KDN mulls if proposed amendments to only involve supporting legislation

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1: The Home Ministry (KDN) will finalise whether amendments to the provisions related to citizenship will be made to the Federal Constitution or will only involve existing acts and regulations.

Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, said that the Federal Constitution clearly provides for three ways to obtain citizenship, namely law enforcement, registration, and naturalisation through Articles 14, 15, 16, 19, and 30.

However, he said there are several other acts and regulations that support the main provisions related to citizenship in the Federal Constitution.

“Citizenship-related laws are not only under the Federal Constitution but are also supported by other acts and regulations such as the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957, National Registration Act 1959, Islamic Family Law Enactments in the states, Passport Act 1966, and Immigration Act 1959.

“The principles of citizenship are outlined in the Federal Constitution, but for the purpose of approving citizenship issues, there are more than a dozen supporting regulations… hence, the proposed amendments may not be reflected in the Federal Constitution but rather in these supporting acts… this will be finalised,” he said when winding-up the 2024 Supply Bill debate at the policy stage for the ministry  in the Dewan Rakyat today.

In addition, he said that engagement sessions with the relevant parties are still ongoing, and KDN is reviewing best practices related to citizenship legislation that are being practiced by other countries, including Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries.

Meanwhile, on the issue of freedom of speech and the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948, Saifuddin Nasution said the Cabinet has decided that the act will only be used for offences related to the royal institution.

“…the Cabinet made a decision that if it involves the royal institution, such as criticising, defaming, belittling, or insulting the royal institution whereby its sanctity and dignity are protected as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, then only will the Sedition Act be used.

“For ordinary cases (offences related to freedom of speech), we use the existing acts, namely the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) and the Penal Code (Act 574),” he said.