KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — All state Islamic laws that currently allow children to be unilaterally converted to Islam should be amended to match a proposed federal law barring such acts, lawyers have said.
Lawyers said that the Perlis amendment of its state law on Thursday — which removed the need for both parents’ consent before a child can be converted to Islam — contradicts and conflicts with a planned federal law amendment.
Lawyer Surendra Ananth said if the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act’s (LRA) planned amendment which will require both parents’ consent before a child from a civil marriage is converted to Islam is passed and comes into force, the conflicting Perlis amendment requiring only either parent’s consent will be “null and void” in such cases.
“The Islamic Enactment made by the Perlis State Legislative assembly is a form of state law. It’s status does not change just because it is a “religious law”. It is like any other State law, and therefore must give way to federal law and the Federal Constitution,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted, citing the Federal Constitution’s Article 75 which says federal law will prevail over inconsistent state laws. Read more