Dual nationality

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asked on Jun 4, 2009 at 04:20
by   cintapants
edited on Aug 8, 2016 at 03:52
I've noticed that this has been touched on a few times in the forums, but with no real result. I gather that many others have experience of this - so would be very grateful if you could share your experiences.

- I am a Malaysian citizen that was born in the UK - Malaysia does not recognise Dual Nationality
- Back in 1992 when I returned to the country, I was given the CoE-Right to Abode
- I became resident in this country, but returning to Malaysia frequently enough never to raise suspicion
- Over time, my career required a significant amount of EU and US travel - and the Malaysian passport caused real issues with my frequent travel in and out of the non-UK countries
- I decided to take-up the option to get a British Passport in 2004 to get over this. I also renewed my Malaysian passport in 2004 - which has been a dream, because this gave me almost border-less travel around the world on my British passport and Asia on my Malaysian one. Malaysia assumes that I have Right of abode (ROA) as per my passport, so no questions asked about entry stamps and length of time spent in the UK

... UNTIL NOW...

- I renewed my Malaysian passport this month in London and need to transfer my Right of abode (ROA) from one passport to another
- But as per the British rule change in 2006, I am now no longer allowed to have a CoE of Right to Abode in my Malaysian passport, because I also have a British one - PROBLEMO!
- The next time I go back to Malaysia (which is an annual event), they will notice that I have no Right of abode (ROA) stamp in my passport. This will ultimately raise suspicions about dual nationality and I will be faced with the horror of having to CHOOSE one nationality over the other.

- I do not want to give up my Malaysian citizenship. I don't want my cultural identity wrenched away from me. Moreover, I am an East Malaysian - which means that I can travel to and from Malaysian Borneo without ANY restriction - a real luxury as even Peninsula Malaysians are only granted a 3-month leave to remain in Sabah/Sarawak
- My folks live in Malaysia - I want to be able to see them often and stay in my 'motherland'
- My career still means I travel a lot within the EU and USA, I don't want to have to queue at embassies (let alone being singled out at US immigration because of my Malaysian passport (which has happened about 6 times now) everytime I need to go away for a meeting in New York.
- In the future, I may want to return to East Malaysia - and should I have children, I want them to have the choice of being Malaysian or British too

Can anyone offer any advice?
(1) How can I retain both?
(2) How can I come and go through Malaysia without been 'found-out'?

Ie - How can I have my cake and eat it? LOL

Thanks so much in advance!
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answered on Jun 9, 2009 at 15:09
by   Halloween
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 03:48
Any penalty if holding dual nationality?
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answered on Jun 14, 2009 at 00:46
by   sarawakian
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 03:53
Simply staple both the old and new Malaysian passports together. Malaysia Immigration wouldn't ask you why your Right of abode (ROA) hasn't been transferred to the new one. When you enter UK show your British passport.
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answered on Aug 17, 2009 at 18:31
by   Troika
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 03:55
I was told that a child born outside Malaysia with a Malaysian father, will need to choose if he will be a Malaysian at the age of consent (18 years old I think). The child should be registered before the age of 1 and have a Borang W. Malaysia does not recognise dual-citizenship. Until the age of consent, they're in some sort of quasi-dual citizenship status.
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answered on Dec 9, 2009 at 08:28
by   julie1
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 03:56
Please let me know if there is any further information relating to this, as I am also in the same situation and visiting Malaysia next year on a Malaysian passport with no Right of abode (ROA)!
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answered on Apr 30, 2010 at 09:20
by   alex
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 03:59
You don't need to need to transfer the Right of Abode (ROA) sticker into your new Malaysian passport, everytime you travel you just need to take all the passports from the last passport with the sticker in to your most recent one (I know some of my friends carry 3-4 passports around with them).

When you do travel to Malaysia make sure you leave the British passport in Britain and travel back using your Malaysian passport (emphasising on the multiple of passports as mentioned above), you will be able to return to the UK with no problem since you can present an indefinite leave to remain sticker in one of your previous Malaysian passports.
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answered on May 28, 2010 at 03:06
by   Tommy of Melbourne
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 04:13
What Alex suggested was perfect.

