Friday, July 12, 2013

State to adopt new federal law on conversion of minors — Daud

by Peter Sibon, Posted on July 12, 2013, Friday

KUCHING: Sarawak will adopt the new federal law on the conversion of minors (those below the age of 18) to Islam once it is passed in Parliament, said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman.

“But so far in Sarawak there has been no problem regarding the conversion of minors to Islam. However, to pre-empt the issue in future we have to prepare ourselves well, we need the assistance of law experts on the matter,” Daud told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

He was commenting on the call by Democratic Action Party (DAP) Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming that the state governments of Negri Sembilan, Perak, Kedah, Malacca and Sarawak amend their state constitutions on conversion laws to prevent unilateral conversion.

Nga had told a press conference at the Parliament lobby yesterday that the conversion laws of the five states were inconsistent with those of six other states, which make it a must for the consent of both parents to be obtained in order to convert a minor into Islam.

He said the Attorney-General’s Chambers should advise the state governments to amend their constitutions so that they are in line with the federal constitution.

Meanwhile, prominent lawyer Baru Bian who is also Ba Kelalan assemblyman said he agreed with Nga that all states in the country take the cue from the recent decision by the federal government to seriously consider having a uniform law pertaining to the conversion of minors.

He said the state’s status apparently was provided under Section 69 of the Majlis Islam Sarawak Ordinance 2001 allowing consent by only one parent to convert to Islam.

“I hope the state attorney general will advise the state government to amend this section accordingly,” said Baru, who is also the state PKR chairman.

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