PUTRAJAYA, May 14 — Relief was apparent on the face of Hindu mother Loh Siew Hong today when Malaysia’s highest court affirmed as unconstitutional the unilateral conversion of her three children to Islam by their father.

She was effusive in her gratitude to the Federal Court judges and the lawyers who took up her case that began four years ago, when her estranged husband who was born and grew up Hindu but later became Muslim, converted their children to his new religion without her knowledge or permission.

“I do not want MAIPs to disturb me, leave me alone. Enough, enough,” she told reporters at the Palace of Justice here after a panel of three Federal Court judges chaired by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat unanimously ruled in her favour.

The other two judges were Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.


Loh was represented by A. Srimurugan and Shamsher Singh Thind.

“I am very happy and I really do not want MAIPs to again and again disturb me,” she added, referring to the officials from the Perlis Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council by its Malay abbreviation.

MAIPs and the Perlis government had filed a leave application to challenge a previous ruling by the Court of Appeal that first ruled that the unilateral conversion to Islam of Loh’s three children as against the Federal Constitution.


The Federal Court refused to grant leave or permission to MAIPs and the Perlis government to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision, citing the landmark case of M. Indira Gandhi, another Hindu mother whose three children were unilaterally converted to Islam by their father as setting the precedent.

In January, the Court of Appeal granted all nine orders that Loh asked for in her legal challenge against her children’s unilateral conversion to Islam, including declaring the three children are adherents of Hinduism.

The other court orders which Loh won include an order to quash the July 7, 2020 certificates of conversion to Islam which were issued to the three children; an order to compel the Perlis Registrar of Mualaf to remove the three children’s names from the Perlis registry of Muslim converts; and a declaration that Section 117(b) of a Perlis state law (which allows children to be converted without both parents’ consent) is unconstitutional and invalid.

Subsequently, the four respondents — the Perlis registrar of Muslim converts, MAIPs, the Perlis mufti and the Perlis government — filed an appeal on the appellate court’s decision on February 8.