The government has gone to the Court of Appeal to set aside last week’s High Court decision that children born overseas to Malaysian mothers are entitled to citizenship by operation of law.
According to FMT, Attorney-General Idrus Harun in a text message said the notice of appeal was filed this morning.
Once the written judgment is made available, the government will file a memorandum of appeal to outline where the trial judge has erred in law and facts.
Family Frontiers who have been fighting this case have also called on the government to withdraw its notice of appeal against the High Court decision. It said the appeal should be withdrawn to ensure that injustice against Malaysian women was not perpetuated.
“We are appalled and deeply disappointed by the government’s move to appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision that affirmed Malaysian women’s right to confer citizenship automatically on their children born overseas on an equal basis with Malaysian men,” it said.
By appealing against the court decision, it said, justice had been delayed not just to Malaysian women, but their children and their extended families as well.
It said the government’s action sent “a clear message that they are in favour of the continued discrimination and marginalisation of Malaysian mothers”.
In a landmark ruling on Thursday (9 Sept), the High Court ruled that Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses could automatically pass on their citizenship to their children born outside Malaysia.
High Court judge Akhtar Tahir ruled the word ‘father’ must therefore be read to include mothers, and that their children are entitled to citizenship by operation of law.
This all started last year December when the president of Family Frontiers Suri Kempe and six Malaysian women filed a suit seeking six specific court orders, including a declaration that Section 1(b) and Section 1(c) be read harmoniously with Article 8(2) to include Malaysian mothers as a condition for children born abroad to be given automatic Malaysian citizenship.
The group sought, among others, a court order for all relevant government agencies including the National Registration Department, the Immigration Department and Malaysian embassies to issue citizenship documents (including passports and identity cards) to children born abroad to Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses.