Maidin Bacha's flippant piece on the Moorthy episode draws my attention. My take on this is simply this: there is no jurisdiction problem here as both civil and syariah courts have been properly demarcated by Article 121 (1)a of the federal constitution.
Calls to repeal this article bemuse me as the fault lies not in the provision but in the manner the whole conversion of Moorthy Abdullah was handled. In other words, this is an administrative issue, not legal or even constitutional.
If Jawi had exercised enough diligence to notify Moorthy's widow of her husband's conversion, the whole rigmarole of who has rights over his last rites would not have arisen. Why the need to be secretive?
If any law needs to be amended, it is to ensure that every conversion to Islam is registered in the Syariah Court and duly gazetted, with a copy of the notification sent to the next of kin. This way, however painful the response to the conversion, at least the poor family would not be made to suffer the agony of having to fight over a body whose soul has decided it wants its own course.
Blame the dumb administrators, not the draughtsman.