JOHOR BARU, May 16 — A Malaysian will automatically lose his Malaysian citizenship if he is found to have dual citizenship, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said this was stated in the Malaysian Constitution whereby a Malaysian would lose his or her citizenship if he or she were to apply to become a citizen of another country.
“We have to look at the laws of our country, especially the highest legislation which is the Federal Constitution that only recognises one citizenship for Malaysians.
“If any Malaysian has dual citizenship, he or she will automatically lose the Malaysian citizenship, what more if he or she had applied to be a citizen of another country,” he said when asked to comment on the Sarawak Legislative Assembly disqualifying Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon of DAP for allegedly having Australian citizenship as well.
Ahmad Zahid spoke at a press conference after performing the ground-breaking of the Ibrahim International Business District here today.
Ahmad Zahid said the decision of the Sarawak Assembly could be challenged or brought to court by the relevant political party.
Nevertheless, the Federal Constitution must be upheld as the leading legal reference and respected by all.
“This is not a question of politicising an issue but a question of principle upheld by the legislative system and the people of Malaysia,” he said.
The Sarawak Assembly disqualified Dr Ting as the assemblyman for Pujut on May 12 citing his alleged Australian citizenship.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed that the Sarawak Assembly had abused its authority to disqualify Dr Ting, and that the matter would be brought to court.
On another matter, Ahmad Zahid, who is also the home minister, said Malaysia had the Counter Messaging Centre (CMC) and an agency each in the police and Foreign Ministry to monitor individuals on the suspects’ list.
These agencies were able to check the individuals in the South-east Asian region who had previously set up the terrorist group called ‘Katibah Nusantara’ to be despatched outside the Asian region, he said.
Some of these people were in southern Thailand, southern Philippines or Indonesia and had previously attempted to use Malaysia as the base for moving on to Syria and Iraq, but the CMC and the other agencies had been able to check this, he said.
Ahmad Zahid was asked to comment on a newspaper report today that at least 30 foreign fighters prohibited from entering Syria were now in Malaysia. — Bernama