Next course of action based on Islamic regulations and stipulated laws in unilateral conversion case: MAIPS

KANGAR: The Perlis Islamic Religious Council and Malay Customary Council (MAIPs) reaction over the Court of Appeal's decision to declare the unilateral conversion of Loh Siew Hong's three children to Islam by her former husband as invalid.

Its chief executive officer Mohd Nazim Mohd Noor said the supremacy of the Constitution as stipulated in the Rukun Negara should be uphold by all parties.

"MAIPs take note on the ruling by the Putrajaya Court of Appeal today and is always committed in defending the principle of truth that we have confidence with.

"As such, the next course of actions to be taken by MAIPs regarding this issue will be based on syarak (Islamic regulations) and stipulated laws," he said in a three-paragraph statement today.

Earlier today, Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, who led a three-member panel in an unanimous decision, said the lower court erred and misdirected itself when handing down the ruling.

She was reported as saying that the High Court failed to address two pertinent issues in the judicial review proceedings which are — whether unilateral conversion is lawful and whether Section 117b of the Perlis Enactment Four is unconstitutional as it contradicts Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution.

Loh sought to contest the lower court's decision, which previously stated that there was no evidence indicating that the three children had ceased practicing Islam while under her care.

Last year, on May 11, High Court judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh said there was no evidence that the three children had reverted to the Hindu religion.

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.

She aims to secure a declaration affirming her children's Hindu status and arguing that they were not legally capable of adopting Islam without her authorisation.

Additionally, she seeks to overturn the conversion registration 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.

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