Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Message: We don't really want you

Since Mum and Pa hail from different countries - though we live in Singapore - we want Sonny to have the opportunity to decide whose passport he eventually wants to hold.

So, shortly after our child's birth, Pa rang up his embassy (the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore) to check about securing Sonny's citizenship rights. To his surprise, the officer told him that since Sonny "had been born in Singapore, and had a Singaporean mother, he might as well be a Singaporean".

This threw us for a loop. We're not claiming that anyone in our family is the next Einstein, but there was something cavalier about the way Malaysia was throwing away an overture towards retaining a future citizen.

Perhaps, though, this particular officer was simply disillusioned about her job. So what about if our son should actually want to remain a Malaysian, Pa asked somewhat testily.

The answer was another shock. First, at any point before Sonny turns 12, we should collect certain forms at the High Commission to fill out. Fair enough. But these couldn't be submitted there. Nope, we would have to return to Malaysia and travel to the administrative capital of Putrajaya to put in our documents. Ever so friendly.

After that, there would be a two year wait while, no doubt, the papers are used primarily as some official's coffee coaster. But maybe we're being too cynical, and this lengthy period is needed for the authorities to thoroughly investigate our longstanding links to international criminal syndicates and spy networks. Of which, need it be said, none exist.

Anyway, Mom recently collected a Singapore passport for Sonny so we can bring him home (to Malaysia). The application had been done over the Internet and collection was fuss-free. We refrain from any redundant comments here. Ideally, a time will come when Malaysia and Singapore will allow dual citizenship. Otherwise, Pa will continue to insist that Sonny consider staying Malaysian.

Though these early experiences hardly count as a great advertisement.


Anonymous said...

regarding your boy's dual citizenship.

My case..I myself Malaysian and my hubby is baby was born in Malaysia hold a Malaysia Birth cert..what I did I applied her the Singapore Citizenship as one of the parent is Singaporean...and my baby was allowed to have both citizenship till the age of 21...

Cloudsters said...

Really looks like the Singaporeans have their act together. No surprise there. As for us... guess we'll have to gear up for an adventure in Putrajaya.

Anonymous said...

i was born overseas to malaysian parents. you must go to the malaysian consulate in singapore and get a malaysian birth certificate for your son

Cloudsters said...

We might do that. Cheers!