PRESS STATEMENT 18.04.2009
RE : GOVERNMENT SHOULD IMMEDIATELY STOP THE NONSENSE OF FORCED AND UNLAWFUL CONVERSION.LATEST RELIGIOUS FIASCO – 3 CHILDREN AGED 12 , 11 AND 1 FORCEFULLY CONVERTED TO ISLAM
HINDRAF expresses its shock and utter disgust at the conduct of JAIS in allowing a forceful and unlawful conversion of three children who were born and brought up as Hindus. The father of those children has every right to convert to whatever religion he chooses but he does not have any right to forcibly convert his children who are minors to the Islamic faith unilaterally without the consent of his estranged wife.
The Federal constitution was drafted for everyone in a civil society that consist of a multi racial society but today Syariah laws practiced by fanatical JAIS with assistance from the government and sanction from the Federal Court (which has abdicated its powers) is infringing the basic right of a Malaysian citizen as it seems to supersede the desire of the multi racial society and the true spirit of the constitution.
We are totally sickened with the conduct and manner in which JAIS officers seem to have been colluding with K.Pathmanathan (now Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah) in serving “a syariah court order” on the Hindu wife. Every time a religious controversy arises it is the relevant Islamic religious bodies which colludes and protects the converting party without any regards to the civil society. JAIS continues to strain the social fabric of a multi racial nation with their “CULTURE OF ARROGANCE IN CONVERSION”.
The provisions of the Federal Constitution with regards to religious freedom are crystal clear. It is time the converting party and the Islamic authorities follow the correct logical procedure ie obtaining the necessary court order in a civil court first before attempting to convert the children. What they are doing is definitely a “backdoor method through Syariah law” to conversion and an attempt to bully the mother of those children and non muslims into submission to a syariah court order.
Malaysia is a multi racial country with a Federal constitution and religious zealots cannot usurp its function. There should be respect for universal principles of human rights and religious freedom. HINDRAF urges all democratic minded citizens, NGO’s and lawmakers to condemn this appalling act by the father, Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah and the Islamic authorities in converting the children.
Hindu Sangam which claims to represent the Malaysian Hindu community should act proactively to mount the pressure rather than putting their “faith” and “pray” on promises of setting up committees and “we will look into it” answers given by UMNO government. Many committees have come and gone but there has never been a solution to this pertinent controversial issue relating to conversion as the government continues to defy the very concept of the Federal constitution.
The 2007, Federal court judgment, that the consent of one parent is sufficient to convert a child in the case of R.Subashini is gravely flawed as it always favours the party converting to the Islamic faith rather than upholding the spirit of the constitution. What if the other non Muslim parent then initiates a civil action and provides consent to reconvert the child to its original faith-would that be sufficient consent then and will the Federal court then sanction it or the Syariah court would then declare that the minor could face criminal prosecution for apostasy.
This is a deadlock that the government and the Federal Court need to address for the well being of the multi racial society rather than being intimidated by religious zealots. Hindraf maintains the Federal Court judgment in Subhashini’s case is gravely flawed and the Federal Court should not abdicate its duties and independence to protect every litigant equally and in fairness without fear or favour.