Cabinet should withdraw Section 107(b) of Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 to give time for Malaysians to achieve national consensus on conversion of minor children to Islam in keeping with the Constitution and to promote family integrity, freedom of religion and national harmony


The Cabinet should withdraw Section 107(b) of the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 to give time for Malaysians to achieve national consensus on conversion of minor children to Islam in keeping with the constitutional scheme contained in Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution, read with Article 160 and the Eleventh Schedule, and to promote family integrity, freedom of religion and national harmony.

Former Cabinet Minister, United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) head Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said yesterday that the provision is a contradiction to the 1Malaysia concept of acceptance, inclusiveness and moderation, suggesting a full discussion by Barisan Nasional on this issue and related religious issues before proceeding with the provision in Parliament.

Dompok said that a few months ago when he was still in the Cabinet, he had asked for the withdrawal of a paper on the bill in Cabinet as he felt that an earlier Cabinet decision on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 should be implemented instead.

Section 107(b) of the 64-page 116-section Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 provides that the consent of one parent alone is sufficient for the conversion of minor children to Islam, which is not only contrary to the Constitution but contravenes the Cabinet decision announced on April 23, 2009 that a single parent cannot convert a minor.

MIC has gone on public to say that it has not been consulted on the proposed Section 107(b) of the Bill while MCA vice president Gan Ping Sieu has described as “shocking” the “steathy” tabling of the proposed provision related to child conversion, terming it as a “terrible disservice to the much talked-about national reconciliation”.

He said the proposed provision run contrary to the collective cabinet decision on 22nd April 2009 that the consent of both parents were required in the conversion of minors.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) and the Bar Council have raised concerns on the provision as
any unilateral conversion of children by one parent is not fair to the minor or the other parent, apart from being unconstitutional and morally and ethically wrong.

Pakatan Rakyat MPs are discussing the provision to seek a consensus on the matter.

It will be a national disaster if the 13th Parliament starts off with a provision which splits the country down the middle, raising fundamental questions not only about the integrity of the Constitution but the maturity of the nation’s leaders to unite rather than to divide the diverse races, religions and cultures that make up Malaysia.

It is for this reason that the Cabinet should withdraw the two-line Section 107(b) in the 64-page 116-section Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 to give time for Malaysians to achieve a national consensus on conversion of minor children to Islam in keeping with the Constitution and to promote family integrity, freedom of religion and national harmony.

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  1. #1 by negarawan on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 8:48 am

    If UMNO/BN bulldozes this bill through, and the muslim MPs of PR also supports it, it is time for non-muslim citizens of Malaysia to think what future they have in Malaysia as their rights are simply eroding and will be taken away completely from them. Non-muslim citizens of Malaysia have been treated as second-class citizens for far too long, even though we have contributed immensely to the progress of this country and its people. Enough of this “pendatang” nonsense! Foreign governments especially European and US, must also take note of this and not be mislead by Malaysian government propaganda that there is religious freedom in Malaysia as this is not true. The PM of Malaysia and his UMNO/BN government is a fake and has no integrity at all, as fake as the so-called 1Malaysia propaganda! This action by UMNO/BN and all religious bigots will have the same impact on the non-muslim society as the Maria Hertog case did on them. May Allah Bless Malaysia…..

  2. #2 by Dipoh Bous on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 9:01 am

    Since Malaysia has been declared an “Islamic Nation”, why not just force all Malaysians to embrace Islam? That would have solved all the problems, right?

    MALAYsia memang boleh!!!

    • #3 by cemerlang on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 9:31 am

      Some people believe in a God. Some believe in themselves. A human possesses a mind, a heart, a brain and others that make up a human. Call it what you want. You are given a choice. How much can you still remember ? Probably when the incident happened when you were three. Below that, unless it is something so significant, you cannot remember. You cannot remember the first time you call your dad or your mom. Only your parents remember. You cannot remember the first time you walked. Only your parents remember. You cannot remember the first time you fell. Only your parents remember. You can adjust yourself to that social norm. But when it comes to something so personal, something that makes you think hard, then you wouldn’t give it up for the world. Probably you can so successful in pretending. How will anyone know what’s up behind the closed door ?

  3. #4 by worldpress on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 10:04 am

    GOD is almighty created human and things

    GOD have created human able to CHOOSE

  4. #5 by worldpress on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 10:29 am

    Do you think GOD would be please god giving rights to choose is rejected?

    Are you question/doubtful GOD intelligence?

  5. #6 by Jong on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 10:48 am

    Whatever the choice, it must and has to be FAIR both ways. Those in Cabinet in agreement to the Bill, should put themselves in our shoes and search their conscience, what would their choice be then.

  6. #7 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 11:38 am

    All this time, they tell Anwar to respect the Constitution they messed up and then they pass this law that still contravened the Constitution they wrecked? Why should people NOT take to the streets, why are they pushing people to have our own Arab Spring?

    This ‘law’ makes our constitution a joke and hence the end of this nation. A country is not just a piece of land and borders, its also the law and system we agree to live by especially how we agree to disagree. This law says we don’t agree on anything and hence not a nation..

  7. #8 by Di Shi Jiu on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 1:49 pm

    I suspect that the religious fervour to grow a religion can sometimes overwhelm one’s better judgement.

    The good intentions which one normally associates with religion become, somewhat murky, when zeal and enthusiasm merge with disregard for another fellow human being’s natural rights.

    Yes, the road to Hell is indeed paved with many a good intention.

  8. #9 by worldpress on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Most of Malaysian knew many of them feel nothing about liar, cheat and done evil

    Good things though evil become evil

  9. #10 by sheriff singh on Monday, 1 July 2013 - 12:52 am

    S-N-E-A-K-Y S-N-A-K-E-Y

  10. #11 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Monday, 1 July 2013 - 8:41 am

    I do not accept the proposed laws on conversion.

  11. #12 by 1elderly voter on Monday, 1 July 2013 - 9:18 am

    If all non-muslim bn MPs vote against the bill plus all PKR MPs voting against it, will it be enough to stop the passing of this bill?

    I would expect all non-muslim bn MPs to vote against this bill, right?, else they will be condemned by their gods, right?

  12. #13 by Bigjoe on Monday, 1 July 2013 - 11:44 am

    The issue is why this law now? This problem with children conversion is a DYSFUNCTIONALITY of governance of personal and family system. We already have much bigger dysfunctionalities with the big elephant in the room being a Najib leadership that is sticking to main ideas of its gameplan of the last term when it has clearly failed politically. In this country, if you fail politically, the economics and others will follow eventually..

    Its hard to tell why this law now – either zealotry is out of control or its the real agenda of the real UMNO today. When Najib losing control and being pathetic is the good news things are very very dire – the kind situation they make excuses to do something foolish…

  13. #14 by good coolie on Monday, 1 July 2013 - 10:30 pm

    I do not recognise a conversion that has been carried out without the consent of the other spouse. This is not one parent signing a hospital form authorising doctors to perform an operation. This is a permanent deprivation of the rights of one parent. The party who converts to Islam is in breach of a common undertaking with respect to the religion of the child if that party converts the child without the knowledge or consent of the other party to the marriage.

    Let us stop having recourse to the sacred word “1 Malaysia” to defend our rights. The slogan is mere rubbish, to be used or ignored according to the political imperatives of the particular case. Rely, rather on constitutional rights.

    We should be prepared to bring this matter to the attention of world leaders to expose the hypocrisy of the government.

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