PUTRAJAYA, Aug 29 — The Federal Court has set September 28 for case management of the leave to appeal application filed by the Association of Family Support & Welfare Selangor & Kuala Lumpur (Family Frontiers) and six Malaysian mothers against the Court of Appeal’s ruling denying automatic citizenship to children born overseas to Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses.
One of their lawyers, Abraham Au when contacted, confirmed that they were notified today by the court of the case management date which would be conducted online.
On Friday, Family Frontiers and the six mothers filed their leave to appeal application to challenge the Court of Appeal’s ruling that children born overseas to Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses were not entitled to Malaysian citizenship by operation of law.
On August 5, the appellate court, in a 2-1 majority decision had allowed the government’s appeal to overturn the High Court landmark ruling in allowing children born overseas to Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses to get Malaysian citizenship.
In their notice of motion, they stated that they intend to raise four legal questions involving novel constitutional issues for the Federal Court to decide if leave is granted to them to pursue their appeal.
In civil cases, litigants must first obtain leave before they can proceed with the appeal in the Federal Court.
In the notice of motion, Family Frontiers and the six mothers said the decision of the Federal Court on the proposed questions was necessary to clarify and state the law to ensure that decisions by the court were delivered in a non-arbitrary and consistent manner.
The questions revolve on the issue of whether children born overseas to Malaysian mothers married to foreigners be accorded citizenship by operation of law following a 2001 amendment to Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution which prohibited gender discrimination against citizens and the fact that the amendment was passed by Parliament to accord with Malaysia’s commitment to gender equality under Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw).
Family Frontiers and six women who are married to foreigners wanted a court order for all relevant government agencies, including the National Registration Department, Immigration Department and Malaysian embassies, to issue documents relating to citizenship (including passports and identity cards) to children born abroad to Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses. — Bernama