People Are Willing To Give Up Their Dual Nationality To Become A Malaysian Citizen
A report by Bernama yesterday, 9 May, revealed that a large number of people with dual nationalities are willing to give it up to hold a Malaysian citizenship
This was acknowledged by a Pengkalan Hulu resident who only wants to be known as Ahmad, 24, when met by Bernama in Ipoh recently.
Ahmad said he renounced his Thai citizenship when he was 18 after having held dual citizenship as his mother is a Thai national and father, a Malaysian.
"After I was born in Malaysia, my mother took me to Betong and ensured that I obtained Thai citizenship, but at the same time I visited Malaysia regularly.
"I studied in Malaysia until I completed my Form Five education and had no problems attending school in Malaysia because I had a valid birth certificate," he said.
The report highlighted how the government's move to offer great benefits and facilities drove many, especially Thai nationals to opt for Malaysian citizenship
He admitted that it was an advantage to hold dual citizenship though it was unlawful in Malaysia and Thailand, adding that Malaysia had so much to offer.
However, Ahmad added that it was not easy to obtain Malaysian citizenship for two of his younger siblings who were born in Betong and were schooling in Pengkalan Hulu.
He said the two had to apply for student visas which had to be renewed every year. “They have been studying in Malaysia for the past one year,” he said.
Another similar individual, Kak Lia, renounced her Thai nationality in 1999 as she felt that being a Malaysian citizen is more rewarding
Her excitement was short-lived as she was only granted a Permanent Resident status (popularly known as "red IC"), unlike other relatives and friends that were given a full-fledged Malaysian identity card, reported Bernama.
To make matters more disappointing, Kak Lia explained how under the "Country of Origin" tab at the back of her "red IC", it was merely written "Stateless".
"I have been going to the National Registration Department since 1999 to replace my Red IC, but to no avail.
"I am still thankful though because even with the Red IC, I still manage to use the banking facilities and seek hospital treatment. Unfortunately, I cannot vote," said Kak Lia, as reported by Bernama.
The Malaysian nationality laws does not recognise dual citizenship.
The constitution also allows children born to parents of Malaysian and another of a different citizenship, to choose either of their parents' nationality when they turn 18.
While these people are letting go of other nationalities to become a Malaysian citizen, this Penangite engineer has left the comforts of his home to sell chicken rice in Singapore: