Explain the concept of Citizenship in Constitution of Malaysia

(1) Introduction

Citizenship means membership of a citizen in a political society; this membership not only imposes duty of allegiance on the citizen, but also imposes duty of protection on the state. The citizen owes allegiance to the state and in turn is entitled to protection from state. There are different modes to acquire citizenship of a country. The Malaysian Constitution provides for citizenship.

(2) Citizenship

According To Malaysian Constitution Chapter No. 1 of the Part III of Constitution provides the following modes for acquisition of the Malaysian citizenship:

  • (i) Citizenship by operation of law
  • (ii) Citizenship by registration
  • (iii) Citizenship by naturalization
  • (iv) Citizenship by incorporation of territory

(i) Citizenship By Operation Of Law

Article 14 and Second Schedule provide for citizenship by operation of law. It includes both the jus soli and jus sanguinis:

  • (a) Jus sui
  • (b) Jus sanguinis.

(a) Jus Soli

Jus soli is a mode that is based on the law of birth:

  • (a-i) Birth before Malaysia Day
  • (a-ii) Birth on or after Malaysia Day

(a-i) Birth Before Malaysia Day

Following persons, who were born before Malaysia Day, are citizens of Malaysia:

  • (w) Citizen before Independence Day
  • (x) Birth on or after Independence Day & before October 1962
  • (y) Birth after September 1962
  • (z) Resident in state of Sabah or Sarawak or in Brunei on Malaysia Day

(w) Citizen Before Independence Day

Every person, who was a citizen of the Malaysian Federation before the Independence Day, is citizen of Malaysia.

(x) Birth On Or After Independence Day & Before

Every person, who was born within the Malaysian Federation on or after the Independence Day and before October 1962, is a citizen of Malaysia.

(y) Birth After September 1962

Every person, who was born within the Malaysian Federation after September 1962 becomes a citizen of Malaysia if he fulfils any of the following conditions:

  • (y-i) Citizenship of father or mother
  • (y-ii) Residence of father or mother
  • (y-iii) Citizen of other country

(y-1) Citizenship Of Father Or Mother

His father or mother was citizen of Malaysia at the time of his birth.

(y-ii) Residence Of Father Or Mother

His father or mother was permanent resident of Malaysia at the time of his birth.

(y-iii) Citizen Of Other Country

He is not born a citizen of any other country.

(z) Resident In state Of Sabah Or Sarawak Or In Brunej On Malaysia Day

A person, who was ordinarily resident in the state of Sabah or Sarawak or in Brunei on Malaysia Day, is a citizen of Malaysia if he fulfiled any of the following conditions:

  • (z-i) Citizen of United Kingdom & Colonies
  • (z-ii) Birth in states of Sabah & Sarawak
  • (z-iii) Registration or naturalization

(z-i) Citizen Of United Kingdom & Colonies

He was immediately before the Malaysian Day a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

(z-ii) Birth In States Of Sabah & Sarawak

He was born in the territories of the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

(z-iii) Registration Or Naturalization

He was registered in the territories of the states of Sabah and Sarawak by or in consequence of naturalization. (z-iii) رجسٹریشن یا حقوق قومیت

(a-ii) Birth On Or After Malaysia

Day Every person, who was born within the Malaysian Federation on or after the Malaysian Day, is a citizen of Malaysia if he is not born a citizen of any country.

(b) Jus Sanguinis

Jus sanguinis is a rule by which child’s citizenship is determined by his parents’ citizenship:

  • (b-i) Birth on or after Independence Day
  • (b-ii) Birth on or after Malaysian Day)

(b-i) Born On Or After Independence Day

Every person, who is born outside the Malaysian Federation on or after Independence Day, becomes a citizen of Malaysia if any of the following conditions is fulfilled:

  • (x) Citizenship or birth of father
  • (y) Service of father
  • (z) Registration of birth

(x) Citizenship Or Birth Of Father

His father was a citizen of the Malaysian Federation at the time of his birth and either was born in the Malaysian Federation.

(y) Service Of Father

His father was in federal or state service at his birth.

(z) Registration Of Birth

His father was a citizen of the Malaysian Federation at the time of his birth and his birth is registered at a consulate of the Malaysian Federation or with the Federal Government.

