Respect Federal Court ruling, Ramasamy tells Idris after ‘interpretation’ remark

Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy has called on religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad to respect the law after Idris said yesterday the Federal Court ruling requiring consent from both parents in converting a minor to Islam was only an “interpretation” of the Federal Constitution.

(FMT) – Stating that it was “beyond belief” that Idris would describe the apex court ruling as mere “interpretation”, Ramasamy called on the minister “not to skirt around the implications of conflict between federal and state laws”.

“His statement calling the Federal Court ruling an ‘interpretation’ is an affront to the constitution of the country,” Ramasamy said on Facebook today.

“It is beyond imagination that a federal minister would stoop so low to demean and question a constitutional ruling on the matter of religious conversion of minors.

“By calling the landmark Federal Court ruling a mere ‘interpretation’, Idris has questioned and ridiculed the highest law of the land – the Federal Constitution.“

He said Idris should, in keeping with his federal functions, be fully cognisant of both the state and federal laws, especially when there was a conflict.

Idris had made his remark in the Dewan Rakyat while responding to a question by R Sivarasa’s (PH-Sungai Buloh) on what the government was doing to standardise shariah laws in the states with regard to unilateral conversions, based on the Federal Court ruling.

In the case of M Indira Gandhi vs Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak & Ors in 2018, the Federal Court had interpreted Article 12(4) to mean that the consent of both parents was needed for the conversion of minors.