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Monday, 5 May 2014

Government eyes court mediation to ease conversion and child custody cases

EXCLUSIVE: PETALING JAYA: The Government is looking at mediation as a means to help resolve issues among couples involved in religious conversion and child custody battles.

The joint committee formed to look into matters relating to conflicts between civil and Syariah courts in conversion and custody cases has identified mediation as a mechanism to help resolve the issues.

“Mediation will be the first step because it is not legally binding.

“This is what the committee has in mind but more studies need to be done before it can be implemented,” a source close to the panel told The Star yesterday.

The source said mediation could also help ease tension between couples involved in such conflicts.

Last month, The Star reported the Cabinet had agreed to form a joint committee to help ease legal tussles involving Muslim converts and their former non-Muslim spouses.

The committee is co-chaired by Nancy Shukri and Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, who are both Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The latest legal tussle involves clerk S. Deepa, 30, and her ex-husband Izwan Abdullah, 31, a former lorry driver who is now a volunteer with Muslim non-governmental organisation Yayasan Kasih Sayang Negeri Sembilan.

On April 7, the Seremban High Court awarded custody of both their children to Deepa after deciding that the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act had jurisdiction over their civil marriage.

Izwan converted both his children to Islam without Deepa’s knowledge and obtained custodial rights to them from the Syariah court.

Tags / Keywords: Politics , mediation to help conversion and custody battles


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