KUALA LUMPUR - Over 9,000 young people below 21 years, born of marriages between Malaysians and foreigners, are waiting to be recognised as citizens.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said, however, that some of the children and youths were not "stateless" because they held citizenships of the country of origin of one of their parents.
He said between 2008 and April 30 this year, his ministry had received 9,372 applications to become Malaysian citizens.
Under Article 15 (2) of the Constitution, the Federal Government may allow a person below the age of 21 and who has one parent who is a citizen, to be also a citizen upon an application by the parent or guardian.
The ministry was not denying applications of those who had fulfilled the criteria to be a citizen, Dr Ahmad Zahid said in a written reply to Mohd Rafizi Ramli (PKR - Pandan) in Parliament.
"However, such applications are still subject to detailed consideration.
"This is because there is a need to consider certain factors, including the citizenship status of the child's parent and the marriage status between both parents," he said.
Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, Rafizi urged the minister to speed up the approval of the applications.