Press statement by Wanita MCA National Chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun
Sharing in the grief of the fiancé and family over the tragic loss of the late Sdr Teoh Beng Hock, Wanita MCA calls on the government to register Sdr Teoh as the father of the child upon birth and to amend whilst complying with conditions the existing law necessitating the physical presence of the biological father at birth registration whereby when the child is born, the baby’s birth certificate will only carry the mother’s details.
This is in line with the efforts by the government and announcement by the Home Minister Dato’ Sri Hishamuddin bin Tun Hussein Onn to decide on the application for Malaysian citizenship for four categories i.e. applicants for permanent resident status; stateless children; those without birth certificates; and those without documents who are residing in Sabah and Sarawak.
The NRD should register the birth of Teoh’s child identifying Teoh as the father. Moreover, the couple had made known to all relatives and friends that they were scheduled to register their marriage on 17 July 2009.
In conjunction with the upcoming submission of three (3) memorandums by Wanita MCA to the Home Minister in our citizenship registration project that seeks to address citizenship rights of Malaysians in the following areas:
1) children born to at least one Malaysian parent,
2) foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens,
3) stateless Malaysians whose births were either not registered, or who were not given citizenship despite having been born and bred in Malaya/Malaysia all their lives and having applied for citizenship,
Wanita MCA and the MCA Citizenship Task Force will study existing laws related to citizenship and registration of births. Recommendations to insert or amend or remove any existing clauses that hinder the identity and/or citizenship rights of rightful Malaysians will be tabled in the memo.
Given such circumstances surrounding the death of the deceased and on humanitarian grounds, Wanita MCA urges the Home Minister to allow the child to be registered in the father’s name when he/she is born. It is a gross injustice to the unborn child to be registered in his/her mother’s name as the innocent child will suffer the stigma throughout hi/her life of being identified as a mother’s love child rather than as a child of both parents. At all times, the rights of a child to citizenship and identity should respected and safeguarded.