I refer to the Malaysiakini report Subashini case: Divorce comes under civil court.
Whilst the Muslims and Christians debate over the right to use the word Allah, I am pondering over the Federal Court’s decision in the R Subashini case that has painfully concluded that it is perfectly alright for a father to convert his child to Islam against the wishes of the mother who is a non-Mulsim.
I believe this is among the issues the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) wants to bring to the attention of the Umno-run government.
With the Lingam tape scandal hovering in our background, I think those in the legal fraternity know deep down in their hearts that Subashini’s case is a lost cause. Can they in all conscience tell me how can the highest court of the land can get so technical over the law? The father has converted the child and the mother has lost a child to him but the courts are only interested in the technicalities of the law rather than in dispensing justice. Do the judges honestly believe that the marriage has not broken down irretrievably?
Then again, in the mind of most Malaysians, these ‘judges’ probably got there through dubious means. And let’s be honest about another thing - at the end of the day, Muslim judges were deciding on a matter involving a non-Muslim. Have we forgotten about the infamous judge who granted custody of a child to a Hindu mother, with a warning that if she was caught teaching the child Hinduism, he would revoke the custody order and hand the child over to the Muslim father?
The Subashini issue is not only about a mother losing her rights over her child. The Malaysian public have serious doubts as to whether the present set of judges can be relied upon to dispense justice.