Convert allowed to renounce Islam

May 8th, 2008 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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I have to make a guess here. If the court insisted that the poor lady is to be detained at the rehabilitation center to be brainwashed, it will provoke more anger against those who supported the ruling. Imagine a person who did things contrary to the religion being given consultation to mend her ways and see the true path. It would have been a great comedy indeed! Luckily, the court chose not to make a drama out of the religion.

This is the first time in Malaysia that a living person is granted to leave the religion. I don’t expect this to make way for more appeals to convert out in the future. As the learned judge said, its due to a case of failure to guide new converts by those responsible that caused this judgement. In other words, the religious authorities must tighten their control, so those of you planning to convert due to love, job offers, business opportunities, or bumi status, need to think many many times!

The other issue is that, she now have to approach NRD to change the religious status in MyKad. Wonder how long that will take. Previously Lina Joy had her request denied by NRD since no proof she converted out of Islam. But in this case, the religious body have to retract the conversion certificate. Maybe NRD will be able to change her religion status. If not, after she dies, there will be body snatching issues, and another round of court case.

Whatever it is, this verdict should not be used to convince one to approach a court belonging to another religion. For all we know, it may be a one-off case to placate and try convince non-Muslim Malaysians to have their day in syariah courts when the situation arises like when a spouse converts. Good thing Tan did not have any children with the foreigner. Then she might have to be separated from her kids, or her kids forced to be in a different religion than hers, like what happened to Subashini.

To test the reliability of such landmark judgement, perhaps other Malaysians stuck in a predicament like Tan can give it a try in the Syariah court.


Syariah Court allows convert to renounce Islam
May 8, 08 1:51pmhttp://malaysiakini.com/news/82522

The Syariah Court in Penang has allowed a Chinese convert to renounce Islam in a rare decision today. Apostasy, or renouncing the faith, is one of the gravest sins in Islam and a very sensitive issue in Malaysia where the Islamic courts have rarely allowed such renunciations and have also jailed apostates.

Syariah Court judge Othman Ibrahim said he had no choice but to allow an application by cook Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah to renounce her faith and return to Buddhism. “The court has no choice but to declare that Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah is no longer a Muslim as she has never practised the teachings of Islam,” Othman told a packed courtroom.

“I order the conversion certificate to be nullified,” he added.

Siti Fatimah or Tan Ean Huang, 38, said she had never practised Islamic teachings since she converted in 1998 and only did so to enable her to marry Iranian Ferdoun Ashanian. The couple married in 2004 but since then her husband has left her following which she filed for the renunciation.

Siti happy with the outcome

Othman said it was clear from witnesses and the evidence presented that Siti had continued to practise Buddhism even after her conversion.

He rebuked the state Islamic religious council for not counselling and looking after the welfare of new converts. “In this case, it is clear that the council has failed to live up to its responsibilities and the outcome is clear for all to see,” he said.

Siti said she was happy with the court’s decision. “I’m relieved that the matter is finally settled after two years and I am now looking forward to doing something with my life again,” she said.

The Islamic syariah courts operate in parallel to civil courts here but apply specifically to Muslims.

The court’s verdict comes amid racial and religious tensions in multiracial Malaysia, where minority religious groups fear their rights are being undermined, even though the country is traditionally seen as moderate.


Court allows Muslim convert to return to Buddhism
By PRISCILLA DIELENBERGsource

PENANG: In a landmark case, the Syariah High Court here allowed an application by Muslim convert Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah, 39, to renounce Islam and officially revert to her original faith.

The decision by Perlis Syariah Court chief judge Othman Ibrahim, who presided over the case when he was based in Penang earlier, makes this the first case of its kind in the country whereby a living Muslim convert was allowed to renounce Islam since the Syariah Court Civil Procedure (State of Penang) Enactment 2004 came into force on Jan 1, 2006.

“From the evidence, it is clear that the plaintiff had not practised the teachings of Islam and had maintained her Buddhist faith.

“Although this court views seriously such matters, this court has no choice but to give her the right to return to her original faith,” said Othman.

He granted Siti Fatimah a declaration that she was no longer a Muslim, and ordered the defendant, the state Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP), to cancel her certificate of conversion to Islam.

However, he did not grant her application to change the religious status on her identity card from Muslim to Buddhist, saying that it did not come under the court’s jurisdiction and she had to pursue the matter with the National Registration Department.

