Current Affairs, Weekly Highlights

Why is Ahmad Zahid delaying the citizenship issue?

MALAYSIAN MOTHERS’ PLIGHT OF PASSING CITIZENSHIP TO CHILDREN BORN OVERSEAS IS NOT A MERE SOUNDBITE IN BN’S PLATFORM, INTRODUCE IT AS FIRST ITEM ON THE AGENDA FOR NEXT PARLIAMENTARY SITTING

Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi promised to include automatic citizenship to overseas-born children of Malaysian mothers in BN’s manifesto for GE15. This type of posturing tactic is laughable at best, and extremely insensitive at worst. 

The alarming quotes pertaining to this are “Ya kami amat prihatin, tentang anak-anak yang dilahirkan di luar negara, beribukan orang Malaysia”, that he will “bisikkan kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri (about this issue)”.

Being the President of UMNO, if Ahmad Zahid and UMNO are serious about the reform, Ahmad Zahid does not need to “whisper” to the Prime Minister, who is also his Vice President in UMNO, as if it is some sort of secret. If Ahmad Zahid holds any reverence to the plight of Malaysian mothers, he could have outrightly intervened when the government opposed the High Court’s ruling in favour of the mothers in the first place. Zahid speaks as if he and UMNO are in opposition, and he has no control and no influence over the Government in which UMNO not only holds the position of Prime Minister but also 11 ministers. 

It is also inconceivable that he has the cheek to jab squarely right into the efforts of Malaysian mothers who have been fighting for this issue for years, even before the constitutionality challenge 2 years ago, by weaponising his party platform no less. It is a disrespectful affront to the bureaucratic hoops that Malaysian mothers go through just for their children to stay with them in this country. The travels to the immigration office, the burden of paperwork for temporary passes and the unexplainable disheartenment they felt when the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the government last month. He says he cares, but where is he through all those challenges? 

I see no reason why amendments to the Federal Constitution, vis a vis the change for mothers to pass on their citizenship to their children born overseas cannot be put into the next Parliamentary meeting. Not only that, to reinforce how important this is in the name of putting forward justice and retribution to all Malaysian mothers, I call for this item to be the first on the agenda when Parliament reconvenes on the 26th of October. 

And if Ahmad Zahid would like to take it up a notch, his party should instruct their Vice-President to call a special parliament sitting to amend the Federal Constitution, and to also debate the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) scandal that has been hitting the waves of mainstream and social media. 

This would be in line with the notion that he cares for Malaysian mothers, and will also serve as a perfect platform for Ahmad Zahid to clear his reputation in the LCS scandal. Then, the rakyat can judge where his sincerity really lies.

Teo Nie Ching

Kulai Member of Parliament
DAP Publicity Secretary 

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