Proficient in Malay language a requirement for Malaysian citizenship

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12: Proficiency in the Malay language remains a requirement for anyone applying for Malaysian citizenship as provided in the Federal Constitution.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said applicants’ proficiency in the language would be tested through several screening processes, including written tests and face-to-face interviews.

“As required by the Federal Constitution, applicants for citizenship under Article 16 must have a basic level knowledge of the Malay language, while applicants for citizenship under Article 19 must have sufficient knowledge of the Malay language.

“This means that the level of mastery of the Malay language for citizenship applicants is given priority because this condition is enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said during a question and answer session in Dewan Negara (Senate) today.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Senator Abdul Nasir Idris who wanted to know the extent to which the enforcement of the Malay language was given priority in obtaining Malaysian citizenship status.

Shamsul Anuar said as of last November, a total of 32,000 citizenship applications were received by the Home Ministry.

“As of last October, KDN has issued a total of 10,381 results for citizenship application and this number exceeded the annual target of 10,000,” he added.