Penny Wong:born in Malaysia to a Malaysian father ,lived as a local for 8 years ,recalls "feeling like I didn't belong (in Australia) for some time," but insists there is no prima facie evidence of Malaysian citizenship
by Ganesh Sahathevan
Senator Penny Wong has been reported to have said that she has nothing to prove for the there is no evidence of her Malaysian citizenship.
When Penny Wong moved to Australia, it was summertime and her parents had just separated.
It was 1976. She was eight years old.
“I think Australia smelled dusty,” she said. “It just looked different and smelled different and the light was different.”
“I remember the first time I jumped into the sea here, and how cold it was," she said. “Obviously, in Malaysia it’s near the equator and pretty warm there, and me thinking, 'what’s wrong with the sea?'”
But she says she remembers "feeling like I didn't belong for some time," especially at her new school.
While she moved to Australia in 1976,that would not have caused the loss of her Malaysian citizenship.
Many Malaysians who later in life took up citizenship of other countries assumed that by doing so Malaysian citizenship was lost automatically, but this is not the case.
There is ,provided for in the Malaysian Constitution and arising laws a process which requires citizens who wish to renounce their citizenship to make a formal application to do so.It is up to the Malaysian Government to determine if the application should be accepted.
If the Government determines that the application is to be accepted, then the applicant is issued a formal notice of that fact,with a copy of his or her Malaysian birth certificate marked with words in Malay and/or English ,"No longer a citizen of Malaysia (paraphrase)".
None of this has ever been provided the public in the case of Penny Wong. Indeed the question has never been put. We are simply expected to accept that Wong is not a citizen of Malaysia, despite the facts.