SUPP Official Website SUPP YOUTH PRESS RELEASE BY YOUTH CENTRAL CHAIRMAN MICHAEL TIANG

SUPP YOUTH PRESS RELEASE BY YOUTH CENTRAL CHAIRMAN MICHAEL TIANG

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth Central Chairman, Michael Tiang complimented the Federal Court’s judgment of Indira Gandhi’s case as a beacon in the murky waters on unilateral child’s conversion to Islam without consent from both parents. It was an uplifting moment to see the highest court in our country being so courageous in upholding the Federal Constitution and its judiciary powers.

Tiang commented in his press statement that the recent judgment of Indira Gandhi’s case has also shown that our apex court has clearly established a landmark precedent that the federal constitution is the supreme law and the jurisdiction of the civil courts should also take supremacy over Syariah courts, especially in cases involving non-Muslims. These positions of the law are very critical to set us on the right course in dealing with many of such cases, especially cases involve minors who are not born Muslims, but converted to Islam by their parents or guardians for various reasons.

“I also wish to take this opportunity to highlight that in Sarawak there are also cases of disputes on Islamic conversation involving non- Muslim women and children which in fact shall be dealt with as social issues, rather than religious ones by the authorities. This especially so when marriage broke down and the women and children wish to revert back to their non-Muslim status in the national registry,” said Tiang. “Many approached me with the grievances of not knowing where to seek helps as well as being not able to change their religious status for years even though they have not been professing the religion for some time. “

I therefore urge the authorities, particularly Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara, Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak (JAIS) and Unit for Other Religions (UNIFOR) to work together in Sarawak by offering assistance to these groups of women and minors in providing them a comprehensive guidelines since it may involve Syariah Law pertaining to conversion and denouncement of Islam. At the same time Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara also need to work together with these two religious units should there be any new updates for the religious status.

Tiang said, Sarawak is known for a model state that embraces different religions, cultures and races. And I trust that the same spirit of a person’s right to freedom of religion as in the Indira Gandhi’s case shall be upheld in Sarawak by way of administrative policies and actions.

michael tiang02

April 2018
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