Another alternative way is by travelling into/out of Singapore using your United Kingdom (UK)/Australian (OZ) Passport and then take a bus, car or train into/out of Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia by using Malaysian passport. But you must always remember to have/use your Malaysian passport when you go into/out of Johor Bahru (JB) immigration otherwise you will be in trouble if wrong passport is presented. This dual citizenship can only be done (I presume) if the Malaysian passport is always renewed back in Malaysia whenever it is expired and not in the Malaysian Embassy in UK or Australia (OZ), otherwise the Malaysian Embassy there will able to find out by checking with the local immigration office in regard to your citizenship status.
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answered on Jun 5, 2010 at 07:02
by   Anonymous
Don't be must choose either one soon or later only. I think your main concern would be your taxing and career.
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answered on Jun 6, 2010 at 04:32
by   Miri Boy
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 04:26
I have always had Right of abode (ROA) certificates on my Malaysian passports, happily transferring them free of charge on to renewed passports. Right of abode (ROA) certs are no longer transferable, and must be reapplied at a cost of over £300 for each new passport. Damn expensive!

I recently returned from Malaysia with my renewed Malaysian passport issued by High Commissioner London plus carried my old Malaysian passport (issued in Bintulu, Sarawak) with the Right of abode (ROA) with me.  The Border Official told me that as long as I have the latest old passport with the Right of abode (ROA) cert, I was not subject to UK border controls, and I was at liberty to join the UK queue. My Malaysian passport was not even stamped!

In and out of Malaysia I usually use the automatic barriers, unless they are not working. My only Malaysian border stamps are between Miri-Kuala Lumpur (KL), when I was too lazy to show my Sarawak ID Card.

So @Cintapants, if you read this note, when travelling to Malaysia, only bring your Malaysian passports with you. Officials have been known to do a search, and if they find you carrying a non-Malaysian travel document... say goodbye to your Malaysian citizenship. As for your children, have them in the UK, but register them with the High Commissioner London, making sure you show your Sarawak 'K' IC, otherwise they will loose their 'Sarawak Citizenship'. Now you can have your cake and eat it. Further, there is no need to carry all your old passports as Alex said, just the latest old one! Finally, if you register with Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS), then all you have to do at the UK Border Control is to show your EYES to a camera! All the Amoh Langs are amazed how fast I get through immigration at Heathrow or Gatwick!
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answered on Aug 13, 2010 at 06:32
by   Frustrated Ahmad
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 04:54
I find the Malaysian Government's attitude on Dual Nationality somewhat repugnant and annoying. The Malaysian government should realise that when Bapa Malaysia accepted independence from his masters he condoned dual nationality, by allowing those born in the straits settlements before 1948 to have dual citizenship i.e. citizen of the United Kingdom and Malaysian citizen. Malaysian government officials, what are you worried about?

If a person has citizenship of another country and chooses to exercise it, then it is the responsibility of the host country to address, not Malaysia's! Your only responsibility is to someone travelling with a Malaysian passport. In other areas you are experts in ignoring your responsibilities and commitments so what is new here?

Listen you government bumiputras, its time you came out of your silly mindset, otherwise country's vision 2020 will never happen. Allow the flexibility of dual passports for travelling. You should realise that Caucasian areas have distorted mindsets and many Malaysians suffer when travelling with Malaysian passports. Until you enforce it for that measures, many Malaysians will try to obtain foreign passports, not because they want the citizenship, but because it facilitates a less chance of being stopped by a bias immigration official without any scrupples. Either you stop these senseless and unwarranted discrimination activities to avoid Malaysian embarrassments at border controls, or issue us with diplomatic passports. There is a precedent. Mahathir did it to one of our Malaysian businessmen after a silly US Immigration official applied his usual ignorance.
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answered on Dec 31, 2010 at 03:47
by   Orang Ulu
edited Aug 8, 2016 at 05:02
"We have to conduct a study on the pros and cons and make a political decision," said Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamad.

The Government had always been pragmatic in terms of looking at issues, he said in response to the suggestion on dual nationality by Asean-UK Business Forum president S.K. Lingam.

Aziz said the issue was something new, as the country's laws and system did not provide for dual citizenship.

Sat, Jan 24, 2009 in the STAR

Two responses below:

1. Patience Bros Patience. We must allow Malaysian Government to have due study process. Read Quotes above. Datuk Aziz, you are wrong. Subject is NOT NEW. 'Frustrated Ahmad' is correct about Bapa Malaysia and straits settlements. May you long continue your studies... THIS VIEW FROM ANONYMOUS.

2. Hello Malaysians, why you so silly?  Why you want two citizenship for? No need lah. Many, many government children already have two citizenship. This OK. Too many of big shot already happening. Enough Enough, Government can cheat, but not simple people...  NO DUAL NATIONALITY for every person... THIS MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT RESPONSE
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