Citizenship is one of the ways we are guaranteed rights and benefits under the Constitution.
Some of the rights we have as citizens are the right to vote, and the right to work and to live in this country. Benefits of citizenship include being issued passports so we can travel, our children being able to attend government schools and get subsidised education, and getting access to medical treatment.
Many of us take our citizenship for granted. Being born in Malaysia does not guarantee citizenship. It depends on which of your parents are Malaysian and whether they were married at the time you were born. Adopted children are also not automatically citizens just because both parents are Malaysian. If these children are unable to be citizens of any country, they are deemed to be stateless. Based on a 2016 parliamentary statement by the Minister of Home Affairs, there were (at that time) an estimated 290,000 stateless children in Malaysia.
Currently, there is a suit challenging the laws that prevent children of Malaysian women born overseas from being given automatic citizenship.
Family Frontiers Malaysia @Foreign Spouses Support Group