Friday, August 31, 2018

Citizenship for PR holders over 60 - Some considerations

Permanent residents aged 60 years and above who have applied for full citizenship will be granted this soon, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced today.
Sounds great but there are ssome concerns. Will someone like Zakir Naik who has a Malaysian PR who applied for citizenship, who may be over 60 years be granted citizenship as well?

We know that many persons who should be Malaysians do not have citizenship because of some failings of their parents/others in registering their births, making the necessary application in time, etc ...most of whom were poor, marginalised or even un-informed...For such persons, who were in Malaysia/Singapore before independence, or were born of parents who are citizens/PR/those whose parents qualify for citizenship... That is OK.

Now, under the previous UMNO-BN regime, it is rumoured that many from Indonesia, Philipines...and even other Muslim countries like Pakistan have managed to get PR status - possibly the fault of government, corruption of some public servants, etc..

OF course, a child of a PR holder will automatically qualify to be a Malaysian citizen. Was this a 'tactic' of increasing the Muslim polulation in the country? Or maybe the Malay population? Was it a kind of 'social engineering' to ensure ethnic composition of Malaysia?

Even today, some migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh claim to have managed to get PR status - they came here for business and/or work...maybe 10 years or so ago. Now, will they who are over 60 also get Malaysian citizenship?

For those whose parents were given 'PR' many years ago(maybe 30-55 years ago), who really would not qualify to be citizens, who since then had children and now grandchildren....all of whom are Malaysian citizens. What will the government do with such 'citizens' - remove their citizenship...or simply accept what has been done wrongly by previous UMNO-led governments...?

CHILDREN - well children of a Malaysian should be Malaysian citizens - but now, we have a court judgment that says that such children born out of wedlock(where the Malaysian father/mother was not married to the non-Malaysians) will not be considered Malaysian citizen. THIS IS SO WRONG - If the father or mother is a Malaysian, irrespective of whether they are legally married or not, SHOULD BE AUTOMATICALLY MALAYSIAN CITIZENS.

Well, if these children, just because the marriage of their parents were not registered, are denied citizenship, then likewise, children of both Malaysian parents, not married when the child was conceived and/or born, will in Malaysia be considered 'STATELESS' ...Not logical.

Hence, rightfully children of a Malaysian parent, irrespective whether they were legally married at the time of conception/birth should automatically be Malaysian citizens. Malaysia should not be escaping responsibility for such children - simply because their parents were not married at that time, or maybe not even married. (Today, with DNA testing, it can always be verified who the parents of the child is/are). Hence, these children also(who may now be adults) should be accorded CITIZENSHIP.  

CHILDREN - Adopted by Malaysians - If the adoption is approved and registered, then again automatically, these children should be accorded Malaysian Citizenship.

Zakir Naik gets PR status....but to date, Foreign Spouses of Malaysians, who have registered their marriage in Malaysia, are still denied PR status. They are now granted a 'spouse visa' for a year, and renewable every year on the application of the Malaysian spouse. Previously, after several years, they are given 3-year spouse visa, and then they can apply for PR status.

Under UMNO-BN, a new policy came into being of late - that no more 3-year spouse visa unless the spouse passes a 'Bahasa Malaysia' test... Well for foreign spouses from Indonesia, Southern Thailand and Brunei, this may not be a problem...but for foreign spouses from other countries, it is a problem...and a grave injustice. Same also for PR applications...the 'Bahasa Malaysia' test. You really do not need Bahasa Malaysia to survive in Malaysia, for even with English one can survive.

Will Pakatan Harapan government, maybe Wan Azizah too, look into this issue, and grant immediate PR to foreign spouses on registration of marriage. If there is a DIVORCE, the PR status could be reviewed, and even removed later, if needed to. 

Marriage - With it comes, obligations including lookings after parents/family/dependents of the other spouse. It will also include rights to property and income/asset generated during marriage. If all is well, it is OK - but if the Malaysian spouse, suddenly passes away, then the foreign spouse may not be able to continue to be in Malaysia looking after the family/dependents of the Malaysian spouse, the matrimonial home and even other businesses. If the foreign spouse is wealthy, he/she can simply fly in and out of Malaysia and be in the country under the 'social visit visa'...but not practical for those from the poorer income group. Hence, the JUST and logical way forward is Permanent Residency(PR) status for foreign spouses upon registration of marriage.

For foreign spouses of Malaysians, they really should not be treated like 'foreigners', they should at least be granted acess to public health facilities...maybe if not same rate as Malaysians, then at least at 'double' the rate payable by Maaysians, but certainly not that 'exorbitant' rate charged on other foreigners including migrant workers and business people.

There is currently possibly about hundred thousand or more foreign spouses of Malaysians - and this is a large 'human resource' that Malaysia can use hence reducing dependents on migrant workers. These foreign spouses should be allowed to work or 'do business' without any special new permits....

Permanent residents aged 60 and above to get full citizenship

KUALA LUMPUR: Permanent residents aged 60 years and above who have applied for full citizenship will be granted this soon, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced today.

He said this was agreed at a meeting last night with Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders and the Indian community, and concerned 3,407 stateless Indians.

“The red IC is a permanent residency card. If they are already 60 and above, they can go to the National Registration Department (NRD), fill in the necessary forms to change their red IC to blue.

“This is what we promised in the (election) manifesto. We had already decided earlier, but the process to issue the blue MyKad takes time.

“We will fulfil our promise to red IC holders and those 60 and above,” he said at a press conference after chairing a meeting on the management of foreign workers in the country in Parliament.

Also present were Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran and Deputy Rural Development Minister R Sivarasa.

As for those below 60, Mahathir said if there was a basis, such as one of the parents being Malaysian, they would have the right to become citizens.

“There are certain conditions required for those who want to apply to be citizens, and they need to abide by these. If they follow them, they can become citizens.

“A simple Bahasa Melayu test will also be held. If they pass, we can accept them as citizens.

“Other conditions include residing in the country for 12 years. That is the provision of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

PH had promised to resolve the statelessness issue in Malaysia in its election manifesto for the May general election.

The problem of stateless people is not limited to the peninsula as Sabah, too, has a large number of people without citizenship.

A coalition of NGOs in Sabah last month claimed there were “at least 800,000 stateless people” in the state.

Last November, NGO Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas Malaysia said Indians comprised the biggest number affected in the peninsula with 12,392 stateless individuals recorded between 2014 and 2017.

It said that of the number, only 2,225 had acquired citizenship.

Out of the 12,392 stateless people, 4,522 were children up to the age of 17 years, 3,227 were adults aged 18 to 59, and 4,643 were seniors aged 60 and above.

Among the seniors, 40% were born in Malaysia while the other 60% had arrived in the country before independence in 1957.- FMT, 14/8/2018

Home Ministry: Zakir Naik's Malaysian PR status will not be reviewed ...
Nov 8, 2017 - KUALA LUMPUR: The permanent resident (PR) status granted to controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik will not be reviewed, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

No comments: