5 states allow unilateral conversions

DAP’s Nga Kor Ming urges the AG Chambers to advise these states to amend their Islamic laws in line with the federal constitution. 

Leven Woon, FMT

Although the government has withdrawn the controversial Federal Territories Islamic Bill which would have allowed for unilateral conversion of minors to Islam, this specific provision is still effective in five other states, a DAP lawmaker pointed out today.

The five states which allow for unilateral conversions of minors are Perak, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak and Malacca, Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming told a press conference in the Parliament.

Laws on Islamic issues fall under the prerogative of the respective states. The FT Islamic Bill – Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 – however fell under the purview of the parliament as it involved federal territories.

Nga today urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers to advise the five state governments to amend their respective state enactments so that they would uniformly reflect the definition of “parent” as stipulated in the Federal Constitution.

Enactments in the five states were passed between 2001 and 2008. These state Islamic laws stated that a non-Muslim aged 18 and below can embrace Islam with the consent from one of his/her parent.

Nga noted Islamic enactments in Selangor, Terengganu, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Perlis and Johor however required consent from both the father and mother for a minor to be converted to Islam.

“How come there are two systems in one country?” he asked.