KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Malaysian passport holders should expect to be proficient in the national language as it is a requirement stated in the Federal Constitution, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said today.

He was responding to a recent passport application case in Johor that was hotly debated on the internet, news portal Free Malaysia Today reported.

“Previously, when the Home Ministry conducted citizenship studies, we found that language proficiency was also a requirement for citizenship in several of the world’s most advanced countries, such as Singapore and the UK.

“If you cannot understand the local language, you are not eligible,” he was quoted as saying.


Saifuddin Nasution was responding to news reports of an Immigration official in Johor who purportedly questioned a woman said to be renewing her daughter’s passport.

The woman claimed to have been mistreated by officials, purportedly due to her inability to speak Malay during the passport renewal process.

The minister said the Immigration official was likely only doing his job and investigating as it seemed the child in the passport application case and her parents did not appear to resemble each other.


He added that there had been reports of forged identity cards not too long ago.