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High Court Dismisses Govt's Appeal To Suspend Malaysian Mothers' Citizenship Ruling

The court also ordered the government to pay a cost of RM5,000 as the appeal was "unnecessary".

Cover image via Ghazali Kori/New Straits Times & @FamilyFrontiers (Twitter)

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The Kuala Lumpur High Court has dismissed the government's appeal to temporarily suspend the landmark decision that grants Malaysian mothers the right to confer citizenship to their overseas-born children

The government had sought to stay the decision in addition to appealing against the court ruling made by the High Court that favoured Malaysian mothers on 9 September.

The hearing of the stay was conducted online today, 15 November.

According to The Vibes, judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir also ordered the government to pay a cost of RM5,000 as their appeal was deemed "unnecessary".

Lawyer Joshua Andran, acting in favour of Malaysian mothers, confirmed that the High Court dismissed the stay application

"The judge (Akhtar) in his decision said the defendant's position was contradictory," Joshua said, as quoted by Malaysiakini.

"On the one hand, [the government] said that an amendment to the Federal Constitution to grant mothers this right must be first approved by the Conference of Rulers. This presupposed that the amendment was necessary."

"However, there is no question of an amendment because the court has already decided that the mothers have this right under the Federal Constitution."

According to Malay Mail, Akhtar also said that if the government intends to amend the Federal Constitution in line with the high court's decision, they should not be placing these hurdles in the mothers' pathways.

The High Court judge added that Malaysian mothers have already experienced hardship and waited long enough for this right to be granted; they cannot wait indefinitely again for an appeal process to be over.

Members of Family Frontiers outside the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex on 27 April.

Image via Hari Anggara/Malay Mail

On 9 September, Akhtar ruled that the word "father" in the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution must be read to include mothers

The High Court affirmed the right of Malaysian mothers to confer citizenship to their children born abroad after advocacy group Family Frontiers and six affected Malaysian mothers with overseas-born children filed a lawsuit at the High Court in December last year.

However, in less than a week after the decision was made, the government decided to file a notice of appeal to reverse the High Court's decision.

The appeal against the landmark ruling is scheduled to be heard at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, 17 November.

Read more about the High Court's ruling that allows Malaysian mothers to confer citizenship to their children born overseas here:

Earlier, former law minister Azalina Othman had said it is unfair that citizenship can only be passed on by Malaysian husbands: