"It's Our Choice" — Dr Amalina Gracefully Explains Why Her Kids Will Be British Citizens

"Because of my commitments here, I am not able to return to Malaysia to give birth."

Cover image via @dramalinabakri (Instagram)

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An inspiration to Malaysians all over the world, Dr Amalina Bakri recently came under fire for explaining the plans for the birth of her child

From pulling off a wedding at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to joining a team of scientists who were in pursuit of finding a vaccine for the virus that took over the globe in 2020, it's hard to argue against Dr Amalina Bakri truly being in a league of her own.

Nonetheless, the doctor recently faced some pushback after detailing the plans for the birth of her first child. 

Using the 'Ask Me A Question' feature on Instagram, Dr Amalina posted a story asking her followers to ask her anything they'd like. One of the questions that would eventually stir up some controversy among Malaysian netizens, however, was posed by an unrevealed user.

They asked, "What citizenship will your child hold? British or dual citizenship?" Keeping her answer short and sweet, Dr Amalina responded saying that her child (and future children) will be British citizens.

Screen grab of Dr Amalina's response in her Instagram story.

Image via @dramalinabakri (Instagram)

Within a short period of time since releasing the story, Dr Amalina went on to write a post explaining her stance and decision for the answer she gave

On Sunday, 7 August, Dr Amalina released an Instagram post of herself in her scrubs, posing with her protruding pregnant belly. Pairing the post with a lengthy caption, Dr Amalina sought to put all the sensationalised gossip to rest.

Opening her statement with a strong assertion, the doctor wrote (in translation), "You may be aware that if a Malaysian woman, who is married to a non-Malaysian man, were to give birth outside the country, their child would not be allowed to receive automatic Malaysian citizenship."

Citing a recent decision by the Malaysian Court of Appeal, Dr Amalina spoke on the ruling that denies Malaysian mothers from passing citizenship to their overseas-born children. She continued her post by calling out certain media outlets for writing stories about the birth and nationality of her child without her approval.

"Of course, I'd have loved for my children to be Malaysian, but my husband is British, and we both work and live in the UK"

Explaining her commitments while living in the UK, Dr Amalina described how she will not be able to travel to Malaysia to give birth, "I am currently in my third trimester, and I'm still working. Taking a long flight and an extended leave from work is not the right thing to do for us and our baby. This is the best decision for us as a family, and it is our choice."

Calling out the haters while being graceful, Dr Amalina continued on saying, "To those who love to insult and slander, I am not here doing unproductive things. I work, continuing in my field of expertise, and I am doing my PhD to become the best that I can be in my field."

Providing deeper insight into her PhD course, Dr Amalina explained how she was sponsored by a grant, and won fellowship from Imperial College London (the institution of her current academic pursuit).

"My specialised training is being paid for by the tax money of UK citizens after I competed against thousands of UK citizens and international graduates to get into this programme. I have worked so hard to help other people. Is it wrong for me to chase academic success?"

Urging the public to stop condemning one's personal choices, she encourages people to uplift others, and pray for their success instead

Going back to citing the recent ruling made by Malaysian courts, Dr Amalina wrote, "I am aware that there are other Malaysian women married to foreigners, who are still fighting for their children's rights to Malaysian citizenship. I hope that they will find a solution."

Closing off her caption, she assured whoever reading her post that despite living in the UK and being British, her children will still be half-Malay, and the mix of two cultures will be nothing less than a colourful life.

"I'd raise our children to understand Malaysian and Islamic values, as well as to learn the Malay language. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter where they live or what passport they hold; what matters is that they are human beings with good moral values who can contribute to humanity."

Dr Amalina and her husband, Alex.

Image via @dramalinabakri (Instagram)

Since releasing her post, a slew of individuals came out in support of Dr Amalina, wishing her and her family well

In a brief conversation with this SAYS writer, Dr Amalina hopes her story will provide deeper insight to the public on this issue

We recently spoke to a few Malaysian mothers who opened up about the struggle to get citizenship for their overseas-born children:

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