CTEB & ANOR v. KETUA PENGARAH PENDAFTARAN NEGARA MALAYSIA & ORS

[2021] 4 MLRA 678

CTEB & ANOR v. KETUA PENGARAH PENDAFTARAN NEGARA MALAYSIA & ORS
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat CJ, Rohana Yusuf PCA, Nallini Pathmanathan, Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Hasnah Mohammed Hashim, Mary Lim Thiam Suan FCJJ
[Civil Appeal No: 01(i)-34-10-2019(W)]
28 May 2021

JUDGMENT

Rohana Yusuf PCA (Majority):

[1] The issue before us is fairly straightforward. It is whether an illegitimate child born outside Malaysia, to a Malaysian biological father and a Filipino mother is entitled to become a citizen by operation of law pursuant to art 14 of the Federal Constitution (FC).

[2] At the time of his birth on 27 September 2010, the Child's parents were not married and five months after his birth and on 22 February 2011, they legally registered their marriage in Malaysia pursuant to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

[3] The Child was correctly presumed to be a citizen of the Philippines by the Court of Appeal on the basis that he travelled on a passport issued by the Government of the Philippines.

At The High Court

[4] By an Originating Summons, the appellants sought for a declaration before the High Court for the Child to be a citizen by operation of law under art 14(1) (b) and/or by registration pursuant to art 15(2) of the FC.

[5] The High Court dismissed the declaration sought under art 14(1)(b) because the learned trial Judge found that:

(i) the Child did not meet the criteria stipulated pursuant to art 14(1)(b) of the FC read together with s 1(b) of Part II of the Second Schedule and s 17 of Part III of the Second Schedule. Since s 17 of Part III of the Second Schedule defines the word "father" as referring to "mother" in a case of an illegitimate child, the Child's citizenship cannot follow that of his father;

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