There are still many more professionals among Malaysia's 30 million populace, says Utusan Malaysia editor.
PETALING JAYA: There is no need to cry over the estimated 7,828 former Malaysians who gave up their citizenship for our neighbour, Singapore, an Utusan Malaysia editor has said.
Zulkifli Jalil, in a column, said the only thing to mourn was those who chose to renounce their citizenship on the grounds the republic gave such quarters more benefits.
He was responding to a statement by Ong Kian Ming of DAP, who said he felt saddened by Malaysians, a majority of whom were Chinese, who chose to become Singapore citizens as it deprived the nation of professionals and a highly-skilled workforce.
Zulkifli, however, said it was best to just let them leave.
“There are still many more professionals among the 30 million Malaysians who are committed and want to serve their beloved country.”
Zulkifli said that while the current economic situation made life difficult, it had not come to a point where one needed to renounce one’s citizenship.
He then reminded the 7,828 former Malaysians that it would be difficult for the country to welcome them back as citizens, citing complications experienced by British Overseas Citizen (BOC) passports holders in 2014.
The issue arose when Ng Wei Aik of DAP claimed the government had agreed to bring back more than 500 BOC passport holders.
BOC passport holders are Malaysian citizens who had chosen to give up their citizenship to apply for UK citizenship instead.
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had in 2014 said citizenship would not be given automatically and that applicants had to adhere to stipulations spelt out in the Immigration Act.
For BOC passport holders, Zulkifli said, there was no forgiveness.
“Maybe Kian Ming should learn a thing or two from Wei Aik in managing those who renounced their citizenship.”