KL and Bangkok to resolve dual citizenships

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

BANGKOK - Malaysia and Thailand have agreed to work together to resolve the problem of dual citizenships that has caused security problems to both countries.

The matter was one of several issues that were discussed during a meeting yesterday between Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is on a three-day official visit here.

Muhyiddin said he had suggested to Yingluck that Thailand send its officials to study the biometric system used by Malaysian immigration in Johor Baru as one way to track those with dual citizenship.

"But Thailand is using a different system. Because of that, it is difficult for us to identify or even to put an actual number on the people having both Malaysian and Thai citizenship," he told Malaysian journalists here.

He said officials from both countries would meet next month to discuss ways to resolve the problem, which has persisted due to historical ties between the people of the two countries.

Malaysia, he said, would also look into Yingluck's request for the Government to issue work permits to an estimated 100,000 Thais currently working illegally as waiters, waitresses and kitchen helpers in tom yam restaurants nationwide.

On another matter, Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the move by the United Chinese School Committee's Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) to oppose the National Education Blueprint showed that it had no respect for the national spirit.

"Our only intention in implementing the blueprint is to transform and upgrade the national education system. Why is Dong Zong so opposed to it?" he said.