Crime & Courts

Woman gets leave to challenge unilateral conversion of her children

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has granted leave to Loh Siew Hong to challenge the unilateral conversion of her three children to Islam by her ex-husband.

High Court Judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh allowed Loh's application for a judicial review against the conversion carried out by her former husband and Muslim convert, Muhammad Nagahswaran Muniandy.

Wan Ahmad said Loh's application had merit and she had established an arguable case.

Loh's three children were converted to Islam by her ex-husband without her consent in 2019, and she is contesting the legality of it.

Loh is seeking declaration that her children are Hindus and that they were legally unfit to embrace Islam without her approval.

She is also seeking to reverse her children's registration of conversion to Islam dated July 7, 2020 issued by the registrar.

Loh had named the Registrar of Mualaf, Religious and Malay Customs Council of Perlis, besides Perlis state mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and the Perlis state government as respondents.

However, the respondents contended that as the children —14-year-old twin girls and a 10-year-old boy — were converted on July 7, 2020, the application for leave should have been made within 90 days of that date.

He said Loh's application was well within the stipulated time as she only came to know about the conversion through an email dated March 4 this year.

The single mother was represented by A. Srimurugan and Dr Shamsher Singh Thind, while the Registrar of Mualaf, the Perlis state mufti and state government were represented by assistant legal advisor for Perlis, Ainul Wardah Shahidan.

The Religious and Malay Customs Council of Perlis, was represented by Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla and Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar.

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