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10 APRIL 2024

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cradle snatching?

MM Online - Appellate court upholds unilateral conversion of Hindu mum’s kids, defers to Shariah courts

I needn't narrate to you the judicial outcome of the case as no doubt most of you would have already read about it, save to say the decision of the Appellate Court was NOT unanimous, with the ruling borne on a 2 to 1 decision.

The dissenting judge was, as reported by MM Online, Hamid Sultan [who] said that the matter was not the jurisdiction of any court, but a mistake that is legally void and made on the part of the religious authority concerned.

He said that for a non-Muslim child to utter the “khalimah syahaadah” or Muslim declaration of faith, the minor must apply to the state religious department accompanied by a parent’s consent, which he said did not happen in the case of Indira’s three children.

“So what are the requirements? It is very simple... a person who is an adult must have an application and take the oath, khalimah syahaadah, and if it’s a child, the child must make the application and the father must consent.

‘In this particular case, the father made the application and there is no provision for father to make the application, and khalimah syahaadah was never taken by these children,” he said.

Hamid Sultan said the certificates of conversion issued were therefore null and void, and did not need deciding by either the civil or Shariah courts.

What f* me kau kau was the ruling by the majority on the Appellate court that the civil courts have no jurisdiction over the Islamic matter, which it said was solely the purview of the Shariah courts, when it was blatantly clear those converted were not only non-Muslims minors (Hindus) but were proselytized by a father without their knowledge of what was involved nor their consent given (even assuming minors could give consent, which we know would be totally bull as in statutory rape cases).

Mind, one f* arsehole got away with statutory rape when he bonked a 13 year old girl because the court suggested the sex act was consensual - we'll come to that soon.

Everyone knows there's bad blood between the husband Padmanathan and wife Indira Gandhi, both being non-Muslims at time of separation, and each wants custody of the children. Thus this should be a clear case for the civil courts.

Almost 10 years ago, during a law forum on Constitutional Article 121(1)(A), Abu Talib Othman, the chairman of SUHAKAM and former Attorney-General, in fact the very man who had drafted the contentious Article 121(1)(A) in 1988 for then-PM Dr Mahathir, blamed the timidity of the civil courts in interpreting the constitutional rights of the syariah courts in the Moorthy case, for lacking the balls (kt's words, wakakaka) to interpret the provisions according to the intentions of the proponents (BTW, that’s the Mahathir government with Abu Talib as drafter).

Abu Talib accused the civil court judges of worrying about their promotional prospects as the possible reason for lacking the courage. He said: “The courts have failed to do so (interpret boldly) for the slightest unreasonable reasons in many cases where Islam is merely seen on the surface.”

In other words, what he was saying is that the moment those civil court judges detected the faintest whiff of any Islamic element, even though the Islamic connection wasn't the core issue, they would freeze into gutless abdication of their judicial responsibility. 

When human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz told him about judges who admitted to being Muslims first rather than civil court judges, Abu Talib advised him to report the matter and if there was evidence, those judges should be removed.

Abu Talib said: “They are unfit to be judges, then. Judges should remember their constitutional oath to protect and uphold the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land.”

But Imtiaz said that the Moorthy’s case was not unique as such cases have become almost a daily occurrence (and don't we just know that) but which the media had not reported. Imtiaz said what Abu Talib himself said, that judges of civil courts are currently avoiding or rejecting cases whenever there is anything vaguely Islamic in those cases.

Abu Talib said: “The problem here is caused by the court, not by the legislature. Judges are not complying with the constitutional oath they had taken. The courts today are taking the easy way out, either due to incompetence or under threat. Today, our courts are merely courts of statistics not interested in dispensing justice. With sentiments running so high, similar developments could lead to riots.”

OK, this then takes me back to the case in 1986 when a Malay school teacher "eloped" with (or kidnapped) his underaged Chinese student, Susie Teoh. Her father discovered she was missing from home and learnt of her conversion to Islam.

From the Aliran Monthly 2004, we read:

Susie Teoh was 17 years and 8 months when she became Muslim. Her father Teoh Eng Huat, a Buddhist, could not locate her and he took the Jabatan Agama in Kelantan to court. He applied for a declaration that, as father and guardian to the infant, he had a right to decide her religion, education and upbringing and that her conversion to Islam was invalid. The case was covered by the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1961, a federal law of general application, Art. 11 (1) (freedom of religion), and Art. 12 (3), (4) (right to education) of the Federal Constitution. 

The High Court ruled that the father's right to decide the religion and upbringing of the infant (under 18) is allowed "subject to the condition that it does not conflict with the principles of the infant's choice of religion guaranteed to her under the Federal Constitution." In other words, the infant has a right to choose her own religion if she does it on her own free will.

With respect to the last line above, what a lot of crock as we will see shortly when we visit the judgement of the Supreme Court.

It's almost akin to saying having sex with a minor is statutory rape UNLESS the sexual act was consensual, i.e. she does it on her own free will, or in the pseudo-immortal words of our Appeal Court in 2012, sex without force, cohesion or violence.

Yes, it had happened here in our Boleh Land, that is, having sex minus force, cohesion or violence with an underage girl of 13 and then escaping imprisonment for statutory rape, for a lucky f* someone who was said to have a "bright future", but not for f* him who presumably hadn't been deemed to have a "bright future". However, BOTH are f* maggots!

What more, in the Susie Teoh case, the High Court's rule about"... subject to the condition that it does not conflict with the principles of the infant's choice of religion guaranteed to her under the Federal Constitution" was quite amazing considering the minor, Susie Teoh herself, was not even in court to testify if she had voluntarily become Muslim. So then how lah?

Continuing with the Aliran Report which saw the father taking the case to the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court overruled the decision of the High Court and held that "in all the circumstances and in the wider interests of the nation no infant shall have the automatic right to receive instruction relating to any other religion other than (her) own without the permission of the parent or guardian".

Shouldn't this obvious point be f* clear in the first place? But wait, then didn't we have the bullshit about the bloke who was allowed to statutorily rape an underage 13-year old and escape unscathed because he has a "bright future" when even we laypeople know what the term statutory rape means?

Continuing with the Aliran Report - The Supreme Court, however, did not proceed with the declarations sought by Teoh Eng Huat as these were "only of academic interest" as Susie Teoh had reached the age of majority by the time the case was heard in the Supreme Court in 1990. 

F* kowtim gnam gnam.

But a legal commentary said of the Supreme Court ruling, that the judgment remains fundamental in seeking a balance approach between a child’s right and parental authority and to provide basis for further argument should the same problem arise, in other words, forming a legal precedent ... 

Did the mother Indira Gandhi agree to the Islamic conversion of her non-Muslim children?

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