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Monday, August 7, 2017

PAS lauds withdrawal of unilateral conversion clause



PAS has lauded the withdrawal of a proposed amendment to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, which intended to put an end to the unilateral conversion of minors.
PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said any bill should be considered from a religious perspective before being brought to parliament.
“We welcome this postponement because (this issue) involves policies that are at odds with the National Fatwa Council.
“I think any act that is to be brought to parliament should take religious laws into account so there won't be any polemics after it is tabled, so we welcome this postponement,” he told a press conference in Ampang today.
Earlier today, de facto law minister Azalina Othman Said said the proposed Section 88A would be removed from the amendment bill.
The bill was first tabled in parliament last November for its first reading and was expected to reach debate stage this week.
Instead, the newly amended bill would be tabled for its first reading tomorrow.
“The amendments were made to avoid a conflict with any provision of the Federal Constitution and to fulfil the principle of stare decisis, in view of the Federal Court's interpretation of Article 4, Clause 12,” she said in a statement.

The proposed Section 88A states that a child would remain in his/her original religion even if one parent converts to Islam unless both parents consent to the conversion.
Several BN component parties such as MCA and MIC had welcomed Section 88A as a solution to the longstanding and often contentious problem where the conversion process is abused to win child custody battles through the Syariah court system, which sometimes resulted in conflicting custody orders from the Syariah and civil court systems.
However, some Muslim groups had objected to the provision claiming that it would be unfair to Muslims. - Mkini

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