KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Permanent residents over the age of 60 who have applied for citizenships will be granted this soon, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.
The prime minister said the decision was reached following a meeting yesterday with representatives of the Indian community including Pakatan Harapan MPs and senators.
However, he did not provide a timeframe for when the citizenships will be approved.
“They will be regarded as citizens,” he told reporters after chairing a special committee meeting on the scenario and management of foreign workers in Malaysia in Parliament.
The prime minister noted that Pakatan Harapan pledged in its election manifesto to help secure citizenships for 3,407 Indians over 60 years old who possess the red MyKads.
He said that while the 100-day pledge was limited to the Indian communities, the decision was made to apply it across the board.
Dr Mahathir added that citizenship applications will also be relaxed for applicants under 60 and with at least one Malaysian parent.
“But the child must be born in Malaysia,” he said.
There are certain conditions that they need to adhere to before they are granted citizenship.
It is mandatory that they pass the Bahasa Malaysia test.
“It is a simple test, which they will have to take, in order to qualify,” he said.
In order to qualify for citizenship, permanent residents must have lived in the country for 10 years as per the Federal Constitution.
Dr Mahathir said the next thing to look into is cases of children denied citizenship because their parents do not have proper marriage documents.