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KUALA LUMPUR: The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2024, tabled for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today, aims, among others, to lower the age limit to apply for citizenship by registration from the age of 21 to age 18.

This is to align with the age for voting in Malaysia and the definition of child as provided in the Child Act 2001 (Act 611), as well as the age of majority under the Age of Majority Act 1971 (Act 211).

The bill involves amendments to Clause (2) of Article 15 of the Federal Constitution, and amendments to several other provisions in Part III of the Federal Constitution.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail when tabling the bill said, that the second and third readings of the bill, are also scheduled to take place during the current meeting of the Dewan Rakyat.

According to the blue book, the bill aims to introduce a new clause (1A) into Article 18 of the Federal Constitution to require any person under the age of 18 who acquired citizenship through registration to take an oath within 48 months upon attaining the age of 18.

The bill also seeks to amend Article 23 of the Federal Constitution by providing additional circumstances for the Federal Government to withhold the registration of declaration for renunciation of citizenship of any person if such renunciation is prejudicial to the security of the Federation, public order, or public interest.

The bill also seeks to amend Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution to accord equal rights to a child born overseas to Malaysian mothers. Prior to the amendment, a child born outside the Federation would only acquire citizenship by operation of law if the father was, at the time of birth, a citizen of Malaysia.

The bill also seeks to amend Section 19B of Part III of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution to provide that any newborn child found exposed in any place shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been born there of a mother who is a citizen.

Also tabled for the first reading today was the Cyber Security Bill 2024, which provides provisions, among others, for the establishment of the National Cyber ​​Security Committee and the appointment of the head of the national critical information infrastructure sector as measures to enhance cyber security.

Digital Minister Gobind Singh Deo, when tabling the bill, said that the second reading would also take place at the current meeting. -Bernama