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Thursday, 5 June 2014

MCA wants Constitution to be amended to prevent disputes over religious conversions

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has called for constitutional changes to allow conversion of religion involving children only when both parents agree to it.

“Conversion of religion of any child shall be mutually agreed upon by both the parents until the child attains the age of 18,” MCA Youth legal bureau chairman Eric Choo Wei Sern (pic) said.

He suggested that Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution be amended to prevent a father from converting the religion of his child unilaterally.

He also recommended Article 121 or Article 121(1A) be amended to empower the civil courts to resolve disputes and issues involving marriages, regardless of the religion of the couples.

“It is improper and incorrect for the Syariah courts to have jurisdiction over such cases where the marriage was initially entered into under the civil law,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

Choo was commenting on the Muslim bride who was detained midway through a Hindu marriage ritual by officers of the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) on June 1.

He described the action as “deplorable, totally uncalled for and should be vehemently objected to”.

He said bride-to-be Zarena Abdul Majid had taken “all possible avenues and efforts” to clarify she was a practising Hindu although her father had converted to Islam allegedly without the knowledge of the family and had registered Zarena and her brother as Muslims.

He called on the Federal Government to step in and resolve the matter amicably.

Related stories:

Jais offers to help bride-to-be change religion

Incident has angered the Indian community, says MIC

Dr M slams Jais over raid

Tags / Keywords: Religion , mca , choo wei sern , convert , islam


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