Urging the Malaysian Government To Not Appeal Against High Court Ruling on Citizenship Conferment By Malaysian Mothers


We, the undersigned Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and individuals, applaud the landmark decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on September 9, 2021, that affirmed Malaysian women’s right to confer citizenship automatically on their children born overseas on an equal basis with Malaysian men.

The Court ruled that Article 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution together with the Second Schedule, Part II, Section 1(b) of the FC, pertaining to citizenship rights, must be read in harmony with Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. High Court judge Dato’ Akhtar bin Tahir ruled that the word ‘father’ must therefore be read to include ‘mother’, and that their children are entitled to citizenship by operation of law.

In light of the momentous decision, we strongly urge the Government of Malaysia not to appeal against this ruling. This will then enable all Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara offices and Malaysian embassies worldwide to expedite the registration of Malaysian Identification documents for children born overseas of Malaysian mothers and non-Malaysian fathers.

This decision is being celebrated locally and globally as a step in the right direction for Malaysia in creating a just, democratic, and egalitarian society, as Malaysia continues to participate in the international arena. We see the Rakyat from all walks of life joyously welcoming this decision and we invite the Government to hear our calls for justice by accepting this decision and focusing on implementing it expeditiously.

We believe that with a Malaysia seeking a seat on the Human Rights Council, the Government is well-placed to lead by example, the countries yet to reform their unequal nationality laws. This is an incredible opportunity and responsibility to do right by Malaysian women and their children, by not appealing against this ruling by the High Court, and once and for all ending the gender discrimination in the conferment of citizenship on children born overseas to Malaysian women.

Initiated by Family Frontiers, this statement is endorsed by a total of 115 organisations and 52 individuals.

1. Agora Society
2. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
3. Amnesty International Malaysia
4. Asia Community Service
5. Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
6. CARAM Asia
7. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
8. Childline Foundation
9. CRIB Foundation
10. Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA), Malaysia
11. ENGENDER Consultancy
12. Enlight Malaysia
13. Federation of Reproductive Health Association
14. Foreign Spouses Support Group
15. Freedom Film Network
16. G25 Malaysia
17. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)
18. Justice for Sisters
19. KRYSS Network
20. Labour Law Reform Coalition (comprises of 58 organisations)
21. Lawyer Kamek for Change (LK4C)
22. Monsters Among Us: Youth Advocates
23. National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO)
24. National Council Women Organisation NA
25. National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC)
26. North South Initiative
27. Parti Sosialis Malaysia
28. Partners of Community Organisations in Sabah (PACOS)
29. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (ALIRAN)
30. Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham)
31. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
32. Persatuan Untuk Anak Kita (PUAKPayong)
33. Pertubuhan Kebajikan Vivekananda Rembau NS
34. PLUHO (People Like Us Hang Out)
35. POWER 63 PLT
36. PT Foundation
37. Reach Out Sabah
38. Sabah Reform Initiative (SARI)
39. Sabah Women’s Action-Resource Group (SAWO)
40. Sahabat Alam Malaysia
41. Sarawak Women for Women Society
42. Sisters In Islam
43. Society for Equality, Respect and Trust for All Sabah (SERATA)
44. StandUp Malaysia
45. Stateless Children Family Support Group (SFSG)
47. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
48. Third World Network
49. Toy Libraries Malaysia
50. Treat Every Environment Special Sdn Bhd (TREES)
51. Undi Sabah
52. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
53. Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)
54. World Vision Malaysia
55. X Ed Malaysia
56. Yayasan Chow Kit
57. YPolitics

1. Amar Singh S/O H Surjan Singh
2. Amirul Ikman
3. Any Li-lian
4. Asha Devi Do J D Singh
5. Azira Binti Aziz
6. Catherine Ooi
7. Charles Bertille
8. Chee Heng Leng
9. Chee Kah Wai
10. Chee Soo Yuen
11. Chee Yoke Heong
12. Cheong Yuet Siew
13. Chok Mei Zium
14. Chong Soon Fun
15. Christine Mackenzie
16. Chua Khi Sui
17. Daniel Teoh Yong Liang
18. Diana Carol Kurisunkal
19. Fateen Fatainah Bt Mohd Ariff Sabri
20. Firzana Redzuan
21. Gillian Raja
22. Grace Chng Susien
23. Ho Fong Ming
24. Hong Sijess
25. Jasmine Wong Kah Man
26. K. Eruthaiaraj A/L Kulanthaisamy
27. Kong Lan Lee
28. Kuek Ming Shuen
29. Lai Sau Theng
30. Lau Hiang Ping
31. Laurine H Pereira
32. Liang Hui Fen
33. Liva Sreedharan
34. Lm Kong
35. Lydia Tong
36. Mary Shanthi Dairiam
37. Melissa Leong Shi Mei
38. Mohd Rizal Bin Rozhan
39. Nicole Jo Pereira
40. Norlina Binto Adam
41. Nurulalsah Binti Hassan Alban
42. Omna Sreeni-Ong
43. Rabiathul Badariah
44. Raelene Julaihi
45. R Lakshmi Lavanya
46. Sabrina Melisa Binti Aripen
47. Sharifah Nur Salina Bte Syed Hussein
48. Siti Aishah Hassan Hasri
49. Teh Lay Hoon
50. Tham Hui Ying
51. Varunnath Viswanathan
52. Wilhelmina Mowe