Surinder's 'conversion' must be investigated

Malaysian Gurdwaras Council


LETTER | The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) is appalled at the circumstances surrounding the purported conversion of Surinder Kaur Bedi to Islam on April 1, and calls for an inquiry into the matter.

The facts show that Surinder was hit with a crash helmet on the head several times by a male suspect on Mar 30, at about 11.50pm at Persiaran Bayan Indah Pulau Pinang.

Surinder was taken in a critical and unconscious state to the Penang Hospital. There the doctor on duty told the police that her chances of survival were 50:50 and that she was in an unconscious state. 

Surinder died at the hospital at about 5am on April 1, about 27 hours after admission. 

One Imran Khan Mohamad Qurban Ali lodged a police report claiming that Surinder was his sister, and that she had embraced Islam before her death, witnessed by him and his mother.

However, Surinder was taken in an unconscious state to the Penang Hospital, with the doctor describing her condition as critical. How could Imran get access to see her just before 5am? 

The conversion and utterance of 'kalimah syahadah' seems unlikely, as she would probably be drawing her last breaths.

Penang Mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor had issued a letter allowing a Muslim burial for Surinder. His actions set a dangerous precedent.

  • Under the Penang Islamic Administration Enactment 2004, a person can only be converted to Islam voluntarily if he or she is “of sound mind.” Here the evidence was that Surinder was in critical condition and unconscious before her purported conversion.
  • Surinder could not have uttered the kalimah syahadah in her unconscious state.
  • The Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAIPP) keeps a registry of all converts to Islam. It has confirmed that the name of deceased Surinder Kaur is not found in their records.
  • Surinder's identity card lists her as a Sikh.

In view of the above, it is abundantly clear that the purported conversion of Surinder is based on the unverified claim of one person, Imran. He could have been motivated for considerations of personal benefit in making such a claim.

MGC is thus demanding a thorough investigation into this matter to unearth the truth.

  • The Penang Mufti must come up with proper proof of Surinder's conversion to Islam.
  • JAIPP must issue a declaration on whether Surinder was or was not a Muslim according to their records.
  • Surinder's state of mind before her death must be ascertained. For this purpose, the doctor who attended to her must state whether she was conscious and capable of reciting the kalimah syahadah.
  • Imran and his mother's presence at the hospital and at Surinder's bedside just before her death must also be ascertained.

In conclusion, MGC wishes to state that its aim is to ascertain the truth as to Surinder's conversion. 

The MGC represents the Sikh religion in Malaysia. Thus, it is obliged to ascertain the validity of the purported conversion to Islam. 

If a transparent inquiry confirms the conversion of Surinder to Islam as valid, then MGC will have no further issue in the matter.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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