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With ‘unilateral conversion’ U-turn, Act 355 may be shelved too

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YOURSAY | ‘Najib's Umno now rules at the pleasure of PAS, and on its terms.’

Gov't to rush LRA bill, sans unilateral conversion clause

Hang Babeuf: If Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman Said’s/the government’s argument/worry that here is a bill with that essential clause included might be vulnerable to legal challenge on the grounds that it contravenes a court decision given some years ago, she/it should accept, be part of and facilitate a proper appeal against that dubious judgment first - and only then proceed to pass any such law.

If the government chooses to proceed in this sequence and fashion, then it must offer to support such an appeal and bring this amended law into line immediately if/when a successful appeal is mounted against that flawed, questionable court decision.

That judgment - that parent is "ibu atau bapa" and hence the consent of only one parent suffices to convert a child - is an inherently dubious decision and view: legally, constitutionally and also linguistically.

Mahsuri: If this rushed and heavily defective bill is passed, it is clear evidence that Islam, as it is practised in Malaysia, is based on compulsion and not free will, and where the rights of non-Muslims will forever play second fiddle to that of those male Muslim converts, whose reason for conversion was to escape their civil responsibilities via loopholes, rather than to address the issue of child custody maturely and fairly.

Be proud, my fellow Muslim Malaysians, this is what the current ruling government has done to your beloved religion.

Norman Fernandez: In one well-publicised case, the mother sensing something amiss being planned by her husband, took the child and ran away abroad.

This may remain an option for a mother. It is a real shame that Section 88A of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (amendment) Bill (LRA) has been withdrawn.

Perak Boleh: MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the East Malaysian MPs, please don't go MIA (missing in action) or abstain from voting on this bill.

We will be watching you all and will present you with a nice gift in the coming GE14.

'Withdrawal of unilateral conversion bill shows BN desperate to appease PAS'

David Dass: What is so controversial about the proposed amendment? That amendment would not have been required if our courts had adopted a bolder and more correct interpretation of the existing law.

No one party to a marriage should have the right to convert minor children of such marriage without the consent of the other.

Imagine a young family with two children, ages three and four. They are Hindus. The husband falls in love with his Muslim secretary, converts to marry her and then surreptitiously, without the consent of their mother, converts the children to Islam and goes to the Syariah Court and obtains custody of the children on the ground that they are Muslims.

The civil courts decline jurisdiction to hear her complaint because her husband and children are Muslims. She is left crying in the wind! Would anyone in the world consider this fair and just?

Just a Malaysian: Indeed, isn’t it the role of religion to ensure fairness and justice? Unilateral conversion seems unfair and unjust, but receives so much support from PAS and the religious masses. Surely, something is missing here?

Hi Perception: Well, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has previously said that his party’s role is to advise the BN government. And MCA, MIC and Gerakan are there to agree.

PAS lauds withdrawal of unilateral conversion clause

Hang Babeuf: Azalina expressed hope that this development would be seen in a positive light to preserve harmony in Malaysia's multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. "In view of this, we hope everyone will support this new Bill and not politicise the issue," she said.

It is called "adding insult to injury". Umno acts, recklessly and unconscionably, in ways that destroy the remaining, precarious basis of amity, goodwill and decency in relations between Malays and non-Malays, Muslims and non-Muslims.

And then it has the effrontery to ask people to shut up and cop it sweet, quietly. Not to "politicise" the issue. (But who is making a grand political play here?) and to urge upon people a huge restraint in behaviour, so as not to harm what is left of the basis of social peace, civil decency and order. (Any trouble will be their fault!)

This is an abomination. But Najib's Umno now rules at the pleasure of PAS, on its terms, and is "hog-tied" by a larger dependence on Saudi funding and support.

Blogsmith: In what way would the amendment be unfair to Muslims? You have a child born of two persons, wouldn't it be fair to allow conversion only when both agree - or to wait till the child is 18 and able to make a decision as an adult?

Is it fair to convert an underaged child to a religion from which he or she cannot convert out of? Where is the sense of justice and fair play?

Anonymous_3f94: What PAS wants is to force Islam down the throats of helpless children. They claim there is no compulsion in Islam when compulsion is the only thing they want to do, Muslim or non-Muslim.

Explain withdrawal of unilateral conversion bill, BN leaders told

The Analyser: Once again, the DAP is faffing on about a bill that might affect less than three percent of the population. Meanwhile, matters which affect the whole population are completely ignored.

This is another example of criticism for the sake of criticism and does nothing to improve the status of the general Malaysian population.

This is another case of classic Pakatan Harapan stupidity. They could ignore this matter completely, then if they feel it is necessary to make changes, do so after they win government.

But in the meantime, you faff around with irrelevancies and totally ignore matters which might win you governance.

Hang Babeuf: Tell me, dear Analyser, what percentage of the population may be ignored, what is the upper limit to the proportion of the state's citizens whose rights may casually be ignored, violated, trampled on?

If three percent is of no consequence, where does the threshold lie? Five percent? 10 percent? 25 percent? Or need we worry only about the magical "50 percent plus one" and "bugger the rest"? Please advise.

Sarawakian: DAP MP Teo Nie Ching, the explanation should be obvious. Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) can't debate Hadi’s Act 355 (PAS' proposal to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965).

So, he has to withdraw the unilateral conversion bill to appease PAS.

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