Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the Home Minister, has vehemently rejected allegations suggesting his ministry’s involvement in an extensive granting of Malaysian citizenship to foreigners, particularly from China. Terming these allegations as baseless and irresponsible, Saifuddin emphasized their potential to undermine ongoing efforts to address citizenship applications. He underscored the sensitivity of citizenship matters and urged patience to allow the resolution of issues related to children born within Malaysian families where marriage registration was incomplete.
Speaking to the press during the presentation of a donation for a hearse at the Ar-Raudhah Mosque in Sungai Durian, Saifuddin asserted, “This is what we are doing and it is not easy, because the issue of citizenship is highly sensitive, but I completely reject the accusation.” He urged the public and stakeholders to extend the necessary space for the ministry to address citizenship-related matters, especially concerning children born into Malaysian families where marriage registration procedures were incomplete.
Saifuddin further conveyed, “Give us the space to resolve the issue of the future of children from Malaysian families where the marriage registration process is not done accordingly, and we want to help.”
During the event, Saifuddin also took the opportunity to present a citizenship approval letter to Khatanak Sayyan, a 19-year-old individual who lacked any form of identity documentation since birth.
Highlighting the scale of citizenship applications, Saifuddin indicated that the ministry has received over 140,000 applications. Among these, around 9,000 applications have undergone processing, with several having received approval. He emphasized that distorted or misrepresented data relating to citizenship grants could taint the perception of the ministry’s earnest endeavors to address these matters, particularly instances arising from marriage registration delays.
The Home Minister underscored the intricate nature of the issue, explaining that delayed marriage registration, an important prerequisite for citizenship applications, could lead to complications, particularly for children. He elucidated, “When there is a lack of that, over time, problems arise for the children.” Saifuddin acknowledged the prolonged processing times for citizenship applications in cases where parents attempt to rectify incomplete marriage registrations.
The National Registration Department had previously countered claims asserting that around 54,000 Chinese nationals were in the process of receiving Malaysian citizenship, ostensibly to bolster DAP voter demographics.