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Friday, May 30, 2014

Islamic NGOs need permission to enter Sarawak

Longhouse folk wishing to renounce Islam have been advised to go through the proper procedures at Sarawak Islamic Department office.
Daud Abdul RahmanKUCHING: Islamic non-governmental organisations (NGOs) outside Sarawak have been told to inform the Islamic Development Department (Jais) of their intention before heading to any area in the state.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Daud Abdul Rahman said the instruction was in view of the recent case of 30 people converting to Islam.
A number of these Muslim converts from Rumah Along Anak Asong, Ng Majau, Sg Mujong and Kapit had decided to revert to Christianity after making the rash decision to convert to Islam overnight.
Jais had conducted an investigation and found that the 30 individuals had been converted with full consent on Dec 29 last year.
“Jais officers went into the longhouse upon the request of ustaz Mohd Chanthazman Abdullah’s brother, who is from Rumah Along Anak Asong, to convert his wife and children to Islam.
“A total of 27 other individuals had also expressed their intention to be converted during the event. The process was witnessed by Chanthazman as well as five religious officers from Jais and Jakim,” said Daud.
There were subsequent visits on Feb 22 and Feb 24 to deepen the religious knowledge of those who had been converted.
“We regret if any there is confusion in the conversion of individuals in the longhouse. It was done in accordance with the law based on documents from the affected residents and without any element of force and conducted on their own free will,” said Daud.
He said the issue came about due to the “family affairs” of Chathazman who wanted to help his brother but had stirred confusion among the longhouse folks.
Daud had advised those wishing to renounce Islam to go to the Sarawak Islamic Department office in Kapit and go through the proper process to get their procedure done.
Rumah Along has 18 bilik and houses 150 people.

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