Thursday, July 10, 2014

‘Government lacks will in inter-faith issues’

GEORGE TOWN: The federal government has abdicated on its responsibility to provide a long term and harmonious settlement on the sensitive inter-faith custody battle disputes, alleged DAP national vice-chairman M Kulasegaran.

He said the Attorney-General’s application to the Court of Appeals to suspend the High Court order in two current high-profile cases was a deviation from the government’s promise made in 2009 to resolve the contentious issue.

“The Prime Minister announced that necessary law changes would be tabled in Parliament to address the present shortcomings in inter-faith conversion matters,” he said.
He added that the intervention application had exposed the federal government’s lack of political will and grit to bring about the necessary law changes to settle the thorny issue.
“So many years have passed since the promise was made, yet nothing has happened.”
“The Court is now forced to discharge and adjudicate intricate inter-faith matters where the laws are so unclear.
“This intervention is just a way to defuse the real issue, the need for a permanent settlement in inter-faith matters.
“It is clear that the government is abdicating from its responsibility to find a long term and harmonious settlement,” said the Ipoh Barat MP  in a statement to FMT  today.
On June 11, this year, the Prime Minister said that the ongoing inter-faith custody battles would be best settled by the Federal Court.
But on June 26, AG Gani Patail and the Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, submitted their application for an appellate court intervention to suspend the High Court order for the police to locate two Muslim converts who are embroiled in bitter custody wrangles with their former Hindu wives.
In their affidavits, Gani and Khalid alleged that the Civil Court had exceeded its authority when it issued recovery orders for the police to locate the children of S Deepa of Negeri Sembilan and M Indira Gandhi of Ipoh, known to be with their ex-husbands, Izwan Abdullah and Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah respectively.
The AG and IGP’s application has been fixed for hearing in Putrajaya on July 24.
On June 30, Indira Gandhi filed an application to haul up the IGP and to eventually cite him for contempt.
Hearing for contempt has been fixed at the Ipoh High Court on July 21.
M Kulasegaran is Indira Gandhi’s legal counsel.

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