Ramasamy: PAS’ politics of absurdity

Ramasamy: PAS’ politics of absurdity

PAS’ information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin issued a stern warning against anyone trying to change the religious status of single-mother Loh Siew Hong’s three underaged children.

He said that since the children converted into Islam based on their understanding and awareness as free human beings, the status quo must be maintained.

He further elaborated that the high court order that granted custody of the children to the Loh did not touch on the religious issues, it was mere recognition of the right of the mother to be united with her children.

For PAS to champion Islam is one thing but to be absurd on the matter of the religious conversion of her three children is another thing. It was not that adults were converted, but underaged children.

The conversion was done by the Perlis religious authorities with only with the consent of the father Nagahswaran Muniandy and not the mother, Loh. As PAS leaders like Khairil is fully aware, unilateral and illegal conversions of children are prohibited in the country.

Therefore, the conversion of Loh’s three children was illegal or unconstitutional. There are no two ways about it.Loh was happily reunited with her children until the Perlis religious authorities sought a court order by way of third party intervention to ensure that children status as Muslims will be maintained.

This is a frivolous and vexatious intervention, but I hope the court dismisses this application. Upon the intervention of the Perlis religious authorities, Loh had no choice but to seek judicial review of the conversion of her three children.

Among other things she seeking court order for her children to be registered as Hindus, the original religion. PAS leaders being in the government seem not have any respect for the law or court decisions. They seem oblivious to the constitutional decision on the illegality of unilateral or one-sided conversion.

It is alright to champion Islam but it is another thing to warn or threaten those who are challenging the illegal conversion of the three children. I would like to ask Khairil whether his stern warning is also applicable to the judiciary so as not to interfere on matters of religious conversion.

In other words, is he telling the court to reject the judicial review application of Loh to deny her the right to challenge the Perlis religious authorities on the unconstitutional conversion of her three children? PAS being a component of the government must respect the adjudication process of the judiciary.

There is no necessity to apply veiled threats against anyone including the courts not to interfere and change the religious status of the three children.

The application for the judicial review is yet to be heard by the court. It is not necessary on the part of PAS leaders to influence the decision making process.

This tantamounts to a serious contempt of the court. Given the decline in political popularity of PAS, there seems to be serious attempt to grab even a straw to gain political mileage. Such is the nature of the decadent and obscurantist politics of PAS.

P Ramasamy is the deputy chief minister II of Penang

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