Unilateral conversions of minors allowed: Jamil Khir
11:12AM Jun 18, 2014
The federal government maintains that the unilateral religious conversion of a child by either one parent is allowed by the Federal Constitution and thus does not plan to amend any laws in the near future to change the situation.
In a written parliamentary answer today to M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom said consent from either one parent is enough for such a conversion according to Article 12 (4) of the Federal Constitution.
"According to the federal constitution, the religion of a child under 18 years old can be decided by either one parent alone," he said.
The minister’s stance today clashes with a 2009 cabinet decision banning unilateral conversion of minors by just one parent.
Former de facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz (right) had then said the relevant laws would be amended while a national committee formed on the matter directed that “all children of a converted parent shall be raised in the same faith prior to the parent’s conversion”.
However, the relevant laws have not been amended till today.