KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 ― The National Registration Department (NRD) clarified today that Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has not issued any letter of approval or support to anyone applying for Malaysian citizenship, after several documents claiming endorsement were shared online.
The department ― which comes under the Home Ministry ― said there are standard procedures for applicants to follow, and that all applications undergo stringent vetting by the proper agencies before approval is made.
“Those letters that are going viral on social media is in no way a show of support or approval from the Home Minister towards someone's citizenship request.
“Approvals for citizenship is subject to the allocations in the Federal Constitution hence not all applications will be approved,” it said in a statement.
A picture of a letter dated October 15, 2018 purportedly from a Chinese Singaporean man named Low Kok Sheng applying Malaysian citizenship for his 10-year-old son Low Yu Fu and addressed to Muhyiddin has been circulating on social media.
The widely-shared letter has prompted speculation that the government is relaxing citizenship rules for foreigners looking to be naturalised Malaysians.
Some even suggested the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigate the matter.
The NRD said it receives many letters of request for citizenship yearly as well as letters asking for updates to applications, and dismissed the viralled letter as one of these.
The NRD said it received 8,322 applications from May 10 last year to May 30 this year and only granted citizenship to five applicants.
It clarified that a total of 3,126 applicants gained citizenship during that same period, but said those were from deferred applicants made prior to May 10, 2018.
The department also assured the public that the government does not favour any specific race in approving citizenship applications.