Minister reiterates conditions for granting citizenship

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds


THE minister of home affairs yesterday reiterated that there are other conditions besides passing the Malay language examination that must be fulfilled before citizenship is granted.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong said under Section 5 of the Brunei Nationality Act, Chapter 15, there are several conditions that citizenship applicants must meet including passing the Malay language test as stated in the law.

“Every citizenship applicant is required to fulfil all the conditions stipulated by the law mentioned in the Brunei Nationality Act.

“This is what was meant with regards to the processes that (applicants) are required to undergo as contained in the pertaining laws,” he added.

The minister was responding to Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin’s closing remarks at the 12th LegCo session.

YB Pehin Dato Goh had earlier produced and read out a sample letter sent to an applicant from the Department of the Immigration and National Registration, which stated that his/her citizenship application would be processed after passing the Malay language test.

The minister had previously said on March 10, 2016 that “the acceptance of an applicant for citizenship is dependent on several considerations under the conditions of the law”.

According to Section 5 of the Brunei Nationality Act 1961, a person who has been residing in Brunei for at least 12 years, including the past two years, would be eligible for registration as a Bruneian national if the person has satisfied five conditions.

The conditions are: the person has a proficient knowledge of the Malay language, able to speak it proficiently, has been examined by a Language Board on the Malay language, is of good character and has taken the oath of allegiance.

The last time the Ministry of Home Affairs held the oath of allegiance ceremony was in 2013.

According to a report quoting the former home affairs minister in 2012, a total of 43,271 stateless individuals and permanent residents were accepted as Brunei citizens for the past 50 years.

During the 12th LegCo session yesterday, the home affairs minister expressed “disappointment” that YB Pehin Dato Goh had relied on media reports instead of the Hansard or official LegCo transcript when alluding to the minister’s statement that passing the examination does not guarantee citizenship.

“What YB Pehin Dato Goh has said regarding the passing of the citizenship examination not guaranteeing citizenship is inaccurate.

“My explanation was not (to be taken) as such which was recorded in the Hansard dated March 10, 2016,” he said.

The Brunei Times