Citizenship given to people who adapt to Bruneian way of life
Bandar Seri Begawan - The current citizenship criteria ensures that citizenship is given only to those who have become congenial with the social and political climate in the country.
This was highlighted by Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman, Minister of Home Affairs during his speech, after congratulating recipients of the 31st Citizenship Certificate Presentation Ceremony.
One hundred and sixty seven (167) people received their citizenship certificates during the ceremony, and in his speech, Pehin Dato Seri Setia Hj Awang Badaruddin explained matters related to how a citizen of Brunei Darussalam can lose his/her citizenship, which is under Section 15 of the National Registration Act and Regulation.
The minister said a citizen of Brunei can lose his/ her citizenship if he/she had left the country for five years consecutively and is unable to provide adequate reason that he/she has an effective relation with Brunei Darussalam (under chapter 9(1)).
The minister also said that a citizen may also lose citizenship if he/she voluntarily took another country's citizenship. He said having two citizenships is not allowed for Bruneians and is interpreted as not being loyal to Brunei and contradicts with the nationality oath.
The minister said the law in regards to citizenship has been in place for more than 50 years. It is part of the foundation and core of Brunei nationality in modern times.
Other than citizens by law, Pehin Dato Seri Setia Hj Awang Badaruddin reiterated that citizenship can be given through registration or naturalisation for those who have been living and become a Permanent Resident for a certain duration, that is 12 years for those who are born here in Brunei and 20 years for those who are born outside Brunei, besides the need to pass a written Malay test.
Therefore, the minister said the most important criteria for citizenship through naturalisation are the duration of living in the country and fluency in the Malay Language.
The minister also said that if a person had schooled and lived in Brunei, certainly the person would have had enough interaction with the majority of the people of Brunei. This is the same with adults, even though they may not have experienced schooling in Brunei but they would have experienced life in Brunei.
The minister explained that this is why when they apply to become Brunei citizens they are granted citizenship because they had become congenial with the Brunei way of life and have become Bruneians.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin