KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — A total of 11,065 citizenship applications under Article 15 of the Federal Constitution were received from Sabah from 2017 to 2022, with 481 of them approved.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said that based on the National Registration Department’s records, of that total, 3,917 applications were rejected while 6,667 were being processed.
“The granting of Malaysian citizenship to non-citizens is the highest award and the executive right of the Federal Government and we do not offer it arbitrarily to any party,” he said at a special chamber session in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Shamsul Anuar was responding to Vivian Wong Shir Yee (DAP-Sandakan), who, among others, wanted details on the number of citizenship applications processed and rejected in Sabah as well as the time period for application processing.
In considering citizenship applications, the burden of proving eligibility is the responsibility of each applicant, he said.
He said although deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test results can confirm blood ties with other family members, especially the parents or siblings, it was only considered a supporting document and cannot be used as conclusive evidence in the granting of citizenship.
He said this was because the consideration process is subject to the conditions under Part III of the Federal Constitution, the Citizenship Rules 1964 as well as relevant legislation in force on the issue of marriage registration, adoption, the legitimacy of children and immigration regulations.
“Citizenship applications are submitted separately with different information and supporting documents. As such, evaluations and consideration of applications also differ according to the needs, evidence and facts of the case based on the information provided,” he said.
Shamsul Anuar said the facts and evidence documents submitted by the applicant will be examined before a decision is reached and issued, and in that regard, there is no set time period for this.
The reasons for rejected applications also vary according to the needs of the case, he said.
However, he said generally, reasons for rejected application include the unregistered marriages, the subject’s whereabouts being unclear due to failure to prove he or she is in the country, the applicant has no local standing to make the application and information given by the applicant is questionable.
Shamsul Anuar said births in Malaysia do not automatically qualify the individual for citizenship, but rather are determined based on the marital status and citizenship status of the biological parents at the time of the birth.