Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Appeals court affirms Sabahan’s citizenship in blow to home ministry

The 2-1 decision today saw the government's appeal against the earlier High Court ruling thrown out.

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The Court of Appeal today upheld a High Court ruling on the citizenship of a man from Sabah in a 2-1 majority decision, rejecting the government’s appeal in another blow to the home ministry.

The panel was led by Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali, who alongside M Gunalan dismissed the appeal. Judge Azizah Nawawi meanwhile dissented.

Wong Kueng Hui’s lawyer Haijan Omar told MalaysiaNow that the court had found no merit in the government’s appeal in addition to rejecting the submission based on the “ouster clause”.

“The court said Wong had taken all measures to determine the identity of his mother, and that therefore the burden was on the government to prove otherwise,” Haijan said.

He said Wong had gone to the Indonesian embassy and provided the personal details of both himself and his mother as stated in his birth certificate.

However the embassy’s search found no record of his mother as an Indonesian citizen.

“As the parents were not married, the child had to follow his mother’s citizenship,” Haijan said.

“If we knew that his mother was an Indonesian, we would have applied following her citizenship first.

“But how could we apply for citizenship with another country if we are unclear about his mother’s citizenship?”

The government through the home ministry had appealed against the High Court decision affirming the citizenship of Wong, 27.

Wong was born at Hospital Keningau in Sabah on Jan 2, 1995.

He had applied for citizenship twice before his application was rejected.

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