In the last five years, 54,406 Malaysians have renounced their citizenship, with 1,102 surrendering their passports in January this year alone, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
Between 2010 and January this year, 2011 was the year with the highest number of Malaysians renouncing their citizenship (11,080), followed by 2010 (10,644), Zahid said in a written parliamentary reply.
The number dropped in 2012 (8,983) and 2013 (6,678). But it climbed again in 2014 (7,843) and 2015 (8,076).
“In this matter, the reason for their renouncement was because they chose not to continue being Malaysians and had obtained citizenship in another country.”
Malaysia has a population of more than 30 million.
Last month, Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) chief executive officer Sharil Ridza Ridzuan said 2,206 people withdrew savings worth RM134.6 million last year after renouncing their citizenship.
This was a 23% increase from 1,787 withdrawals in 2014, involving RM99 million, he said.
The Malaysian Insider recently reported that scandals, negative news and the weak ringgit were spurring Malaysians abroad to cash out their EPF funds.
They feared that the government would look towards institutions like EPF and Tabung Haji to bail out failed projects or companies.
But, opposition lawmaker Ong Kian Ming disagreed, saying the fears were unwarranted because EPF was the best government institution managing public money. – March 14, 2016.