e-JUDGMENT TODAY [2021] CLJ JT (9)
 

CTEB & ANOR v. KETUA PENGARAH PENDAFTARAN NEGARA, MALAYSIA & ORS
FEDERAL COURT, PUTRAJAYA
TENGKU MAIMUN TUAN MAT CJ
ROHANA YUSUF PCA
NALLINI PATHMANATHAN FCJ
VERNON ONG LAM KIAT FCJ
ZABARIAH MOHD YUSOF FCJ
HASNAH MOHAMMED HASHIM FCJ
MARY LIM FCJ
[CIVIL APPEAL NO: 01(i)-34-10-2019(W)]
28 MAY 2021

Once art.14(1)(b) and s.1(b) of Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution ('FC') is read together with the interpretation provision in the FC, in particular s.17 of Part III of the Second Schedule in order to determine the qualifications necessary for the acquisition of citizenship by operation of law of an illegitimate child born out of the Federation, there is no necessity to adopt any other requirement to construe the provisions. Hence, the Legitimacy Act or any other law is therefore not to be read into the provisions as there is no mention made for the rights of citizenship in the Legitimacy Act and no corresponding provision in the FC that deems legitimisation confers the right to citizenship. The qualification of acquiring citizenship by operation of law must be met at birth. If the qualifications are not met, the court was not at liberty to add and subtract any other or qualifications which the FC states otherwise. There is no judicial supremacy articulated in the FC and the power to amend the Constitution rests solely with the Parliament. The court should not endeavour to achieve any fanciful meaning against the clear letter of the law.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Citizenship – Citizenship by operation of law – Illegitimate child – Child born to Malaysian father and Filipino mother – Child born outside Federation – Whether Malaysian citizen by operation of law – Requirements under art. 14(1)(b) of Federal Constitution (‘FC’) – Whether child met criteria stipulated pursuant to art. 14(1)(b) of FC read together with s. 1(b) of Part II of Second Schedule and s. 17 of Part III of Second Schedule to FC – Whether severing s. 17 of Part III of Second Schedule from interpretation of art. 14 total misapprehension – Whether child’s citizenship followed that of his mother – Whether acquisition of citizenship by operation of law required fulfilment of requisite conditions at time of birth – Whether ‘parents’ refer to lawful parents in recognised marriage in Federation – Whether subsequent marriage of parents changed birth status of illegitimate child – Whether legitimisation conferred right to citizenship – Whether there was unlawful discrimination offending protection envisaged by art. 8 of FC – Whether proper to import s. 1(b) of Part II of Second Schedule to FC any other requirements for citizenship of child born to Malaysian father other than those expressly stated in provision

STATUTORY INTERPRETATION: Construction of statutes – Aids to construction – Citizenship by operation of law – Illegitimate child – Child born to Malaysian father and Filipino mother outside Federation – Whether Malaysian citizen by operation of law – Whether child met criteria stipulated pursuant to art. 14(1)(b) of Federal Constitution (‘FC’) read together with s. 1(b) of Part II of Second Schedule and s. 17 of Part III of Second Schedule to FC – Whether severing s. 17 of Part III of Second Schedule from interpretation of art. 14 total misapprehension – Whether there was unlawful discrimination offending protection envisaged by art. 8 of FC – Whether proper to import s. 1(b) of Part II of Second Schedule to FC any other requirements for citizenship of child born to Malaysian father other than those expressly stated in provision

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