Azalina dares Pakatan to ban unilateral child conversions

Azalina challenged the government today to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Azalina challenged the government today to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said challenged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government today to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 to prohibit unilateral conversions of children to Islam.

News portal The Malaysian Insight reported that the former de facto law minister pointed out that DAP lawmakers like Gobind Singh Deo and M. Kulasegaran, when they were in the Opposition, had questioned the Barisan Nasional (BN) government for withdrawing Section 88A from the 2016 Bill that stated the agreement of “both parties” in a civil marriage is required before a minor is allowed to convert to Islam.

“I would like to say to (Pakatan Harapan MPs), now that you are in power, make the amendments regarding the clause. 

“I think it is time for the government to be committed. I believe this will resolve many misunderstandings,” Azalina was quoted as saying in the Dewan Rakyat during debates.

Amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act were passed in August last year without Section 88A, such as allowing a new Muslim in a civil marriage to file for divorce after the religious conversion and enabling the surviving spouse, children and parents of a Muslim convert who dies before the divorce goes through to claim matrimonial assets.

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