Thursday May 1, 2008
Ong: Allow converts to leave Islam when marriage ends
PEOPLE who become Muslims through marriage should be allowed to renounce Islam if the marriage ends.
In the case of one parent embracing Islam, the religion of the child who is a minor must be decided by both parents or remain status quo until the child reaches the age of 18.
Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (BN-Kulai) said the last three years witnessed an unprecedented number of religious matters involving constitutional rights of non-Muslims.
Such cases involved divorce, custody of children and inheritance.
Ong said earlier this month, there were statements there would be proposed legal amendments that would affect Muslims and non-Muslims .
“Non-Muslims are not to be subjected to any form of Syariah laws and for any disputes or overlapping areas involving the jurisdiction of civil and Syariah courts, civil laws must prevail.
“We urge the Government to be transparent in this process,” he said.
Ong also said the pending M. Rukumony court case revealed an inheritance tussle for recipients who were named as beneficiaries before the benefactor embraced Islam.
“In the event that the convert dies, the property comprising the estate of the deceased prior to the date of conversion should be subject to civil laws of inheritance and succession for the time in force,” he said.
On mission schools, Ong said they had made immense contributions to education in Malaysia since the 19th century.
“They are like other national and vernacular schools and are excellent models for integration,” he said, adding that 53 of the 226 missions schools in are over 100 years old and need financial aid.