PETALING JAYA: Muslim groups have welcomed the government’s decision not to include Clause 88A in the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (LRA).
Malaysian Syariah Lawyers Association president Musa Awang said this was because the courts had the freedom to decide on the provisions of the law.
He said that although there were five instances when the courts ruled against unilateral conversions in 2018, the decisions could change in the future based on the individual cases.
“We should give time to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to study the matter and suggest other clauses if needed. But the need to insert this clause is not a pressing matter,” Musa said.
He said there was no issue regarding the matter as the previous government had withdrawn the clause from the LRA in 2017.
Wanita Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia vice-president Dr Norsaleha Mohd Salleh said the group did not agree with Clause 88A as a father or mother who embraced Islam would lose their right to convert any of their children aged under 18.
“This is also in line with a Selangor fatwa that states that the religion of a child under 18 follows the religion of the father or mother who is Muslim,” she said.
Norsaleha said the decision made by the government not to include Clause 88A was good for the future of Muslims as it was in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, which states that Islam is the religion of the federation.
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