Friday, August 8, 2008

Email Question: Will for Non Malaysian Citizen

Hi Kamarul

I am happy for you to post this question on your blog.

I have a malaysian passport but have been living overseas for years. I am an Australian permanent resident and since I have no plans of moving back to Malaysia in the long term, I am considering becoming an Australian citizen. I am aware that Malaysia does not allow dual citizenship and I am happy to surrender my Malaysian citizenship.

However, my parents still in Malaysia and they have said that if I give up my malaysian citizenship, I would not be able to inherit their properties in their legal will.

Could you please clarify if this is true and where I can get more information about this?


(name deleted)


I disregard the first issue of Malaysian Citizenship and the sender's choice to give it up.

As for the second issue, regarding the legal will of property my answer would be

  1. Any person can create or make his or her will as long as he/she is competent to do so. Section 3 of Malaysian Will Act, 1959 stated that: 'Except as hereinafter provided, every person of sound mind may devise, bequeath or dispose of by his will, executed in manner hereinafter required, all property which he owns or to which he is entitled either at law or in equity at the time of his death notwithstanding that he may have become entitled to the same subsequently to the execution of the will.'
  2. The subject matter of the will namely the property, shares, stock, business and so on could be from within Malaysia or even situated outside Malaysia.
  3. The beneficiary of the said will, i.e. the person named under the will to receive the property may be the citizen of Malaysia or elsewhere, there is actually no restriction under Malaysian Law regarding that.
  4. The only issue is that to execute the will when the time that the maker passed away, such beneficiary must have it done or process under Malaysian law, for example filing necessary court paper to obtain order of probet.
  5. Second issue is that registration of the property under a non-Malaysian citizen name could be further subject to other laws and current regulations.
  6. In conclusion, 'whether or not the sender will not be able to 'inherit' her parent's property under a legal will' is not entirely correct.

p/s what is the meaning of having able to 'inherit' your parent's property when you are actually not 'inheriting' their love and blessing?


Kamarul Irzuan bin Busu Piah, Advocate & Solicitor, High Court of Malaya, Malaysia.


  1. How do you know that he/she is not inheriting his/her parents' love and blessing?

  2. I don't quite understand your point 6 "In conclusion, 'whether or not the sender will not be able to 'inherit' her parent's property under a legal will' is not entirely correct."
    Kindly please elaborate?

  3. Dear Kamarul,

    Please clearly clarify me with the relevant provisions of malaysian law under Wills Act 1959 and PAA 1959 whether a non-malaysian (e.g.Sri Lankan)can make a Will in Malaysia which includes his property here in Malaysia.

    Your prompt rely will be very much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  4. Dear Kamarul,

    To be strictly professional, you should refrain from giving personal comments about the enquirer's ability to inherit his parents' love and blessing. For all you know, the parents are happy to have their child who is living in a free country where everyone's right of freedom is accepted, and their only concern is a practical one?


    Educated Malaysian muslim

  5. Can a Malaysian with properties outside Malaysia insert such properties in his will? Will the will be valid? Does a notary public needed for such matter to take effect?

  6. Hi Kamurul,

    If a non-citizen inherits a Malaysian property, is he subject to any taxes over and above what a citizen has to pay?


  7. Dear Kamarul,
    About 17 to 18 years ago my father advised me that he had drawn up a Will and said that he was concerned that when the time comes I may have problems as I was no longer a Malaysian citizen having taken up Australian citizenship however I responded that I didn't forsee any problems.He said that the Will was drawn up by the lawyers that he had used for all his legal work.My father passed away more than 6 months ago ( after suffering from Alzhemeir's at least for several years). I had asked my mother about his Will a week after his passing, before returning to Melbourne but she said that there was no hurry and that she didn't know where it is. She would not give me access to his drawer where he had kept written details of contacts. When I called her recently she maintained that she has not found it and that sometimes it takes 3 to 4 years to finalise. I am quite sure that she has it and that my younger sister who lives in my father's house with her has read it to her but will not let me have it .I am not interested in the estate although it is quite significant but just wish to see my father's last Will and Testament. I vaquely remember the solitor's name Cynthia Lim (I think )but can't find it amongst the retired lawyer's list . What can I do next?

  8. Dear Daisy,

    Ive made few research and if the name given is Cynthia Lim, maybe you can go this website and try to verify whether this is the Cynthia Lim that drawn your late father's will

    This is purely an assumption and there is no assurance as to the correctness of the information.

    Khairul Aiman
    Messrs Irzuan