Courts' duty to tackle conversion, not legislators

comments     A Vaithilingam     Published     Updated

The statements professor Shad Saleem Faruqi and Ragunath Kesavan show how low the judiciary in Malaysia has fallen (‘ Don: Religious conflict best left to legislators to resolve ’).

Both felt that only a political solution among legislators could solve the problems associated with conversions to and from Islam in Malaysia. Yet it was also pointed out that this is a problem being faced by only a small minority.

As I understand it, in a democracy such as ours, the legislators express the will of the majority. It is the courts who are meant to protect the minority.

Politicians do not want to, nor do they need to, solve the problem of religious conversions since it affects such a small proportion of their electorate. As professor Shad himself has said before, the courts have abdicated their responsibilities.

To me, I do not see how Parliament will act on this - there are not enough votes (from the segment of society involved) for them to care.

The courts must live up to their constitutional duty to protect minorities, and not let their personal religious feelings interfere with their constitutional duties.

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