(b-ii) Born On Or After Malaysian Day

The following persons born on or after Malaysia Day are citizens of the Malaysian Federation:

  • (x) Birth within Federation
  • (y) Birth outside Federation
  • (z) Birth in Singapore

(x) Birth Within Federation

Every person, who is born within the Malaysian Federation, is a citizen of Malaysia if any of the following conditions is fulfilled:

  • (x-i) Citizenship of father or mother
  • (x-ii) Residence of father or mother

(x-i) Citizenship Of Father Or Mother

His father or mother is citizen of the Malaysian Federation.

(x-ii) Residence Of Father Or Mother

His father or mother is permanently resident in the Malaysian Federation.

(y) Birth Outside Federation

Every person, who is born outside the Malaysian Federation, is a citizen of Malaysia if any of the following onditions is fulfilled:

  • (y-i) Citizenship & birth of father
  • (y-ii) Service of father
  • (y-iii) Registration of birth

(y-i) Citizenship & Birth Of Father

His father is a citizen of the Malaysian Federation at the time of his birth and either was born in the Malaysian Federation.

(y-ii) Service Of Father

His father was in federal or state service at his birth.

(y-iii) Registration Of Birth

His father was a citizen of the Malaysian Federation at the time of his birth and his birth is registered at a consulate of the Malaysian Federation or with the Federal Government.

(z) Birth In Singapore

Every person, who is born in Singapore, is a Malaysia if following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (z-i) Citizenship of father or mother
  • (z-ii) Citizen otherwise

(z-i) Citizenship Of Father or Mother

His father or mother is a citizen of the Malaysian Federation at the time of his birth.

(z-ii) Citizen Otherwise

He is not born a citizen otherwise.

(ii) Citizenship By Registration

Four types of people can acquire citizenship of Malaysia through registration:

  • (a) Wife of citizen
  • (b) Child of citizen
  • (c) Person born in Malaysian Federation before Independence Day
  • (d) Person resident in states of Sabah & Sarawak on Malaysia Day

(a) Wife Of Citizen

According to Article 15, any married woman is entitled to be registered as a citizen of Malaysia if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (a-i) Her Husband’s Citizenship
  • (a-ii) Marriage
  • (a-iii) Application
  • (a-iv) Satisfaction of federal government

(a-i) Her husband’s citizenship

Her husband is a citizen of Malaysia at the beginning of October 1962.

(a-ii) Marriage

The marriage between her and her husband is ubsisting.

(a-iii) Application

She makes an application to the federal gove.nment for her registration as citizen of Malaysia.

(a-iv) Satisfaction Of Federal Government

She satisfies the federal government on the following three

  • (x) Residence of two years
  • (y) Permanent residence
  • (z) Good behavior

(x) Residence Of Two Years

She has resided in the Malaysian Federation for the two years before making of the application.

(y) Permanent Residence

She intends to reside permanently in the Malaysian Federation.

(z) Good Behaviour

She is of good behaviour.

(b) Child Of Citizen

Article 15 also provides procedure for a child of Malaysian citizen to avail the Malaysian citizenship:

  • (b-i) Any person
  • (b-ii) A person born before beginning of October 1962

(b-i) Any Person

Any person can be registered as a citizen of Malaysia if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (x) Under age of twenty one years
  • (y) Citizenship of his father or mother
  • (z) Application

(x) Under Age Of Twenty One Years

He must be under the age of twenty one years.

(y) Citizenship Of His Father Or Mother

Either of his parents is citizen of Malaysia or was at death a citizen of Malaysia.

(z) Application

His parent or guardian makes an application for registration to the federal government.

(b-ii) A Person Born Before Beginning Of October 1962

A person, who was born before the beginning of October. 1962, can be registered as a citizen of Malaysia if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (w) Under Age Of Twenty One Years
  • (x) Citizenship of his father
  • (y) Application
  • (z) Satisfaction of federal government

(w) Under age of twenty one years

He must be under the age of twenty-one years.

(X) Citizenship Of His Father

His father is citizen of Malaysia or was at his death a citizen of Malaysia and was also a citizen of Malaysia at the beginning of October 1962 if then alive.

(y) Application

His parent or guardian makes an application for registration to the federal government.

