Yaacob Ibrahim clarifies childrens' citizenship

Alicia Wong

Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim has responded to a WikiLeaks cable, which said his two children hold American citizenship.

In a statement released through his press secretary on Monday, Dr Yaacob said his two children have dual citizenship until the age of 18 because of the status of his wife as an American citizen, reported Channel NewsAsia.

His son and daughter are Singapore citizens and attend national schools. His son, now 16, will serve National Service, just as he did, said Dr Yaacob, who is also the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts.

The cable lists the biographies of Malay Muslim Members of Parliament in Singapore. The news that both his children are American citizens has drawn a flurry of comments online.

The statement also noted that Dr Yaccob's family regrets that there are some who consider innocent children to be fair game in political attacks but trusts that most Singaporeans will continue to cherish the value of respecting a family's privacy.

Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew also released a statement on Monday to refute claims on another WikiLeaks cable saying that he characterised Islam as a "venomous religion" in 2005.