PETALING JAYA: An MP has criticised as “weak” and “hard to defend” a Perlis mufti’s contention that the conversion of Loh Siew Hong’s three children was legal under Perlis law.
Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin of Amanah said the statement by mufti Asri Zainul Abidin was influenced by sentiment rather than arguments based on facts and law.
Asri had said that under the Perlis Islamic enactment, either the father, mother, or a guardian can convert minors to Islam and the children had agreed to convert.
However, Hanipa said the Federal Court had ruled that unilateral religious conversion of a minor was illegal under the Constitution and that the religion of a person under the age of 18 should be decided by the parents or guardian.
“Therefore, it is no longer relevant even if the conversion is done with the consent of only one parent,” Hanipa said. He was unsure how Asri’s statement was valid or how it could be defended. “The voluntary issue is no longer relevant,” he said in a statement today.