‘Bin Abdullah’ rule curbs sin, says parenting group

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Panelists of the sexual health and reproduction forum organised by NGO Ikram Malaysia. (From left: CEO Smart Parents organisation, Zaid Mohamad and PPUKM’s Dr Harlina Halizah Siraj)

KUALA LUMPUR: A parenting coach organisation has voiced disagreement with the court ruling against the use of “bin” or “binti Abdullah” in the names of illegitimate children, saying it would encourage sin.

Zaid Mohamad, CEO of Smart Parents, said his organisation feared that more Muslims would engage in zina (fornication) as a result of the ruling, made recently by the Court of Appeal.

“They will think there are no obstacles for them to engage in premarital sex,” he said at a press conference following a forum on sexual health and reproduction. The forum, held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, was organised by Ikram Malaysia, a missionary, educational and charity organisation.

Zaid said his organisation might agree with the ruling in such an exceptional case as when a child is born as a result of rape and the victim’s family asks another man to marry her.

Harlina Halizah Siraj, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, said the ruling reflected the gradual liberalisation of society, which she lamented.

“We are living in a society where we bend all the rules in order to suit our situation,” she said.

She said she had encountered, in her professional experience, Muslim couples who asked her to change the birth dates of children they conceived before their marriage.

“I decline such requests because this concerns my ethics as a professional medical practitioner,” she told FMT. “There are too many children being born out of wedlock.

In its judgment last Thursday, the Court of Appeal said the National Registration Department’s insistence on using “bin Abdullah” violated the Births and Deaths Registration Act of 1957, which made no distinction between a Muslim and non-Muslim child.

The department said it would appeal against the decision in the Federal Court. It said its practice followed a national fatwa issued in 1981.