MB: Unilateral conversion changes will be studied

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019

Press briefing: Amirudin speaking to reporters at the Hari Raya Aidildha event at his official residence yesterday. — Bernama

SHAH ALAM: The proposed amendments to the Syariah enactment on unilateral conversion will be scrutinised within the context of the Federal Constitution as well as the intention behind it (the amendment), said Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari.

The state’s inability to table it recently at the state assembly now allows the state government “the time and space to discuss the matter thoroughly”.

“Once our discussions are over, we will initiate the next step, ’’ Amirudin told journalists at a Hari Raya Aidildha event at his official residence yesterday.

The mentri besar also disclosed that Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was relooking the proposed amendment.

In the meantime, Amirudin said he would also hold discussions with relevant parties and leaders at state and federal levels on the proposed enactment.

“I will then refer the matter to His Royal Highness the Sultan, ’’ he added.

To a question if Sultan Sharafuddin had decided to relook the proposed amendments after an audience with the state’s non-Muslim executive councillors last week, Amirudin said: “No, not necessarily. The Sultan always looks at every aspect and listens to everyone’s opinion.”

The amendment that will pave the way for unilateral conversion of minor children had ruffled some feathers when it was almost tabled at the state legislative assembly sitting.

Four non-Muslim state executive councillors – Datuk Teng Chang Khim, Ng Tze Han and V. Ganabathirao from DAP and Hee Loy Sian from PKR – had sought an audience and met with Sultan Sharafuddin last week.

Amirudin said he would meet the four executive councillors to find out what had transpired at their meeting wtih the Ruler.

He reiterated that the proposed amendments would be thoroughly examined and discussed as it involved provisions in the Federal Constitution.

To a question as to why the proposal to amend the enactment did not arise during the tenure of the previous mentris besar, Amirudin said there were several considerations regarding the matter in the past.

“We are looking at it because it was planned and arranged by the religious authority.

“So, we will discuss the matter. Currently everyone is waiting and once a decision has been achieved, only then will we think about subsequent measures, ’’ he added.

The amendments were proposed by the Selangor Islamic Council and were almost tabled at the state legislative sitting earlier this month but halted after the session was postponed before the Bill was called up.

Selangor DAP chairman Gobind Singh Deo had issued a strongly worded statement against the proposed amendment.

The MCA has also been vocal against the proposed change in the state’s Syariah law which will require only one parent’s consent before a minor child is converted.

Currently, Selangor, Sabah and Penang are the only states in Malaysia that require the consent of both parents.

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