Selangor MB: Sultan examining state’s unilateral conversion bid

Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said the issue was also being reviewed by state and federal leaders as the amendment involved a matter concerning the Federal Constitution. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said the issue was also being reviewed by state and federal leaders as the amendment involved a matter concerning the Federal Constitution. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah is studying the proposed amendment to allow the unilateral conversion of minors in the state, Selangor Mentri Besar (MB) Amirudin Shari said today.

According to the Malaysiakini news portal, the MB said the issue was also being reviewed by state and federal leaders as the amendment involved a matter concerning the Federal Constitution.

“At the moment, His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor is also reviewing the paper,” Amirudin was quoted as saying.

“I would have to refer to him (about the matter) after consultation with all parties and leaders in Selangor, as well as at the federal level.”

Amirudin previously confirmed he had wanted to table the amendment during the previous state assembly meeting but decided to leave the matter to Speaker Ng Suee Lim.

Ng did not introduce the amendment and ended the meeting after just two days despite nine days being scheduled, prompting speculation that this was to prevent its emergence.

The amendment to a state Islamic enactment on the religious conversion of minors seeks to alter the current requirement for both parents’ consent to that of either parent.

Previously in the case of M. Indira Gandhi, the Federal Court ruled that both parents’ consent were needed to convert a minor as stated in the Federal Constitution.

The state DAP has said its lawmakers would not back such an amendment as it would contravene the positions of both the Federal Court and Federal Constitution.

Unilateral conversions arose from the Bahasa Melayu translation of the Federal Constitution that interpreted the word “parent” as “ibu atau bapa” (mother or father) but the constitution contains guidance that singular forms also represented the plural and vice versa.

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