The Cabinet has decided that Attorney-General Idrus Harun will advise Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on the issue of the citizenship of children born to Malaysian women married to foreigners.
Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the decision was made because the issue of citizenship according to the Federal Constitution involves the consent of the Conference of Rulers.
“The Cabinet empathises about the situation and we have discussed the issue at length. But we are also aware that the issue is under the purview of the Conference of Rulers and we have to abide by the correct channel.
“That is why the decision is for the attorney-general to seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and we leave it to his wisdom (Idrus),” he told a media conference after attending a 2021 Deepavali programme at the Kuantan Malaysia Hindu Sangam Association today.
On Sept 9, the Kuala Lumpur High Court decided that children born overseas to a Malaysian woman who is married to a foreigner automatically qualifies for Malaysian citizenship.
However, on Sept 13, the government decided to appeal to quash the decision of the High Court.
Earlier, Saifuddin received a petition and an open letter to the Cabinet from Family Frontiers, an NGO, on protecting affected mothers through a campaign, #TarikBalikRayuan.
In another development, Saifuddin who is also Indera Mahkota MP said his ministry is looking into why half of the 48 alternative education centres of Rohingya children in the country are still unregistered.
“The education centres are operated by NGOs and are not using public funds. However, we need them to register so that they can be monitored by the education ministry.
“If they are not registered, we will not know of the curriculum and syllabus taught or be able to help with assistance from interest parties to contribute to the education centres,” he said.
Saifuddin said among the countries which give education aid to the children of Rohingya is Qatar as the aspect of education is among the important elements they need when they return to their country of origin when the situation permits.