Federal Court religion conversion M. Indira Gandhi MAIS Muslim converts Islam
Palace of Justice, Putrajaya. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 8 DECEMBER 2021

By Kasthuri Jeevendran

PUTRAJAYA – The Federal court rejected the appeal of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) and the Chief Registrar of Selangor Muslim Converts on the unilateral conversion of religion to Islam of three siblings.

Earlier, the High Court ruled that the conversion of religion by their Muslim-convert father was invalid.

Today, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat rejected the appeal of MAIS to reinstate the status of religion conversion of the three siblings that was declared invalid by the High Court.

“The issue has been resolved earlier in the M Indira Gandhi case in 2018, where the court has decided that the conversion of religion of children must be consented by both parents,” Tun Tengku Maimun said in a three-member bench sitting along with Datuk Vernon Ong and Datuk Seri Hasnah Mohammed Hashim.

Earlier in 29 September 2020, the Shah Alam High Court Judge, Datuk Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab allowed the lawsuit brought by the mother to declare that the conversion of her children, who were then aged 13, 11 and eight years old to Islam was invalid, and their conversion could not be registered by the Selangor Registrar of Muslim Converts.

The High court also ruled that it was bound by the Federal Court’s decision in 2018 on the religion conversion case of kindergarten teacher, M. Indira Gandhi’s children.

In Indira’s case, the Federal Court held that the consent of both parents was required to change the children’s religion to Islam.

Meanwhile, in today’s case brought by MAS and the Chief Selangor Registrar of Muslim Converts, the father brought his children to a mosque in Selangor in March 2016 and converted himself and the children to Islam.

The man then brought his three children to the Yayasan Pusat Hidayah foundation at Taman Melawati to fill up forms on their conversion to Islam.

Meanwhile, the Hindu mother of the three children who had since divorced the father claimed that she was not consulted on the religion conversion of her children and the three children also did not agree to embrace Islam.

The woman and her children then filed a suit in April 2018 against the man (father of the children), Selangor Chief Registrar of Muslim Converts, MAIS and the government of Malaysia. -MalaysiaGazette