Out of 29,677 applications for Malaysian citizenship received between 2007 and 2009, 14,179 of them had been approved, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said.

The remaining 15,498 applications were still being processed and expected to be finalised by end of the year, he added.

He said all applications for citizenship would be vetted and only those eligible would be accorded the status.

Lee told this to reporters after presenting the Malaysian citizenship papers to 132 permanent residents from Indonesia, India, Taiwan, China, Myanmar and Thailand, aged between 12 and 80, here today.

Why they migrated? Watch this video

Meanwhile at the same period, according to the Deputy Foreign Minister Senator A Kohilan Pillay in the Dewan Rakyat on November 30, 2009, close to half a million Malaysians had abandoned their citizenship.

He said in 2007 there were only 139,696 Malaysians migrated overseas, but that figure skyrocketed to 304, 358 from March to August 2008.