S’gor DAP: No support for bills permitting minors’ unilateral conversions

S’gor DAP: No support for bills permitting minors’ unilateral conversions

PUCHONG: Selangor DAP has stated that it will not support any bills in the Selangor state legislative assembly that would allow unilateral religious conversions of minors by either one of their parents.

“Any attempt to introduce laws which permit such unilateral religious conversions in Selangor will be unconstitutional as it would be contrary to the Federal Constitution,” said the party’s state chairman, Gobind Singh Deo in a statement.

“The Federal Court has in the case of M. Indira Gandhi very clearly held that the word parent applicable in the Federal Constitution means both parents.

“As such, the individual right of both parents to decide on the religion of their children who are minors is now constitutionally guaranteed. 

“It is trite that the Federal Constitution is supreme and overrides any provision of other laws which are inconsistent with it.” 

The party made its stand in the wake of a bill on Islamic affairs that was supposed to be tabled by Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari during the recent state assembly sitting.

The bill included provisions that enabled unilateral conversions of minors to Islam which was proposed by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) with the approval of Selangor Ruler.

However, it was rumoured that Selangor Speaker Ng Suee Lim’s decision to shorten the session prevented the bill from being tabled altogether.

Amirudin initially approached his state excos to gain support for the bill but failed. He is reported to have approached opposition lawmakers to gain support over the matter.

Ng’s decision to cut short the session meanwhile resulted in talks that there is also attempt to remove him from being the speaker.

Gobind who is also Communication and Multimedia Minister said that the state chapter is fully supportive of Ng for adjourning the sitting of the state assembly.

“The Speaker did not contravene any provisions under the rules applicable to his conduct of the business of the house.

“He has explained that he adjourned the house in accordance with the Standing Orders and that all agendas had been settled.

“As such, it was entirely in order for him to adjourn the house, as he did,” said Gobind who is also DAP’s national deputy chairman.