Children Born Abroad to Malaysian Mothers

by Darya Ebrahimi


It is now abundantly clear that many Malaysian citizens are having significant difficulties obtaining citizenship for their children who were born in Malaysia in accordance with Article 15A of the Federal Constitution. In recent months, the media has featured many instances of these requests, struggles, and challenges.



















Photo by: Al Jazeera

Many Malaysian-born youngsters who are not refugees or asylum seekers are engaged in a life-or-death struggle for their identities. Malaysian citizens may currently apply for citizenship for their children in one of two major categories. The first is the natural parents of Malaysian nationals who married later in life or who were abandoned by mothers from other countries. Formally adopted Malaysians and formally adopted abandoned children make up another common type.

In order to ensure their safety and long term well-being, it is in their greatest advantage that something be done about their condition. Their future appears dismal because the naturalisation process can take five years or longer, and a number of their circumstances have been traumatising. They may need to reapply numerous times if they are repeatedly refused for no apparent reason.

Stateless children are stigmatised at this time and go through additional bumps in the road in regards to problems of school, health, and later work. Despite countless petitions, no official authority has yet to tackle these issues. Although these kids were born in Malaysia and have official documents proving their genetic relationship or adoption, they still suffer mental pain since they are mistaken for refugees or outsiders. Due to external factors they have no control over, individuals are denied basic equal rights to a means of subsistence. The home ministry appears to be facing a significant obstacle, with little to no fix offered other than the advice to "wait and see." The affected children and their families are being severely harmed by this.

Children who lack identification cards have persevered and delivered despite their difficult situation. Some of them achieve academically and in other areas while still working to be better citizens. They deserve to be treated with dignity and provided with what they is essentially their birthright, identification.