Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Govt aware of concerns over issue of conversion of minors to Islam

THE government will take into consideration all views and make a fair decision on calls to consider withdrawing a proposal to allow the conversion of minors to Islam by just getting one parent's approval.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin said the government was fully aware of the concerns raised over the proposed amendment to Section 107(b) of the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which had been tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

"The cabinet has discussed this matter in detail. We understand the need for a fair decision," Muhyiddin said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

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Muhyiddin said the government was studying the matter and Minister in Prime Minister's Department in charge of religious matters, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, would announce the decision soon.

"We will take into consideration all feedback, including from Barisan Nasional component parties MCA and MIC and will act based on it."

Muhyiddin was commenting on calls from certain quarters to withdraw the proposal as it contravened a 2009 cabinet decision not to allow unilateral conversions.

To this, Muhyiddin said the decision in 2009 was made based on the situation at the time.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang had asked that the proposal to amend Section 107(b) of the bill be withdrawn.

Former minister and Upko chief Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had also said the provision contradicted the concept of acceptance, inclusiveness and moderation.

MIC and MCA had also voiced discontent over the new proposal.

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