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What's changed since 2009 on conversion of minors?
Published:  Jul 2, 2013 10:00 AM
Updated: 3:32 AM

YOURSAY 'The cabinet has decided then that there was to be no unilateral conversion of minors. How come now it's deemed permissible?'

DPM: Child conversion clause reflects current situation

your say Aries46: If as Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin says, the matter of one spouse having the right to convert his or her children to Islam was in line with the decision of the Federal Court and based on constitutional provisions, what was then the reason for the cabinet decision in 2009 that prevented the unilateral conversion of minor children until they reach the age of majority?

And what was the rationale then in 2009 that cannot be applied now? And why the need for the re-enactment of these provisions under a new bill?

And why was this new bill not discussed with BN component parties, which claim ignorance, despite its clear infringement on non-Muslim rights?

And my question to Muhyiddin is: Why are the Islamic authorities or Umno so bent on converting the children of non-Muslim converts against the wishes of the non-converting spouse who by law, has equal rights on the children?

Isn't this a cruel injustice to the heartbroken spouse?

Pemerhati: Umno has remained in power by blatantly using the race and religious card to get the majority Malay support, especially in the conservative rural areas.

Previously they have shamelessly used the temple, church and Allah issues to show the Malays that they are the champions and protectors of Islam.

Now since those issues have become a bit stale and did not get them the necessary Malay support during the 2013 elections, Umno has decided to renege on the undertaking given by the cabinet ministers on the child conversion issue and exploit it to impress the Malays.

What this clearly shows is that you cannot trust anything the Umno cabinet ministers say.

Anonymous #40112563: If opponents of the bill are not careful, the focus will stay on the ‘parent' issue only and not on another more covert amendment - the power of deciding who is a Muslim being shifted to the syariah courts instead of the civil courts. The government should withdraw the whole bill.

Fair Play: ‘1Malaysia', ‘unity' and ‘reconciliation' - these are mere words. So long as the other communities do not see a fairer treatment in sensitive matters by the powers-that-be, Malaysia will remain a fractured nation.

Geronimo: The interesting thing to note here is that none of the non-Malay cabinet ministers knew about the tabling of the bill.

Why was it done in such a stealthy manner? Now I would like to pose this question to the non-Malay ministers: How does it feel to be betrayed by your own leader?

Mahashitla: I think Umno is again using Islam to win back the support of the Malays with this latest proposal.

It is not so much about MCA and MIC not supporting the bill, but whether Malay MPs from Pakatan Rakyat will do so. It's a test for Pakatan Malay MPs and they will have to ask themselves whether such a bill is Islamic or not.

Nes: All decisions made until Umno general assembly are political. Don't tear your hair off trying to reason with these politicians; they don't talk logic. Either that or they stay dumb. Case in point; the premier is keeping quiet.

FairGame: DPM, such comments and actions hurt the feelings of non-Muslims. You should not test the patience of non-Muslims. Sound familiar?

Kairos: What particularly irks me is the surreptitious manner in which the amendment was slipped in. Now only after the plot is discovered does the government says it will look into the amendment and possibly make changes.

What would have happened if the opposition had not highlighted it? How come changes to the constitution are not first discussed at the cabinet level?

This is a serious matter. Why are the rest of the cabinet members are not making a fuss about it? Are there not righteous and just people in the rank and file of the government?

What do all these underhand tactics of the government speak of its integrity? Is this the way to start the first sitting of Parliament?

Changenow: The government must focus on ensuring growth in national employment and economic advancement. Religion does not guarantee food on the table. The government should not take advantage of the weak non-Muslim populace.

They have their rights too. Common sense should prevail.

Malaysiawatch4: This act will result in more broken families, but then that is not the BN regime's problem.

Telestai!: Just because one Federal Court judge erred in making that ruling, it doesn't make it legal for one parent to convert the faith of a minor.

The laws of a country are passed in Parliament, not in courts. The DPM ought to know that.

Anonymous_5fb: Just wondering what 'current' situation Muhyiddin was taking about. People have made known their anger with the court recent judgment. But instead, you choose to favour the judgment.

Isn't it the Parliament duty is to make good laws, in the interest of rakyat? You are not only ignorant but also arrogant. Don't you realise that?

Vijay47: Muhyiddin, for once in your miserable life you may be right about "the current situation".

The situation now is that Umno has its back to the wall and having read the writing on it, has pulled out all the stops and gone for broke to retain its criminal rule of the country.

In pursuing this objective, you moved from language to race and now to that most combustible element of all, religion. Umno would rather see the nation in flames than lose a grip it now believes is divinely decreed.

Every amendment to the constitution, of which we must have a record number, was wholly for Umno's benefit and the continued subjugation of half our population.

The country survived, some may say progressed, all this while without provisions on religion being further tampered with. Why the urgency now?

You, PM Najib Razak, and Umno are out to create a tense suspicion-filled environment that in the process will lead to unthinkable confrontations between the races and religions. So that Umno still rules.

AngryBird: All those non-Muslims who voted for Umno-BN are now reaping what they sowed.

P Dev Anand Pillai: It is a very cleverly crafted escape route for those who intend to get out of unhappy marriages minus the huge maintenance payments which ex- wives will ask for.

Sometimes when the going gets tough, this is the only way out. So to all those out there who think BN is going to be different, please don't dream.

The best moment to change them was lost in the last election so now enjoy another five lovely years with them.

Dont Just Talk: The ‘Malay first' DPM should quote examples which developed countries allow minor child conversion without the full consent of their parents.

What if it is the other way around when a minor Muslim child is forced to convert to another religion without the full consent of his/her parents?

Why do such problems exist in our country when our Muslim neighbour Indonesia, with over 240 million Muslims, do not have these problems?

RA 1: This amendment needs to be passed by Parliament by a simple majority. If non-Umno parties in the BN do not vote for it, it would not pass. It is a trap set for PAS. Why is PAS silent on the issue?

Mr KJ John: Can you please ask the non-Muslim members of the cabinet who chose not to agree to resign from cabinet?

That is the only honourable thing to do if the bill is still tabled in Parliament because then there was no consensus; which is a cabinet principle.

Thinkingmachine: Malaysia is a multiracial country which respects the status of Islam as the main religion of this country.

As such, our government should act as the umbrella protecting all the religions without causing any friction among its citizen and I hope it will take a compassionate stand as not to divide its rakyat.

This is an acid test for the government to prove its trustworthiness and honesty.

Anonymous #71627369: This is religious gerrymandering.

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