In a radio interview with BFM Radio on 28.5.2021, our associate, Jasmine Wong, discussed the recent landmark decision by the Federal Court in CTEB & Anor v Ketua Pengarah Pendaftaran Negara, Malaysia & Ors [2021] 4 MLJ 236 which held that a child born out of wedlock to a Malaysian father is not a citizen by operation of law. The Federal Court’s decision was discussed in our earlier article entitled ‘Federal Court’s decision on the right to citizenship for an illegitimate child born outside Malaysia’.

Jasmine Wong explained that the Federal Court’s refusal to recognise a father’s right to confer citizenship to his children regardless of his legal marital status creates gender discrimination.  However, in the end, it is the children that suffer.

She discussed the need for a positive development in the law and that both fathers and mothers should have equal rights to pass on their Malaysian citizenship to their children, regardless of marital status or the place of birth of the child. The current gender bias is reminiscent of our traditionally patriarchal society where men are stereotyped as breadwinners and women as dependents.

Click here to tune in to the BFM podcast: ‘Law & Behold #37: The Federal Constitution and Citizenship

To find out more about the law on citizenship and the current legal issues faced by stateless children in Malaysia, click here to read our article titled “Citizenship for Adopted and Legitimised Children”.

By Jasmine Wong


Note: This article does not constitute legal advice to any specific case. The facts and circumstances of each and every case will differ and therefore will require specific legal advice. Feel free to contact us for complimentary legal consultation.