Titi Tinggi state assemblyperson Khaw Hock Kong had explained to MCA that he did protest against amendments to the Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2006, albeit not in the way the party wanted.
According to China Press, which quoted sources, Khaw had explained to the MCA central committee yesterday that his protest was in the form of a walkout.
Apparently, Khaw had told the central committee that a walkout was a legitimate sign of protest and that opposition parties had done the same before.
The report claimed Khaw’s understanding of what a walkout represents could be attributed to his education in an English school.
This, according to the report, did not satisfy the central committee, who issued Khaw a “stern warning”.
On Dec 8, the Perlis state assembly passed the amendment which would allow a parent to convert a child to Islam, without permission from his or her other half.
There was only one dissenting vote, in the form of Indera Kayangan state assemblyperson Chan Ming Kai. Chan, from PKR, and Khaw are the only two non-Muslim state lawmakers in Perlis.
Khaw’s decision to not vote against the amendments infuriated party leaders, who claimed they have worked tirelessly at the national level to seek legislative changes to prevent unilateral conversion of a minor’s religion.
The Dewan Rakyat is set to pass an amendment to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 in March, with the aim of preventing abuse of present laws by some spouses to gain child custody by converting the child to Islam.
According to Sin Chew Daily, the central committee, after hearing Khaw’s explanation, were at odds on what to do with him.
Some committee members wanted him suspended while others proposed ways to prevent a similar situation in the future. Deliberations went on for an hour.- Mkini