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2008 Oct 11 - No power to grant or take away the citizenship of a person

No power to grant or take away the citizenship of a person

Kota Kinabalu (11th October, 2008): I refer to the statement of the Home Minister in "The Star" newspapers on 10th October, 2008 with the heading "Sabahan gets citizenship back after 20 months."

The Minister is reported to have said that "he had directed NRD to make it clear that applying for permanent resident status and citizenship were not a right but a privilege." He had earlier said that there were 30,000 applications involving locals and that he had decided to grant citizenship to Yong because it was a deserving case.

With respect, our comment is as follows. When Sabah formed Malaysia in 1963 together with Sarawak and Singapore, it was expressly agreed that all Sabahans, whether native Sabahans or otherwise shall be automatically entitled to citizenship of the Federation.

This was inserted into the Malaysia Agreement and the amended Federal Constitution. Sabahans like Yong are therefore citizens by operation of law.

Therefore the question of the Home Minister "restoring" or "granting" her citizenship is therefore absolutely ridiculous as he has no power to grant or take away the citizenship of a person who is a citizen by operation of law.

It is the law that determines whether a local Sabahan is a citizen and it has agreed in the Malaysia Agreement and the Federal Constitution that all Sabahans are citizens. Therefore any suggestion that the locals who apply for recognition of their status as citizens through MyKad applications should understand that it is a "privilege" and not a "right" is completely wrong.

This is because even if a local Sabahan did not bother to obtain an identity card, he is still nonetheless a citizen by operation of law. After all, the identity card regulations do not govern citizenship status of a person. Identity cards originated as an emergency measure adopted during the Communist insurgency to weed out and identify subversives. Since then it has become a useful and convenient identity document.

However, for genuine citizens, their status of citizenship cannot depend on the whim and fancy of the NRD if they decide to replace their MyKad with a MyPR card. As far as non-Malaysians are concerned, the Minister is right in sayin that the applications for PR or citizenship are a privilege. However, for Malaysians, we would urge the authorities to understand it is an absolute right to obtain a Mykad that denotes citizenship.

Datuk Eric Majimbun
11th October, 2008

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SAPP Policies

SAPP's 17 point Manifesto - Sabah deserves better in terms of more equitable distribution of opportunities, in social, economic and infrastructural development and a better quality of life. [BM][Chinese]

SAPP's Economic Plan for Sabah - SAPP aims to achieve economic prosperity and financial self-reliance for Sabah. Version in [BM] [Chinese]

SAPP's Land Reform Policy - To promote and protect the rights and interests of local natives and other citizens in Sabah [BM][Chinese]

On Oil Royalty - SAPP is not giving up its struggle for more oil royalty payment for Sabah.

SAPP's Eight (8) Points Declaration - Whereas our mission is to establish a trustworthy govt and a progressive ...

SAPP's 14 point memo in 2006 - Time for Direct Preventive Actions

SAPP Constitution (booklet)

Our Sabah..

Books on ....
RCI Report on Immigrants in Sabah
The Birth of Malaysia
Malaysia Agreement Article 1-11
The Original Agreement of Malaysia
Heroes of Kinabalu 神山美烈誌
Schedule 9 of the Federal Constitution

more on ...
Twenty points safeguard
20 Perkara
Illegals & IC issues
Bernas Monopoly
No to coal-fired plant
Sabah Gas pipeline
3 million acres oil blocks ceded
The Formation of Msia & Devt in Sabah
Proclamation of Msia 1963...details
Restore Sabah's right to appoint JCs,
Ex-minister: Review 20-point
Supply Sarawak power to Sabah...
Sedition Act 1948
Continental Shelf Act 83 (1966)
Petroleum Development Act 144 (1974)
Petroleum Oil Agreement (1976)


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Take action against anti-Malaysia elements
Call for Philippines Consulate in Sabah
Get the RM1 billion and solve the QEH debacle
SAPP's objection of coal-fired plants in Sabah
SAPP: Explain the RM 601 loan to KL company
The missing billion ringgit "special grant"
SAPP on SEDIA Bill 2009
SAPP supports the call for the abolishment of Cabotage Policy
Probe illegals having Mykad also
Political Autonomy for Sabah
Sabah Schools still awaiting share of RM30 million
Special fund: Eric wants ACA probe
Oil royalty: SAPP not giving up
Scrap Bernas monopoly on rice
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