Monday, November 30, 2009

Re: Forced to convert to Islam prevalent- Indian poverty link.

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In Reply :

Date : 28/11/2009

YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak

Prime Minister of Malaysia,

Block Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,

62502 Putrajaya.

Tel : 03-8888 8000 Fax : 03-8888 3444

E-Mail :

Re: Forced to convert to Islam prevalent- Indian poverty link.

S.Banggarma (27) a former occupant of a welfare home says she was forced to convert to Islam as a one year old child by the Penang Welfare Department. This actually arose out of poverty. “ She ran away from the said home at the age of 18 and later found her father who was living like a beggar”. Her poor parents left her to the charge of the Penang Welfare Department. (The Star 25/11/09 at page N26 and The Sun 25/11/09 at page 4). Instead of giving this child the best the said Welfare Department took advantage of this family and the seven year old child by forcing her to convert to Islam.

S.Banggarma denied that her natural father had converted her to Islam when she was one year old. If that was so why was she made to sign a certificate to enter Islam again when she was seven years old.

This sort of forced conversations and/or attempts to do so are quite rampant also in orphanages, welfare homes, fully residential government schools and other educational institutions.

In 2007, a 17 year old youth who was studying at a Vocational school formally complained to us that he was pressured by his peers to convert to Islam which he was resisting. Then one fine day he was taken to the school’s religious teacher (Uztaz) who then took them to the local Islamic religious department where he was duly registered as an Muslim and issued with an Islamic conversation card. This youth was then told not to inform his parents or anyone else.

On hearing this from his Indian school friends his father immediately rushed to the school and at about 11.30 p.m the very same day took his son away from that school even that very wee hours of the morning. And that was the end of his Vocational skills training and so was his future vocational career .

We had then written a letter to the then Prime Minister but up to date his forced conversation status was never reversed even by the present Prime Minister.

But imagine the mysery this family has to go through. This youth right up to this day is a practicing hindu. In fact after this “tragedy” he has become a stauncher hindu then he ever was before. But nobody could help this boy not even the Malay-sian Courts because of UMNO’s thick racist and religious extremist policies.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Most non muslim parents fear sending their children to even the few places allowed to them in fully residential schools and institutions.

Article 11 of Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but on the ground level the UMNO Islamic religious affairs department officers reign supreme and take the law into their own hands. We are perplexed because even the national PAS Spritual leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar, YAB Dato Nik Aziz has said that in Islam there should be no forced conversation. And it is the bounden duty of the majority muslims to protect the minority non muslims especially the 7.5% Malaysian Indians.

How then are we supposed to work towards Malay-sian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malay-sia. How then are we Malaysians supposed to interact, foster genuine national unity and national integration and co-exist as fellow Malaysians or as human beings in the first place.

We hereby urge your goodself to intervene and direct the Penang Islamic Religious Department to undo and reverse S.Banggarma’s forced conversation to Islam. Further we urge the Prime Minister to issue a circular that there shall strictly be no conversation of minors and youths below 21 years of age at all government schools institutions and bodies. And for all Malaysians who claim that they were forced to convert to Islam they be granted their said Constitutional right to revert to their original or any other religion of their choice as is provided under Article 11 of the Federal Condtitution. Mr.Prime Minister, these state of events are completely unnecessary. We could instead optimally utilize our time and energy and focus on nation building in the true One Malaysian sprit championed by your goodself.

Please, let us move on and move forward.

Kindly revert to us accordingly.

Thank You,

Your Faithfully,



Secretary General ( pro-tem)