Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) urges all parties to stop all intimidation against Loh Siew Hong for filing a lawsuit to seek to nullify her three children’s unilateral religious conversion.
It is concerning that Pas information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin issued a statement recently calling for politicians, intellectuals, muftis, Islamic preachers, NGOs and all Muslims in Malaysia to unite in securing the faith of Loh’s children. He also warned that no one should wish to change the religion of the three children who had been converted to Islam.
We are further alarmed by the article written by Selangor Pas secretary Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahi in Harakah Daily, asking whether “the people who advised Loh” wanted another Natrah tragedy to happen. He also claimed the Muslims in Malaysia would not be able to accept a conversion case being challenged in courts as it was sensitive and was sure to create tension.
We note that successive court judgments have affirmed the constitutional provision that minors’ conversion requires the consent of both parents.
GBM wishes to reiterate our stance in our statement [in February] that all parties should refrain from seeing this as a communal contest to determine one’s faith to the extent that both harmonious inter-ethnic relations and the image of Islam are undermined. As Islam is a compassionate and just faith, it sees faith – hidayah (for embracing Islam) – as the absolute right of Allah. If Allah so wishes, then no one can prevent anyone from embracing Islam under free will.
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We believe Malaysians are mature enough in facing sensitive matters and disagreements. We urge all Malaysians to respect Loh’s right to bring the matter to court.
We also support the statement by Loh’s lawyers which stated that the use of a threat to prevent their client from pursuing her legal right as a parent would be considered an interference with the administration of justice and constitutes contempt of court.
GBM appeals to all Malaysians to handle the matter sensibly and peacefully. Let us allow the justice system to run its course.
Stanley Yong Yew Wei is acting chair of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM). This statement was issued on behalf of the GBM executive council