Gobind: Selangor DAP will not support unilateral conversion of minors

(The Star) – Selangor DAP will not support any Bill that will permit the unilateral conversion of minors, says its chairman Gobind Singh Deo (pic).

He said any attempt to introduce laws that permit such unilateral religious conversions in Selangor would be unconstitutional as it would be contrary to the Federal Constitution.

Gobind, who is also Communications and Multimedia Minister, said the Federal Court, in the case of M. Indira Gandhi, had “very clearly held that the word parent applicable in the Federal Constitution means both parents”.

In a landmark decision in 2018, the Federal Court unanimously declared that the unilateral conversion of kindergarten teacher Indira Gandhi’s three children was null and void.

“As such, the individual rights of both parents to decide on the religion of their children who are minors is now constitutionally guaranteed.

“It is trite that the Federal Constitution is supreme and overrides any provision of other laws which are inconsistent with it, ” Gobind said in a statement Thursday (Aug 8).

It was reported that Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari had planned to push through a state Bill to allow the unilateral conversion of minors.

Currently, the consent of both parents are needed in matters concerning the conversion of a minor child in Selangor but once the amendments are made, consent will be required from only one parent.

Gobind also reiterated Selangor DAP’s support for Selangor Speaker Ng Suee Lim for adjourning the last sitting of the state assembly.

The Puchong MP said Ng did not contravene any provisions under the rules applicable to his conduct of the business of the house.

“He has explained that he adjourned the house in accordance with the Standing Orders and that all agendas had been settled.

“As such, it was entirely in order for him to adjourn the house, as he did, ” he said.

Ng, who is also DAP’s Sekinchan assemblyman, is said to have abruptly convened the state assembly sitting to another date, which prevented the proposed amendment to the Syariah enactment from being tabled last week.

Speculation is rife that Ng would be removed as the Selangor Speaker after allegedly blocking Amirudin’s attempt to push through the controversial Bill.