Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Religion Conversion Row - PAS, MCA, DAP

When the cases of conversion arise, we all read blogs and the alternative media which slammed the Barisan Nasional Government.

We need not go far. Even our mainstream media (MSM) reported that and of course, the Government was at the receiving end of the grunt of the people.

The often labelled "controlled MSM" is after all, liberal and have been wrongly accused.

1. Indira turns to public to help find missing child and hubby
2. Conversion row: Hindu Sangam turns to new Cabinet
3. Malaysian Chinese in agony over Muslim conversion row

Some politicians commented that forced conversion is not appropriate. The veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang wrote in his blog (when the Indira Gandhi's case first surfaced) that

"Forced conversions of children is a most unhealthy phenomenon which should not be continued if Najib is serious about another motto of his overarching philosophy, 1Malaysia!"

There was a Committee formed to analyse this matter and the Cabinet came up with a decision.

Subsequently, 1Malaysia made a bold move and decided that

  1. it will ban parents from secretly converting children.
  2. the religion in which the children should be brought up must be in accordance to the common religion at the time of marriage

Please take note that this is a Cabinet decision and it is neither a rule of law or a legislative Act (yet).

For it to be enacted as a regulation, the Cabinet will have to draft out a Bill to be presented in Parliament and subsequently await the approval of the Yang Berhormats.

Having said these, Karpal Singh offered a taste of the Cabinet decision and said that it is an Executive Act but unsure if it could override the Federal Court.

Minister in the PM's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz was also quoted as saying "amendments are expected to be made to the law to prevent conflicts from surfacing when one spouse converts".

Not everything went easy with the Opposition camp though. Rationally, the criticisms came from the PAS leaders.

Mahfuz Omar's statement was at the centre of a spat between PAS and MCA, who defended the liberties and rights of innocent children in terms of religion.

  1. MCA to DAP & PKR: Why is Pakatan Rakyat silent at PAS’s vehement opposition against the Cabinet directive on conversion?

  2. MCA Dep Sec Gen: Mahfuz’s remarks show PAS represses the rights of non-Muslims

  3. Wanita MCA condemns statement by YB Mahfuz Omar, PAS Info chief criticising Cabinet decision on minor children’s religion should one spouse convert
A simple check on comments from non PAS leaders in Pakatan Rakyat yields two results (at this moment).

  1. Karpal raps PAS’ reaction to Cabinet decision

  2. Invalid Islamic conversion of Indira’s three children - MCA/Gerakan should stop politics of opportunism/hypocrisy

Seems to me that the Lion of Jelutong continue to roar everyday in Malaysian politics, although many shining leaders have become voiceless once they were under the Pakatan Rakyat leadership of Anwar Ibrahim.

YB Lim Kit Siang did not bother criticising his coalition partner, PAS, when their leaders raised objections to the Government's decision.

Instead, YB Lim accused Perak BN Government that they disobey the Executive decision of the BN Federal Government in the conversion row.

To quote

"This was the decision of the Cabinet, supported by MCA and Cabinet Ministers. However, this decision is not supported by the usurper Perak Barisan Nasional state government, which includes an MCA Exco member and Gerakan appointed adviser who is none other than the Gerakan Deputy Chairman Datuk Chang Ko Yuen."

As far as my readings are concerned over the past week (have been busy), I didn't see any Statements from YAB Menteri Besar Perak Datuk Seri Dr Zambry, YB Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon (Perak EXCO) or Datuk Chang Ko Youn that voiced objections to the Cabinet's decision.

Perhaps, my readers can show me the link or Statement?

Otherwise, this accusation from YB Lim Kit Siang is indeed serious and should be critically reviewed by the Presidential Council of the MCA, Gerakan and the legal advisors of Datuk Seri Dr Zambry.

(Credits to NST, MStar, Malaysiakini, LKS Blog, and TheStar for the photos)

1 comment:

Jimmy Tham said...

Even when I'm running my financial models I'm supposed to have a sample large enough just to be sure I did not reject the right null hypothesis. I'm just trying to say by using an example of this conversion case and justify the MSM as liberal is a bit.... weak. It's not entirely the fault of MSM when political parties are the main controlling shareholders of their respective organization. Same goes to Harakah where you could probably find more stories on the might of PAS and not a single story that praises BN or UMNO. Lol. In that sense MSM are probably a little bit better than Harakah.

In the past I've seen commentators who claimed on9 news portal as being biased but remarkably mkini did publish the stories on the hypocrisy of the Lim faher-son tag team in this issue.

Just like my past comments in equating Tun M to other yester year leaders, I forgot to put Lim senior's name alongside and probably Karpal too.

Remember how Abdullah came up with heavenly and idealistic promises when he just came to power? Anyone see the similarity here? But of course I'm hoping one day probably few months or years down the road fellow commentators could make me eat my "words" and take it back ^^ I hope I'm wrong too for the greater good of Malaysia.