The current self-inflicted issue that the 673 former citizens of Malaysia, who once willingly by their own choice and accord gave up their nationality and allegiance to this tanahair for perceived greener postures abroad, would have to face the consequence of making the wrong choices.
The Star story:
Published: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 11:07:21 AM
Zahid: BOC holders in for a long wait to be Malaysians again
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians who have allegedly become stateless after failing to get British citizenship may have to wait at least 17 years before they can regain their Malaysian citizenship.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this in reference to hundreds who had renounced their Malaysian citizenship allegedly in order to receive British citizenship through the British Overseas Citizenship (BOC).
The approval of Malaysian citizenship for these former citizens would also be subjected to their show of loyalty to the country and passing a Bahasa Malaysia proficiency test, he added.
“The Malaysian Government will not automatically grant citizenship to anyone who has already let go of their Malaysian citizenship.
“Anyone who wishes to re-apply for citizenship will have their application reviewed carefully while they are given only a residence pass, not citizenship or permanent residence.
“This is because there were those among them who had torn up their (Malaysian) passports with feelings of hatred towards the country and an intention to no longer return to this country – there was no more loyalty in them,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said at a press conference here yesterday.
He said 673 individuals – and not 1,000 as previously reported – had renounced their Malaysian citizenship allegedly to obtain the BOC between 2005 and 2013, ending up in this predicament of being stateless.
The British government had on July 4, 2002, decided that it would no longer consider citizenship applications involving BOC holders from Malaysia.
The BOC is a travel document that is not equivalent to British citizenship, even though BOC holders could be considered for British citizenship before the British Nationality Act 1981 was amended in 2002.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said a residence pass would permit those re-applying for Malaysian citizenship to reside in the country for up to five years, after which the pass will be up for renewal.
“These individuals should apply for the residence pass while in the United Kingdom through the Malaysian High Commission in London.
“They can only take off for Malaysia after their application (for a residence pass) has been approved by the Malaysian Immigration Department.
“A special counter will be opened at the KL International Airport on their arrival day, where the BOC document-holder will be issued with the residence pass and briefed on the rules pertaining to the pass,” he said.
Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s position on the matter is more than fair. These 673 ‘Stateless Persons’ made the choice to be disloyal to this nation and give up their citizenship and privileges, guaranteed under the Federation of Malaysia Constitution, as a condition for them to apply for British citizenship.
Their gambit backfired.
It is not the Malaysian Government obligation is any manner or count to accept them back as status quo, and re-institute them back as citizens of this nation. They should be treated as any other aliens and given the same consideration to stay in this nation, without exception.
At best, a work permit and resident status.
This is the reality of life. There is no ‘reset button’. When one makes the wrong choices, one have to live with the consequences. Neither this is a work of fiction where these is a ‘happy ending’.
This should also be a lesson to all who are thinking and contemplating about being disloyal to His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Federation of Malaysia Constitution. Being a citizen is a very valuable privilege. Otherwise, this nation would not be hosting more than 2.5 million economic immigrants.
HRH Malay Rulers compromised Article 12 of the 1948 Federation of Tanah Melayu Treaty to accept almost 1 million Non Malays classified as ‘Stateless Persons’ as ‘citizens’, without being processed properly and fulfilling the set criteria for consideration. It was part of the ‘Social Contract’ for Federation of Tanah Melayu to earn Kemederkaan as a sovereign nation.
That could only happened once. It is something extremely rare and the Non Malays and/or ‘Stateless Persons’ should follow the normal process to become citizens of Federation of Malaysia.
This is a nation of law and order and proper Federal Constitution exist and enforced, on top specific regulations set for administrative purposes. The rule of law shall take precedence.
Hence, the lesson ends.