KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — The state government of Perlis, the Perlis Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MAIPs) and two others today objected to the application for leave for judicial review by single mother, Loh Siew Hong, to challenge her ex-husband’s action in registering their three children as Muslim converts without her consent.
The woman’s lawyer A Srimurugan said that the four respondents submitted their objection on the ground that Loh had filed the application for leave for judicial review after the allotted period of time.
“The respondents objected on the ground that she should have filed the application within 90 days after her children converted to Islam on July 7, 2020.
“We have also included relief to get an extension of time if it was too late to file the application, but it was also objected by the respondents,” he said when contacted after the online hearing of the application before High Court Judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh today.
Srimurugan said there was no delay in the application as Loh only found out that her children had converted to Islam on March 10 and the application was filed on March 25 with the Perlis State Registrar of Converts, Perlis Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council, Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and the Perlis state government named as the first to the fourth respondent.
The lawyer said the court set August 1 for the decision on the application.
The single mother is seeking a declaration that her three children are Hindus and her ex-husband, M Nagahswaran, did not have the legal capacity to allow the Perlis State Registrar of Converts to register their children as converts without her consent.
The woman is also seeking a declaration that her three children, as children, do not have the legal capacity to convert to Islam without her consent.
She also sought a certiorari order to revoke the Declaration of Conversion to Islam, dated July 7, 2020, issued by the Registrar of Converts of Perlis in the name of her three children, and also other cards on their conversion to Islam that have been issued by other parties, and also prevent any party from issuing such a card.
Loh is also applying for a mandamus order to compel the Perlis State Registrar of Converts to delete or cancel the names of her three children or their Muslim names in the Perlis State Register of Converts and a prohibition order to prevent Mohd Asri, through officers, employees or the Perlis State Mufti Department from issuing statements that could mean that her children are converts or Muslims.
She is also seeking a declaration that Section 117 (b) of the Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2006, which empowers the Registrar of Converts of Perlis to register a child as a convert only with the consent of the mother or father of the child, even if both of them are still alive, is unconstitutional and is invalid.
The three children, who were then under the care of the Social Welfare Department, were released to Loh last February 21 after the High Court allowed her habeas corpus application. — Bernama