KOTA KINABALU: A rubber tapper is insisting that his 16-year-old daughter, who was converted to Islam by a school warden without his knowledge and consent, is still a Christian.
Jilius Yapoo said he would not give his consent for the conversion of his daughter and wanted her to continue in her Christian faith.
He said if she decided to embrace Islam after she was 18, he would not object but till then, she should continue being a Christian like the rest of her family members.
“I am a bit relieved that I got to speak to my daughter for awhile but am still disappointed and sad over this incident,” said the 46-year-old father of eight.
“I don’t know what is on her mind right now. She is leaving the hostel tomorrow (Tuesday) and coming home. Then I can talk to her,” said the Kadazandusun father from Kg Kaiduan in Kinarut, about 25km from here.
Yapoo was talking to the press after a closed-door meeting with the SK Kinarut principal, a police officer, state Education Department official and a pastor from his church at the school premises yesterday.
His daughter was also present.
Yapoo is making immediate arrangements to take the daughter and his three other children out of the school as he is concerned over what is happening.
“I am told that such a conversion is illegal under the civil law but valid under syariah law,” he said, adding that the school’s warden who helped in the conversion did not attend the meeting. (It is not clear if he or she was still with the school.)
He also regretted that the school’s administrators had indicated they did not want to get involved further in the matter on grounds that it was a family matter.
Yapoo lodged a police report on Wednesday after his daughter, who was wearing a tudung, told him that she had converted to Islam when she came home for the break late last month.
State Education Department director Datuk Jame Alip said yesterday that the school had been asked to look into the matter but declined to comment further.
State assistant minister to Chief Minister Department Datuk Arifin Mohd Ariff, who oversees Islamic matters, said Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah had yet to reply as the agency was waiting for the police investigations to be completed.