The kerfuffle over President Obama's birthplace has me wondering about my status, and whether I may be an unknowing dual citizen of both the US and Malaysia. I was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1979, a circumstance that enabled my US-born brothers to make me cry by telling me I couldn't be President of the United States of America. Although I was born in Malaysia, I am a US citizen jus sanguinis
, and assume I am a "natural born citizen" à la John McCain.
The Department of State notes
Dual Nationality: Malaysia does not recognize or permit dual nationality. If Malaysian authorities learn that an American citizen is also a citizen of Malaysia, they may require that the dual national either renounce U.S. citizenship immediately or forfeit Malaysian citizenship. Dual American/Malaysian citizens should consider this issue seriously before traveling to Malaysia.
However, that seems to mean that if I am a Malaysian citizen, I would remain so until I revoked that status.
- My parents were both U.S. Citizens who had relocated the family to Malaysia because one was a Peace Corps director.
- My family lived in Malaysia for about 2 years prior to my birth, but my parents don't know whether they had permanent residency status there.
- The family stayed something like 6 months after my birth before moving back to the States.
My US birth certificate (Form FS-545 1-73) header reads:
Department of State
Foreign Service of the United States of America
Certification of Birth Abroad
of a Citizen of the United States of America
The report of birth was recorded on March 28, 1979.
I also have a barely legible copy of the Malay document used to register my birth with the USFS. A chunk of the text is typed out below, with the number at the top (E 000000) fudged for obscurity, as it seems unwise to broadcast all my birth info across the Internets.
E 000000Some Mefites would recognize my story because I told it to them in person; thanks in advance for not outing me online. :)
(B. & M. 21)
NEGERI-NEGERI TANAH MELAYU
(Salinana untuk Orang yang memberitahu)
Ordinan Pendaftaran Beranak dan Mati, 1957
[Seksyen 14, Aturan 7]
Kawasan Pendaftaran [something illegible stamped/written here]
Kawasan-kecil [ My name, etc...]
[Here, information about dates, addresses, parents]
Diperakui sebagai cabutan yang benar dari catitan dalam
Tandatangan dan Lawatan [illegible]