Amend constitution clause on ‘parent’ to fix interfaith custody tussle, Putrajaya urged

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail –File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) called on the federal government to commit itself to recognise the right of both parents amid a continuing controversy over interfaith child custody conflicts in the country.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail expressed the commission’s regret over the withdrawal of a key clause in the government’s amendment of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act that he said would have been the ideal solution to ban the unilateral conversion of children.

“Suhakam calls on the Government to commit firmly to this issue and to recognise the importance of both parents to have equal parental rights and authority in relation to the religion, custody and upbringing of their children, considering the principle of the best interest of the child.

“Suhakam believes that the remedy lies in an amendment to Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution,” Razali said in a statement. Read more

Putrajaya withdraws Bill banning unilateral child conversions

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Infographic by MMO

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― The government has withdrawn a Bill from Parliament that would have prevented the religious conversion of children to Islam with the consent of just one parent after conservative Muslims protested against it.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman informed the withdrawal of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Dewan Rakyat this morning.

In a statement issued later, Azalina said the government will table a new version of the Bill for first reading tomorrow, but with the removal of Article 88(A) that states that should a spouse convert to Islam, a child must remain in the religion of the parents during their marriage prior to the conversion unless both spouses agree to convert their child to Islam, subject to the child’s wishes upon turning 18.

She said the government was amending the Bill to prevent any conflict with the Federal Constitution and that the amendment was in line with the “stare decisis” doctrine, which obligates courts to look to precedent when making decisions, where the highest court’s decision on the interpretation of Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution is bound. Read more

Marriage and divorce bill unfair to Muslims, says think tank

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A think tank has criticised proposed amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act, saying they infringe on the liberty of Muslims, particularly the newly converted.

Giving an example of such infringement, Azril Mohd Amin, chief executive officer of the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), pointed to the requirement for consent of both parents for conversion of a child to Islam.

“This is discriminatory against Muslims as conversion to other religions requires no such joint consent,” he said.

He added that the requirement for joint consent would violate the Federal Constitution, which states that the religion of a child below the age of 18 shall be decided by his parent (either the mother or father) or guardian. Read more

Majlis Peguam gesa percepat pindaan akta tukar agama anak

Sumber: FMT News

Steven Thiru berkata, kerajaan juga perlu menyeragamkan undang-undang Islam di semua negeri yang memperuntukkan kedudukan bertentangan.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

PUTRAJAYA: Majlis Peguam Malaysia mengalu-alukan pembentangan pindaan terhadap Akta Membaharui Undang-undang (Perkahwinan dan Perceraian) 1976, November lalu, bagi menangani isu penukaran agama kanak-kanak kepada Islam secara sebelah pihak atau unilateral.

Justeru, majlis itu menggesa kerajaan mempercepatkan cadangan pindaan tersebut.

Presidennya, Steven Thiru berkata, cadangan pindaan itu akan memastikan kanak-kanak berkenaan kekal dalam agama ibu bapanya pada waktu perkahwinan mereka, sebelum salah seorang pasangan itu memeluk Islam.

Di samping mempercepatkan pindaan itu, kerajaan juga perlu bergerak ke arah menyeragamkan undang-undang Islam di semua negeri yang memperuntukkan kedudukan bertentangan, katanya pada majlis perasmian istiadat badan kehakiman sempena Tahun Undang-undang 2017 semalam.

Ketika cadangan pindaan akta tersebut belum muktamad, katanya, badan perundangan negeri perlu mengelak mengubal undang-undang yang membenarkan penukaran agama secara sebelah pihak. Read more

Lawyers: Change state Islamic laws to match proposed unilateral child conversion ban

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

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

Pindaan enakmen Perlis bergantung keputusan mahkamah, kata peguam

Sumber: FMT News

Enakmen Perlis tidak berpelembagaan jika Mahkamah Persekutuan membuat keputusan memihak kepada kes Indira yang sedang dipertimbangkan, kata Fahri Azzat.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Pindaan Enakmen Pentadbiran Agama Islam 2016 oleh Dewan Undangan Negeri Perlis yang membenarkan penukaran unilateral kanak-kanak bawah umur bergantung kepada keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan, kata peguam.

Fahri Azzat berkata, rakyat Malaysia terpaksa menunggu keputusan mencabar undang-undang dibawa guru tadika M Indira Gandhi, yang memohon membatalkan sijil penukaran agama 3 anaknya.

