KUALA LUMPUR: Parliamentary debate on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amend-ment) Bill 2016 should not be deferred totally just because of one clause, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said that aside from Section 88A, other benefits of the Bill should not be overlooked.
“One is the amendment that requires a spouse to dissolve the marriage in a civil court where a spouse has converted, where previously they had to go to the Syariah Court as well,” said Liow.
Speaking to the press after launching the “Patriotic Palm Print Mural” along Jalan Genting Klang, the Transport Minister said the removal of one clause should not delay the debate on the rest of the Bill.
He explained that the Attorney-General was of the view that the proposed Section 88A, which touched on children’s religion where one spouse had converted to Islam, contradicted with provisions in the Federal Constitution.
“The clause can be revisited later, but let’s debate and pass the rest of the Bill.
“We have told Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman that the Bill must be debated in this parliamentary session and passed,” said Liow.
The Patriotic Palm Print Mural, launched by Federal Territories MCA chairman Datuk Yew Teong Look, aims to collect 60,000 prints by Malaysia Day this Sept 16.
“This would not have been possible without support from bodies such as residents’ organisations, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College and corporate sponsors who helped to spruce up the wall and paint it,” Yew said after the launch.
He added that the mural, measuring 0.6km in length and 5m in breadth, would be submitted to the Malaysia Book of Records as Malaysia’s longest wall art piece.
MCA Youth chief Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the wing would stick to the party’s decision that the Bill’s amendments should include Section 88A.
However, he added that the party understood that some further amendments were needed before the clause could be allowed to be included.
“Unilateral conversion to any religion will cause social issues,” he said. “Hence the best solution is to allow both the father and mother to decide, or let the child decide once he/she reachess 18 years old.”