-election, wins on July 6, according to Bernama’s Malay news report that was omitted in its English language version.

The home minister was also asked about leaks into investigation documents related to the murder case of autistic six-year-old Zayn Rayyan Abdul Matiin in Selangor and if the government would block Telegram.

He said investigations were ongoing, adding that Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil would respond to questions about the social media app.

Screenshots purportedly showing confidential investigation reports on the child's murder case had gone viral on social media previously.