Waythamoorthy to broker Najib meeting with religious leaders on conversions

  • Putrajaya submits early report on flight MH370, but won’t publicise it, says CNN
    Putrajaya submits early report on flight MH370, but won’t publicise it, says CNN

    Putrajaya has sent its preliminary report on the disappearance of flight MH370, but has yet to release it publicly, CNN reported today, despite insisting that it has nothing to hide. “It just adds fuel to the fire – which is like a furnace now – of disbelief, particularly in China, as to what is going on,” Geoffrey Thomas, managing director of... …

  • It’s Obama’s right to see Anwar or not, says Dr Mahathir – Bernama
    It’s Obama’s right to see Anwar or not, says Dr Mahathir – Bernama

    Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was up to the president of the United States whether to see opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or not. "It is his (Obama) right, up to him who he wants to see, he does not even want to see me, a former prime minister," Dr Mahathir (pic) told reporters in Putrajaya today. He was... …

  • Karpal’s Bukit Gelugor seat will stay DAP’s, analysts say
    Karpal’s Bukit Gelugor seat will stay DAP’s, analysts say

    GEORGE TOWN, April 24 — Analysts believe that Barisan Nasional (BN) does not stand a fighting chance in Bukit Gelugor, and even said it may not be worth the ruling pact’s time to contest the seat... …

  • Tuhan Harun case postponed again to July 22 – Bernama
    Tuhan Harun case postponed again to July 22 – Bernama

    The Lower Shariah Court today postponed again the case of leader of the “Tuhan Harun” deviant sect, Harun Mat Saat, to July 22. Judge Abdul Wahid Mohd Ali set the date after hearing the application from Pahang Islamic Religious Department deputy prosecutor Mohd Fahmi Abd Jalil that he needed more time to examine the legal representation... …

  • What if flight MH370 is never found?
    What if flight MH370 is never found?

    Despite assurances from Malaysia and Australia that the search will continue for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the lack of significant leads after almost seven weeks are leading many to ask: What if the jetliner that disappeared over the southern Indian Ocean is never found? At the start of the massive international search effort, such a... …

  • New law to give Sarawak natives freedom in purchasing customary rights land
    New law to give Sarawak natives freedom in purchasing customary rights land

    Bumiputera from Sarawak could eventually buy Native Customary Rights (NCR) land outside their ethnic group or community when the state amends its Land Code in November. Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem (pic, right), in disclosing the government's intention to table the amendment at its Budget sitting, said with the amendment the Iban, for... …

By Yiswaree Palansamy

Religious leaders want the Federal Constitution changed on the controversial issue of conversions, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's department, P. Waythamoorthy. He promised to organise a meeting with these leaders and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak soon to discuss this issue.

"This is crucial to ensure harmony among the various races in the country," he said.

So far, Article 12 (4) says the religion of a person under 18 years old shall be decided by his parent or guardian. But this has led to challenges. 

For example, a Hindu mother and her estranged Muslim-convert husband are in a tug of war over the religion of their children because their two young children were converted to Islam by the father. He allegedly did this in April without telling his wife, S. Deepa from Negeri Sembilan.

Waythamoorthy, who has legal training, said religious leaders want the words in the constitution changed from “parent” to “parents” to clear the ambiguity involved over only one parent can change the children’s religion at will.

He told The Malaysian Insider that he will propose provisions to address the social and moral responsibility of the converting non-Muslim party towards his/her spouse prior to conversion in the Law Reform of the Marriage and Divorce Act 1976.

He said this after a closed-door meeting religious leaders to discuss the rising anxiety of non-Muslims on the issue of conversion of children by one parent against the other parent’s wishes or knowledge. He did not say who these leaders were, other than a Sikh leader Jagir Singh.

The meeting was for feedback from these leaders to seek a permanent solution to the issue and to address the case of S. Deepa as well.

"I am very concerned with the ongoing trend and the dissatisfaction of the community with the recent episode," Waytha Moorthy said.

The former activist who shot to fame for championing the rights of the Indian community through the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) said that lawmakers need to assert their political will to address such issues calmly.

Despite a cabinet directive issued by then Law Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, that children of estranged couples are to remain in the religion of their parents at the point of their marriage, unilateral religious conversions still remain an issue, with lawmakers calling for proper governance over the matter. - June 22, 2013.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …