Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku

The ‘Genuine and Effective Link’ in Establishing Malaysian Citizenship

  • Tan Kian Leong University College London
Keywords: Statelessness, Citizenship, Malaysia, Federal Constitution, Nottebohm


Article 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, when read together with sch II pt II s 1(e), theoretically acts as a safety net for Malaysian-born persons by conferring citizenship upon those who would otherwise be stateless. In practice, however, these provisions have been interpreted as imposing a dual jus soli/jus sanguinis requirement that must be satisfied before citizenship can be granted. Consequently, many persons prima facie entitled to Malaysian citizenship by operation of law are deprived of their entitlement. This article explores the possibility of adopting the Nottebohm (Liechtenstein v Guatemala) ‘genuine and effective link’ principle as a supplementary element of the s 1(e) citizenship test. Support for adoption is derived from the Parliament of Malaysia’s intent throughout the history of amendments to the citizenship provisions in the Constitution. The article further considers the plausibility of a direct legal transplantation of the principle into Malaysian law, drawing upon various sources including international law and English common law.

How to Cite
Leong, T. (2021). Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku. The Statelessness & Citizenship Review, 3(2), 309-29. Retrieved from https://statelessnessandcitizenshipreview.com/index.php/journal/article/view/277