The law doesn’t need fixing, dummy! The problem lies with some legal minds in high places

I was in the Court of Appeal yesterday to hold a watching brief for 5 women NGOs in the Shamala appeal.

Malaysiakini has a report of the proceedings yesterday where, by consent of all parties concerned, the Court of Appeal referred 5 questions of constitutional importance to the Federal Court.

Shamala’s case is not dissimilar with the more recent case of kindergarten teacher, M Indira Gandhi, whose ‘convert to Islam’  husband K Patmanathan converted their three children, the youngest being a one-year-old girl, without her knowledge.

Malaysiakini also reported last week that the government has now moved to ban secret conversions of minor children by one spouse whilst the other remains completely in the dark.

Whether the government has the moral conviction to carry this ban through remains to be seen.

What really left me flabbergasted was the report in the second Malaysiakini report mentioned above that Nazri had said that the “attorney-general will review the civil laws that needed to be amended, but that any change to Islamic law would have to be discussed with the sultans of Malaysia’s states, who are the guardians of the religion”.

So typical to turn attention away from the real problem!

If Nazri would take the trouble to look up the civil laws presently in place, he’d see that there’s nothing in those laws that need fixing.

That’s provided Nazri’s sincerely looking to resolve the problem of unilateral conversions of minor children by a ‘convert to Islam’ spouse.