Malaysian nationality law


Malaysian nationality law
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Malaysian nationality law is the law of Malaysia that deals with citizenship and other forms of nationality. Nationality law is mentioned in the Constitution of Malaysia.

Citizenship law was first implemented in several Malaysian states before the country achieved independence and sovereignty. The Straits Settlements, consisting of Penang, Malacca, Singapore and later Labuan, was the first entity to introduce nationality laws in the region. The Naturalization Act of 1867 stated that:

any person, whilst actually residing in the Colony, may present a memorial to the Governor in Council, praying that the privileges of naturalization may be conferred upon him.

It also provided that:

such memorial shall state to the best of the knowledge and belief of the memorialist, his age, place of birth, place of residence, profession, trade or occupation, the length of time during which he has resided within the Colony, that he is permanently settled in the Colony, or is residing within the same, with attempt to settle therein.

Contents

Requirements

The criteria to be a Malaysian citizen are:

  • every person born before Malaysia Day who is a citizen of the Malaysia by virtue of these provisions
  1. every person who immediately before Merdeka Day, was a citizen of Malaysia by virtue of any of the provisions of the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1948, whether by operation of law or otherwise
  2. every person born within Malaysia on or after Merdeka Day and before October, 1962
  3. every person born within Malaysia after September 1962, of whose parents one at least was at the time of the birth either a citizen or permanently resident in Malaysia, or who was not born a citizen of any other country
  4. every person born outside Malaysia on or after Merdeka Day whose father was a citizen at the time of his birth and either was born in Malaysia or was at the time of the birth in service under the Government of Malaysia or of a State
  5. every person born outside Malaysia on or after Merdeka Day whose father was a citizen at the time of the birth if the birth was, or is, within 1 year of its occurrence or within such longer period as in any particular case was or is allowed by the Malaysian Government, registered at a consulate of Malaysia or, if it occurred in Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei or North Borneo, registered with the Federal Government
  • every person born on or after Malaysia Day, and having any of the qualifications specified below
  1. every person born within Malaysia of whose parents one at least is at the time of the birth either a citizen or permanently resident in Malaysia and
  2. every person born outside Malaysia whose father is at the time of the birth a citizen and either was born in Malaysia or is at the time of the birth in the service of the Federation or of a State and
  3. every person born outside Malaysia whose father is at the time of the birth a citizen and whose birth is, within 1 year of its occurrence or within such longer period as the Malaysian Government may in any particular case allow, registered at a consulate of Malaysia or, if it occurs in Brunei or in a territory prescribed for this purpose by order of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, registered with the Malaysian Government and
  4. every person born in Singapore of whose parents one at least is at the time of the birth a citizen and who is not born citizen otherwise than by virtue of this paragraph and
  5. every person born within Malaysia who is not born a citizen of any country otherwise than by virtue of this paragraph

Gaining citizenship

A person can become a citizen of Malaysia either by registration or naturalization. In cases by registration, where a person is by operation of law is a citizen but have yet to be registered, such person is entitled to citizenship upon application and be registered as a citizen of Malaysia. For cases by naturalization, this refers to the process of admitting a person not a citizen of Malaysia to citizenship. This is subjected to the requirements and conditions of the Federal Government. Any person holding Malaysian citizenship is also disallowed to hold any other country's citizenship. Malaysia does not allow dual citizenship.

Those applying for citizenship by registration must have "an elementary knowledge of the Malay language". Those applying to become naturalised citizens must have "an adequate knowledge of the Malay language" and have resided in the country for ten of the past twelve years, including the twelve months immediately preceding the application. These requirements are set out by Part III of the Constitution; however, as there is no objective definition of what constitutes elementary or adequate knowledge of Malay, in practice, the tests are often subjective, sometimes even varying in whether a written knowledge of Malay is required.[1]

Residency in Sabah and Sarawak

Residency in the states of Sabah and Sarawak are distinct from the other 11 Malaysian states. While Sabah and Sarawak each has autonomy in immigration affairs (which includes imposing immigration restrictions on Peninsular Malaysia residents), residents of Sabah and Sarawak are exempted from the immigration controls of their own states. A Malaysian citizen born to a Sabah or Sarawak resident would have Sabah or Sarawak residency, regardless of where the person was born. Birth in Sabah or Sarawak alone does not make a person a resident unless one of his/her parents is a resident. A person may become a Sabah or Sarawak resident by obtaining Permanent Residence (PR) status issued by the respective state immigration departments. The residency status of a person is indicated by a letter on his/her MyKad below the photo, with, H for Sabahans, K for Sarawakians, and none for Peninsular Malaysians. [2]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Wu, Min Aun & Hickling, R. H. (2003). Hickling's Malaysian Public Law, p. 33. Petaling Jaya: Pearson Malaysia. ISBN 983-74-2518-0.
  2. ^ NRD: 'H' indicates holder is a Sabahan, Daily Express, 5 June 2010

References

External links



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