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Sunday, June 30, 2013

New conversion law: Cabinet urged to wait


Cabinet has been urged to withdraw Section 107 (b) of the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 to give time for Malaysians to achieve national consensus on laws governing the conversion of minor children.

In a press release today, DAP Parliamentary whip Lim Kit Siang said the proposed amendments to Section 107, which seeks to allow a single parent to convert his or her child to Islam, was unconstitutional.

"It will be a national disaster if the 13th Parliament starts off with a provision which splits the country down the middle, raising fundamental  questions not only about the integrity of the Constitution but the maturity of the nation’s leaders to unite rather than to divide the diverse races, religions and cultures that make up Malaysia," he said.

The Bill was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat last week and is expected to be debated in the coming weeks.

However, BN components United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), MCA and MIC has objected to Section 107 (b), pointing out that it was not in line with a 2009 cabinet decision.

MCA took things a step further by ordering its seven MPs to vote against the proposed amendments in the Dewan Rakyat.

In view of this, Lim said that cabinet should withdraw the Section 107 (b) from the Bill, in order for proper discussions to take place, in the interest of promoting family integrity, freedom of religion and national harmony.

"Pakatan Rakyat MPs are discussing the provision to seek a consensus on the matter," he added.

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