Friday, June 20, 2014

‘Najib, speak up on conversion issue’

PETALING JAYA: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to make a stand on the recent controversy in unilateral conversion of minors by either one of their parents.

“Silence is not an option for the PM. He has chosen to remain silent on many past occasions when his response on important issues was required.
“Unilateral conversion of minors is unfair and unjust and causes problems, cruelty and trauma. It also contravenes provision in the Federal Constitution,” said Teresa in a press release today.

The DAP National Vice-Chairperson was referring to a 2009 Cabinet decision banning unilateral conversion of minors.
On April 23 2009, then minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had said that the Cabinet decided that in the event of any dispute, a child must be raised in the faith professed by both parents at the time of marriage.
Nazri had also said that the conversion might not be used as a ground to automatically dissolve a marriage or to get custody of children.
Despite his statement, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had remarked that unilateral conversion is not wrong while minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom’s parliamentary reply on June 17 had stated that the consent from either one parent is adequate for the conversion of minors.
“This goes against the cabinet’s decision and Najib should immediately declare that the 2009 Cabinet decision still stands,” stressed Teresa.