Dompok says he had told Cabinet to repeal religious conversion bill

By Yiswaree Palansamy
The Malaysian Insider
JUN 29, 2013

A leader of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition expressed disappointment today with the Cabinet for tabling a controversial bill on unilateral conversion involving children, which he said went against the 1Malaysia concept.

United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) head Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the intention to table the bill is a contradiction to the 1Malaysia concept of acceptance, inclusiveness and moderation.

“I am surprised and disappointed that this bill was approved by Cabinet for tabling at Parliament,” he said in a statement to the media today.

Dompok said that a few months ago, he 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.

The bill in question is the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which was tabled on Wednesday.

Two large prominent groups – The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) and the Bar Council – have raised concerns on the bill.

MCCBCHST also said any unilateral conversion of children by one parent is not fair to the minor or the other parent. It added that such conversions are not only unconstitutional but morally and ethically wrong.

They want the key word in the law to remain the plural, “parents”, so that both parents of a minor must agree to any change of religion.

“The present bill appears to contravene the Federal Constitution and runs counter to the government’s transformation plans,” the former Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities said, requesting for it to be withdrawn from Parliament.

“A full discussion by BN on this issue and related religious issues must also be initiated before any bill is presented to Parliament,” Dompok added.- June 29, 2013.

  1. #1 by Noble House on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 3:04 am

    Where is it written in the Constitution, in what section or clause is it contained, that you may take children from their parents and parents from their children, and compel them to live with a religion not of their choosing in any way in which the folly or the wickedness of government may endorse it?

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 6:52 am

    He is no person in the eyes of big-brother Umno.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 7:50 am

    I cannot, even if I were to scrape a million bulls’ brains, understand why UMNO MPs behave like bulls and continue to stomp on others’ religious rights.

    Do you? Moo…………….

  4. #4 by grace on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 8:04 am

    Then Dompok, how is your party voting in the Parliament? For or against the bill?

  5. #5 by negarawan on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 8:23 am

    So Dompok, why are you with UMNO/BN then, knowing that UMNO/BN does not respect the rights of other religions? Why did you bring Najip to see the Pope, to give the false impression about Malaysia having religious freedom? Are you honest yourself?

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 30 June 2013 - 11:43 am

    Hold it a minute. I thought Cabinet don’t approve a bill unless its UNANIMOUS i.e., consensus.. If there is dissent from key members, they don’t do it.. How is it they did this with Indians and Christians in the cabinet?

  7. #7 by good coolie on Monday, 1 July 2013 - 10:34 pm

    Funny, no cases of BBB (baby, bible, body snatching before the elections!

  8. #8 by good coolie on Monday, 1 July 2013 - 10:37 pm

    BBB (baby, bible, body)

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