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Indonesia Considers 'Overseas Citizenship' for Its Diaspora

Translator

Antara

Editor

Laila Afifa

15 June 2024 08:39 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Makassar - Indonesian Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said the government was considering the overseas citizenship program as a compromise to the demand for dual citizenship from the Indonesian diaspora.

"Many (members of the) Indonesian diaspora are demanding dual citizenship, but the best we can offer is 'Overseas Citizenship of Indonesia', similar to the OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) program," Laoly said on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the ministry's provincial office in South Sulawesi on Friday, June 14.

The overseas citizenship status is expected to meet the demands of the Indonesian diaspora, who will be allowed to freely enter and leave Indonesia to meet their families and relatives or to do business in Indonesia.

"We can give the Indonesian diaspora a lifetime multiple entry visa. They can start a business here. They can stay here and travel freely in and out of Indonesia. This is the best we can give," the minister said.

However, he clarified that holders of overseas citizenship will have some restrictions on their activities in Indonesia, such as not being allowed to hold political office or vote.

Such restrictions are consistent with Indonesia's nationality law, which essentially does not recognize dual citizenship, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Laoly explained that Indonesia's decision not to recognize dual citizenship had a philosophical underpinning, as stated in the Youth Pledge, which defined the identity of Indonesians.

"The Youth Pledge of October 28 (1928) stated that Indonesians share one motherland, one nation, and one unifying language. There is no such thing as 'two motherlands,'" he stressed.

On Thursday, June 13, the ministry's director general for legal and administrative affairs, Cahyo Rahadian Muzhar, confirmed that his office was considering the implementation of an overseas citizenship scheme for the Indonesian diaspora, similar to the Indian system.

The ministry is discussing the proposed scheme with relevant ministries and government agencies, he said, adding that the Ministry of Law and Human Rights will also ensure that the scheme complies with applicable laws and regulations.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan also highlighted the positive impact of dual citizenship for the Indonesian diaspora on the national economy. However, he acknowledged that the process would take a long time because of the need for legal changes.

Antara

Editor's Choice: Foreign Media Highlight Luhut's Dual Citizenship Offer for Indonesian Diaspora

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