Pas wants special committee set up to review bill on conversions of minors


KUALA LUMPUR: Pas has called for a special committee to review the proposal to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) act 1976 (LRA), which aims to resolve interfaith custody conflicts between Muslim and non-Muslim parents.

Its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the review was necessary as the bill would bring “very serious” implications towards the freedom of Muslims to practise their religion.

“Therefore, Pas suggests that LRA is reviewed thoroughly, through a formation of a special committee to draft and propose a fairer, holistic and inclusive solution,” he said in a statement today.

Hadi, who is also Marang MP, said the special committee should include representatives from the National Fatwa Council, Syariah Judiciary Department, Syariah and civil law practitioners, and non-governmental organisations.

The amendment was tabled for first reading in November last year, and included a new clause which stipulates that if a parent converts to Islam, the religion of their children shall remain the same, unless both parents have agreed to the conversion of the children to Islam.

Their children are also free to choose their religion once they reach 18 years of age.

In May last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government was looking into resolving conflicts between Muslim converts and their spouses over the religion of their children.

Among such cases is that of Hindu mother M. Indira Ghandi, who was locked in a seven-year court tussle over the custody of her youngest child, Prasana Diksa, with her ex-husband, Muslim convert Muhammad Ridhuan Abdullah.