Archive for February, 2008

The Subashini Case: Implications and Impact

February 8, 2008

The Subashini Case: Implications and Impact

By Ms Crystal Kuek 

On 27 December 2007, the Federal Court delivered an important judgment in regards to the appeals of Subashini and Saravanan. The three-man panel made a 2-1 decision against Subashini based on legal technicality, thus dismissing her appeal to restrain her husband from converting their children to Islam and also to prohibit her husband from commencing or continuing proceedings in the Syariah Court with respect to dissolution of marriage and custody of children. Nevertheless, the landmark rulings have left a mixture of positive implications and a negative impact on Malaysia.
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Press Statements from Christian Leaders in Response to Illegal Seizures of Bibles

February 6, 2008

(Excerpt) The Christian Federation of Malaysia registers its protest in the strongest terms, at the action of a Custom Officer at LCCT, who confiscated 32 English Bibles belonging to a Christian, who was bringing it from Manila for use in her church….Why is it, the said Control Division is amassing such rights to itself that allow Muslim civil bureaucrats to decide for Christians what religious material they can read, or bring into the country?…The Bible is our holy and sacred book. We will not comply with any directive from government or its agencies that infringe on our right to use our sacred book and other Christian literature.

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Bibles Confiscated by Customs

February 6, 2008

(Excerpt) A seizure of English bibles by Customs Department officials has left a bitter taste in the mouth of a Malaysian Christian and led the Council of Churches Malaysia to decry the increasing incidence of such acts by the authorities.

It comes on the heels of a spate of legal suits following similar seizures of Christian materials by the authorities earlier this year and late last year.

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Objectives of Religious Liberty Watch

February 6, 2008

Objectives of Religious Liberty Watch

Concerns
Malaysian citizens – Malaysian Christians in particular – should be greatly disturbed by recent events that give alarming evidence of the erosion of religious liberty in the country. These events include civil court judgments that advise non-Muslims to go the shariah courts to settle matters of divorce and child custody, body snatching from funeral parlors, the demolition of temples and churches, and the seizures of Sunday School materials and Christian story books for children from bookshops. Of great concern is the Cabinet announcement that non-Muslims may not use the word ‘Allah’. This prohibition would ban Holy Scriptures (Alkitab) and forbid Christians from using well established liturgy, hymns and prayers in their worship services.

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SIB Sabah Church Law Suit Against the Malaysian Government

February 3, 2008

(excerpt) The suit brought by the SIB Sabah Church against the government over the confiscation of their Christian publications containing the word Allah was again postponed Tuesday (29 Jan), making it the third delay in a row….The suit is filed by Pastor Jerry Dusing and SIB, a native bumiputra Christian denomination in Sabah over the confiscation of some of their Christian publications for children that contained the word “Allah” and detention of some others that were brought in from Indonesia last August.

They are asking the court for a judicial review of minister’s decision to confiscate and detain their books as well as for a return of the publications. They are also 22 declaratory reliefs relating mainly to the freedom to practice their religion arising from the seizure. In the meanwhile, they are also asking for a stay order against the respondents.

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Widow Cannot Inherit her Son’s Insurance Payout

February 2, 2008

Widow rejects ‘fairy tale’ offer
By : Sharanjit Singh y

GEORGE TOWN: A woman fighting to inherit an insurance payout left by her son who died after converting to Islam has rejected an undisclosed amount offered to her to settle the case.
The widow’s lawyer, Darshan Singh Khaira, yesterday described the settlement proposal as a “fairy tale offer that just cannot be accepted”.
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Islamic Council Claims Body of Deceased In Controversial Conversion to Islam

February 2, 2008

Remains of Muslim convert released to religious council

SEREMBAN: The remains of a 74-year-old man whose widow and seven children had no knowledge of his conversion to Islam was yesterday released to the state Islamic religious council for burial.

Syariah Court judge Mohd Nadzri Abdul Rahman in his ex-parte judgment said Gan Eng Gor, whose Muslim name was Amir Gan Abdullah, was a Muslim based on the testimony by officers from the council and his oldest child Abdul Rahman Gan Abdullah.

Eng Gor’s widow, Chua Chun, and the couple’s seven other children were not present in court yesterday.

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Uncivil Conversions

February 2, 2008

Uncivil Conversions
By ANGELA C. WU
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ASIA
January 29, 2008

A Malaysian civil court earlier this month released a woman’s body back to her grieving husband, after Islamic authorities withdrew their assertion that she had converted to Islam six days before her death. The case of Wong Sau Lan represents a rare victory in a civil court case involving a non-Muslim against the Islamic Council. But the problem remains that the Islamic authorities continue to exert control over the civil judiciary in Malaysia.

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Church Demolition: Suit Set to Start

February 2, 2008

(excerpt) A civil suit by the Temiar Orang Asli of Gua Musang, Kelantan, filed against the state authorities for the demolition of their church, is slated for mention tomorrow in the Kota Baru High Court…The villagers also demanded compensation for the demolition of their church – which had stood on Pekek’s land – and an assurance that there would be no further disturbance, Soo said….n their suit, the plaintiffs are applying for declarations that they have a right over the land concerned as well as the constitutional right to practise their religion, which includes the right to set up a church on the land.

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