Malaysia No. 130 in global ranking on children’s access to justice

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Malaysia has acceded to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but it does not have the force of law, which means children’s rights are ignored in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

Malaysia has acceded to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but it does not have the force of law, which means children’s rights are ignored in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

Malaysia ranks 130th among 197 countries polled in terms of access to justice for children, says the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) in a recent release.

According to the global children’ rights advocacy network, its first global ranking is a measure of how children can use the courts to defend their rights.

Topping the list are Belgium, Portugal and Spain, with Kenya the only country outside Europe to make the top 10. Read more

Shariah court custody order valid in Deepa-Izwan case, says Federal Court

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court says in the case of S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah, the Shariah court custody order is valid until it is set aside. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

The Federal Court said a custody order issued by the Seremban Shariah court to Muslim convert Izwan Abdullah is valid even though religious courts have no jurisdiction to dissolve civil marriages.

Judge Tan Sri Raus Sharif said a custody order by the Shariah court was lawful under section 52 (2) of the Child Act.

“We are of the view that, in light of the existence of the two conflicting custodial orders, the High Court judge should not have entertained the application of the ex-wife (S. Deepa) for the recovery of Mithran from her ex-husband,” Raus said in the judgment released today. Read more

Hanya Mahkamah Tinggi boleh beri remedi kepada pasangan selepas tukar agama

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

A picture of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in this picture dated February 5, 2015. The Federal Court ruled in the S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah interfaith custody case that only the High Court can give remedy to spouse even if the partner converted. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

A picture of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in this picture dated February 5, 2015. The Federal Court ruled in the S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah interfaith custody case that only the High Court can give remedy to spouse even if the partner converted. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

Pindaan 1988 kepada Mahkamah Persekutuan untuk menghentikan mahkamah sivil daripada campur tangan dalam hal ehwal Mahkamah Syariah tidak termasuk Mahkamah Tinggi daripada memberikan remedi kepada individu jika pasangannya menukar agama kepada Islam, kata Mahkamah Persekutuan menerusi penghakimannya minggu lalu dalam perbalahan hak penjagaan anak berbeza agama.

Hakim Tan Sri Raus Sharif berkata, dalam kes itu, bekas suami (Izwan Abdullah) dan bekas isteri (S Deepa) beragama Hindu ketika berkahwin.

“Dengan mengenakan perkahwinan sivil di bawah Akta Memperharui Undang-undang (LRA) 1976, mereka terikat dengan peruntukan berkaitan perceraian dan hak jagaan anak daripada perkahwinan itu. Read more

Human rights group calls out Guan Eng over statement on Botak Hill

Source: The Star Online

A bald patch up the Botak Hill.

A bald patch up the Botak Hill.

PETALING JAYA: National Human Rights Society Malaysia (Hakam) has defended non-governmental group Penang Forum for questioning the development on Bukit Relau and has called on the Penang state government not to “readily malign civil society”.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Hakam called out Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for his remarks at a press conference on Dec 13 in which he had stated that the development on Bukit Relau, also known as Botak Hill, had been approved by the previous Barisan Nasional government. Read more

Create legislation to ensure both parents provide consent for child conversions, lawyers say

Source: The Malay Mail Online

S. Deepa speaks to members of the media at the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusoff Mat Isa

S. Deepa speaks to members of the media at the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusoff Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Unilateral conversion need not be criminalised as suggested by MCA Youth, lawyers said today, but instead ought to be appropriately legislated and enforced by religious officers to ensure that minors are not secretly converted by just one parent.

Civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan said all that was necessary to prevent interfaith custody battles when one spouse unilaterally converts minors without the knowledge of the other was legislation requiring both parents to provide consent.

“We need to enact legislation to state that the religion of minors must be determined by both parents, not just one parent. Not everything must be criminalised,” he said via text message to Malay Mail Online.

Lawyers for Liberty campaign coordinator Melissa Sasidaran added that criminalising unilateral conversions is no solution and instead, the burden should be on religious authorities to ensure that both parents sign on when converting their children.

“Burden should lie on the religious authorities to make sure consent of both parents especially new converts is obtained before converting the children. Read more