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Jakarta Post

Dual citizenship plan needs further study, House member says

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 19, 2016   /  04:49 pm
Dual citizenship plan needs further study, House member says Gloria Natapradja Hamel, whose inclusion in the national flag-hoisting team for Independence Day ran up against a citizenship issue, poses for a photo after a press conference on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Government plans to allow dual citizenship require further study to ensure that a revised citizenship law would remain in line with national interests, a lawmaker has said.

Arsul Sani, a member of the House of Representatives commission that oversees legal affairs, said even though allowing dual citizenship might have a positive impact on national development, it also had legal implications, especially if Indonesia became involved in a major conflict with a country where Indonesian citizens are also registered as citizens.

If a revision of the citizenship law, which currently does not allow dual citizenship for adults, would broaden the concept of dual citizenship in Indonesia for any citizen of the world, Arsul said, it would actually contradict regulations of other countries, including Australia and the UK, which seemed to restrict the concept of citizenship.

"Therefore we need to conduct further study to analyze the extent of the revision,” Arsul said on Friday. “If the principle of dual citizenship would only apply to the Indonesian diaspora, we should consider it," the United Development Party (PPP) politician added.

He asserted that it was also possible for the country to give privileges to Indonesian citizens and families who had settled abroad to return and work in Indonesia without revising any law at all, by providing permanent residence permits.

Even though a revision of the citizenship law had been included in the long list of the National Legislation Program for the period 2015 to 2019, it had yet to be declared a priority. (dmr)