PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will hear appeals brought by parents in three separate cases if stateless children could be accorded citizenship.
This follows a decision by the Federal Court’s three-man bench today, to allow leave sought by the parents of children who were born in Malaysia but could not be granted citizenship to proceed with their appeal.
They are appealing against the Court of Appeal’s decision to deny them citizenship.
Federal Court judges Tan Sri Hassan Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Zainun Ali and Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin granted their applications after senior federal counsels Shamsul Bolhassan and Maisarah Juhari did not object to the leave to appeal.
Shamsul and Maisarah represented the National Registration Department Director-General, Home Ministry and the Government of Malaysia who were named respondents in the family’s judicial review.
Hassan also made an order for the media not to disclose the names of the parents and their child in the first case following an application by their counsel, Datuk Cyrus Das.
He also allowed leave of appeal on seven legal questions for the first case and one question each for the other two cases – Lim Jen Hsiang and that of another applicant who did not want the identity to be disclosed.
The question from the two cases was whether the reference to blood or lineage is required under the Federal Constitution in determining the citizenship of the child.
As for the first case, among the questions is whether a child needs to prove the identity of his/her biological parents and they are not foreign citizens under the Federal Constitution or whether it is sufficient for a child to prove that he/she does not acquire citizenship of any country within one year of birth.
Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram representing the families for the other two cases sought the court’s direction to set a case management date for all the cases to be heard together, which was subsequently allowed by the court.
Lawyer Goh Siu Lin held a watching brief for the Association of Women Lawyers, while lawyer Annou Xavier held a watching brief for the Bar Council, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and Chow Kit Foundation.
Lawyer N. Surendran, who is also representing the parents in the two cases said the outcome of these three cases would have a major impact on the rights of stateless children or people who were said to be in the thousands. -Bernama