“Enakmen Perlis akan tidak akan mengikut Perlembagaan jika mahkamah tertinggi membuat keputusan memihak kepada Indira. Undang-undang negeri akan menjadi sah jika rayuannya ditolak,” katanya kepada FMT.

Beliau berkata, prinsip undang-undang yang ditubuhkan Mahkamah Persekutuan akan mengikat negeri.

Fahri berkata demikian sebagai respons kepada tindakan Dewan Undangan Negeri Perlis yang meluluskan pindaan itu dengan majoriti 13-1. Read more

MIC, MCA leaders slam Perlis govt legislation allowing unilateral conversion of minors to Islam

Source: NST Online

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority  on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional component party leaders have slammed the Perlis government for passing a legislation to allow for unilateral conversion of a minor to Islam.

MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said unilateral conversions had been “the central core of discord” in many cases, citing kindergarten teacher Indira Ghandi’s custodial dispute case in 2015.

“While the federal cabinet has been trying to find a permanent solution to an issue which has been identified as a major thorn in inter-religious relationships in this country, this act by a BN government is a major step backwards to religious harmony in this country.

“It is going to cause greater disunity among the people of Malaysia,” he said in a statement today. Prior to the amendment, Perlis’ Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2006 required the consent of both the father and mother for the conversion of a child under the age of 18.

It was reported that Section 117 of the enactment, with the phrase in the Malay version “father and mother or guardian” was changed to “father or mother or guardian” to give consent for children under 18 years old to be converted to Islam.

The amendment comes just weeks after a bill was tabled in Parliament to prevent from unilateral conversion of a child. Read more

Tukar agama: Undang-undang persekutuan atasi negeri, kata Azalina

Sumber: FMT News

Pindaan kepada undang-undang negeri tidak boleh digunakan sekiranya pindaan Akta Membaharui Undang-Undang (Perkahwinan dan Perceraian) 1976 diluluskan

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Undang-undang persekutuan mengatasi undang-undang negeri sekiranya berlaku ketaktekalan, kata Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Azalina Othman.

Maka, sekiranya kerajaan persekutuan berjaya meminda Akta Membaharui Undang-Undang (Perkahwinan dan Perceraian) 1976 (LRA), pindaan enakmen Perlis yang didakwa membolehkan anak diislamkan dengan persetujuan ibu atau bapa sahaja tidak boleh boleh digunakan.

Menurut Azalina, Dewan Undangan Negeri Perlis berhak meminda Enakmen Pentadbiran Agama Islam 2006.

“Pada masa yang sama, rang undang-undang yang dibentangkan kerajaan untuk meminda LRA tepat pada masanya dan langkah yang positif.

“Sekiranya pindaan diluluskan, ia akan menjadi undang-undang persekutuan.

“Adalah dimaklumkan Perkara 75 Perlembagaan Persekutuan menyatakan mana-mana undang-undang negeri yang berlawanan dengan undang-undang persekutuan, maka undang-undang persekutuan mengatasinya,” katanya beliau dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

Read more

Perlis passes Religious Administration Enactment Bill, Opposition scandalised

Source: NST Online

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority  on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

KANGAR: Pas assemblyman Mohd Shukri Ramli voiced support yesterday for an amendment to a bill allowing unilateral consent of either a mother or father for the conversion of children under 18 years old to Islam – despite objections from PKR Indera Kayangan assemblyman Chan Ming Kai.

The Sanglang assemblyman had seconded the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill.

Under the amended enactment, the word “ibu dan bapa” (mother and father) was changed to “ibu atau bapa” (mother or father) in the Malay version.

The English version of the enactment states “parent”, referring to subsection 117(b), which reads that a (child) who is not a Muslim may convert to Islam if he is of sound mind.

Chan stood up to oppose, while MCA’s Khaw Hock Kong was seen leaving the House when the Bill was tabled. Read more

Suhakam: Amendments to marriage and divorce law reform to benefit child

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today lauded Putrajaya’s move to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 2016, saying that if the proposals were passed, it will be in the best interests of the child.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said Suhakam was in support of the proposal to be applied retrospectively in calling both parents in a civil marriage to give consent for their child to be converted to Islam.

“Suhakam supports the proposal that a child shall keep their religious affiliation, so that he or she can freely decide their faith, according to belief, when they attain the age of majority (18 years).

“Suhakam hopes that the issue of unilateral conversion of children in Malaysia and the many obstacles to the full enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion will be quickly resolved by Parliament through the passing of these amendments,” Razali said in a statement.  Read more