(z) Satisfaction Of Federal Government

Federal government must be satisfied on the following two points:

  • (z-i) Residence
  • (z-ii) Good character

(z-i) Residence

He is ordinarily resident in the Malaysian Federation.

(z-ii) Good Character

He is of good character.

(c) Person Born In Malaysian Federation Before Independence Day

According to Article 16, any person, who was born in the Malaysian Federation before the Independence Day is entitled to be registered as a citizen of Malaysia if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (c-i) Of or over age of eighteen years
  • (c-ii) Application
  • (c-iii) Satisfaction of federal government

(c-i) Of Or Over Age Of Eighteen Years

He must be of or over the age of eighteen years.

(c-ii) Application

He must make application to the federal government for registration.

(c-iii) Satisfaction Of Federal Government

He must satisfy the federal government on the following points:

  • (w) Residence
  • (x) Permanent residence
  • (y) Good character
  • (z) Malay language

(w) Residence

Before making the application, he has resided in the Malaysian Federation during the seven years for periods that must be five years before the date of the application.

(x) Permanent Residence

He intends to reside permanently in the Malaysian Federation.

(y) Good Character

He is of good character.

(z) Malay Language

He has an elementary knowledge of the Malay language.

(d) Person Resident

In States Of Sabah & Sarawak On Malaysia Day According to Article 16 A, any person, who is on Malaysia Day ordinarily resident in the state of Sabah or Sarawak, is entitled to be registered as a citizen of Malaysia if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (d-i) Of or over age of eighteen years
  • (d-ii) Application
  • (d-iii) Satisfaction of federal government

(d-i) Of Or Over Age Of Eighteen Years

He must be of or over the age of eighteen years.

(d-ii) Application

He must make application to the federal government for 1 as citizen of Malaysia before September 1971.

(d-iii) Satisfaction Of Federal Government

He satisfies the federal government on the following points:

  • (u) Residence
  • (v) Permanent residence
  • (w) Good character
  • (x) Where application is made before September 1965
  • (y) Where an applicant is resident in Sarawak

(u) Residence

He has resided before Malaysia Day in the territories of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and after Malaysia Day in the Malaysian Federation for periods, which must be seven years in the ten years before the date of the application and which must include the twelve months immediately before the date of the application.

(w) Permanent Residence

He intends to reside permanently in the Malaysian Federation.

(x) Good Character

He is of good character.

(y) Where Application Is Made Before September 1965

Where the application is made before September 1965 and the applicant has attained the age of forty-five years at the date of the application, he has a sufficient knowledge of the Malay language or the English language.

 (z) Where Applicant Is Resident In Sarawak

Where an applicant is resident in Sarawak, he has sufficient knowledge of the Malay language, the English language or any native language in current use in Sarawak.

(iii) Citizenship By Naturalization

Article 19 provides for citizenship by naturalization; the federal government can grant a certificate of naturalization to a person if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • (x) Of or over age of twenty one years
  • (y) Application
  • (z) Satisfaction of federal government

(x) Of Or Over Age Of Twenty One Years

He must be of or over the age of twenty one years.

(y) Application

He must make an application to the federal government for the certificate.

(z) Satisfaction Of Federal Government

The federal government must be satisfied on the following points:

  • (z-i) Residence
  • (z-ii) Permanent residence
  • (z-iii) Good behavior
  • (z-iv) Malay language

(z-i) Residence

He has resided in the Malaysian Federation for periods, which must be ten years in the twelve years before the date of the application for the certificate and which must include the twelve months before the date of the application.

(z-ii) Permanent Residence

If the certificate is granted, he intends to reside in the Malaysian Federation permanently.

(z-iii) Good Behavior

He is of good behavior.

(z-iv) Malay Language

He has an adequate knowledge of the Malay language.

(iv) Citizenship By Incorporation Of Territory

Article 22 states that if any new territory is admitted to the Federation after Malaysia Day, Parliament can determine what persons are to be citizens by reason of their connection with that territory, and Parliament can also etermine the date or dates from which such persons are to be citizens.

(3) Conclusion

It can be finally stated that citizenship is a membership in political community with full civil and political rights. Civil rights, political rights and social rights are the main elements of citizenship. Citizenship is the legal status of a person, which is acquired when the person becomes citizen of a country. And it is only the citizen, who enjoys full civil, political and social rights.

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