Siti Fatimah, whose Chinese name is Tan Ean Huang, from Nibong Tebal, filed the application in May 2006. In her affidavit, she said she converted to Islam in July 1998 for the sake of marrying an Iranian named Ferdoun Ashanian in 1999, and had not practised its teachings. She said Ferdoun left her a few months after they married and she has no knowledge of his whereabouts.

Siti Fatimah said she had maintained her Buddhist leanings and prayed to deities like Tua Pek Kong, Kuan Yin and Thi Kong. Othman said the court heard testimony that Siti Fatimah prayed to deities and she and her husband went to temples and ate pork.

He said that Ferdoun, as the person who brought Siti Fatimah into Islam, had failed to guide and assist her in her newly-acquired faith.

He also said he regretted that the council was not concerned about carrying out its duty involving the welfare of Muslim converts. “It is the council’s obligation to encourage, support and help new converts and ensure they follow the teachings of Islam. “The court regrets that the council did not take quick action to save the plaintiff’s faith,” said Othman.

He said the council should establish procedures to ensure proper supervision of new converts: “If this is not done, it is possible that in future there may be further cases of people coming to court to renounce Islam.”

In citing authorities, Othman said that this case had similarities to the Nyonya Tahir case in 2006 except that Siti Fatimah is still alive while the earlier case involved a person who had died.

He also said that the civil courts in the case of Lina Joy clearly stated that the jurisdiction came under the Syariah Court.

Siti Fatimah’s counsel Ahmad Jailani Abdul Ghani said the decision was a good start for Syariah law, in that a non-Muslim should not be carrying a document that stated that she was a Muslim.

The council’s counsel Ahmad Munawir Abdul Aziz said the council would appeal within the 14-day period, adding that among the concerns was the status of Siti Fatimah’s marriage as her conversion out of the religion did not dissolve the marriage.

Approached by pressmen outside the courtroom, Siti Fatimah spoke in Mandarin and Teochew and said she felt very happy as she had been waiting for this decision for such a long time. After leaving the court and a quick lunch, Siti Fatimah headed to the Kuan Yin temple in Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling here for thanksgiving prayers where she also released a cage of birds.


LANDMARK DECISION: Syariah High Court declares convert no longer a Muslim
By : Sharanjit Singhsource George Town, THURS:

The Syariah High Court in Penang has delivered a landmark decision allowing a Chinese convert to renounce Islam and revert back to her Buddhist faith.

Syarie High Court judge Othman Ibrahim said the court had no choice but to declare Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah no longer a Muslim as she had never practised the teachings of Islam.

Siti Fatimah, who is from Nibong Tebal, is a Chinese by birth. She filed the application in May last year. In her affidavit to renounce the religion, Siti Fatimah, whose Chinese name is Tan Ean Huang, said she converted to Islam in July 1998.

However she never practised any of the Islamic teachings and claimed that she had converted for the sake of marrying an Iranian named Ferdoun Ashanian in 1999, but he left her a few months later. She has no knowledge of his current whereabouts.

There was pin drop silence as Othman delivered the decision. He also chastised the Penang Islamic Religious Council for failing to live up to its responsibilities and ensuring new converts truly understood the teachings of Islam.
He said it was regrettable that the council had neglected its duties and did not act quickly enough to save Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah’s ‘akidah’ (faith).

Citing this as among causes that led to her shallow understanding of the religion, he said: “It is their obligation to encourage, support, help and ensure new converts understand and follow Islamic teachings.

“However, in this case nothing was done until the last moment when it was already too late,” he said.

Othman noted that the council only entered its representations in Siti Fatimah’s case at the end of the trial despite having been served notice right from the start.

He said the council should establish clear procedural and supervisory guidelines on the issue of conversions in and out of Islam.

Meanwhile, Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah, or Tan Ean Huang, 39, when met after the decision, said she was relieved and could now get on with her life.

“It has been traumatic for me while my case was pending. Now that it is finally over, I hope to move on.

“I also hope to be able to find a boyfriend now that the issue surrounding my religious status is cleared,” she said.

Tan, who is the eldest among eight siblings, said she was thankful her family had been supportive of her all this while.


Syariah court allows convert to renounce Islam
By : Sharanjit Singh
source

GEORGE TOWN: In a landmark decision, the Syariah High Court here allowed a Muslim convert to renounce Islam and return to her Buddhist faith.  Syariah High Court judge Othman Ibrahim said the court had no choice but to declare Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah, whose given name is Tan Ean Huang, no longer a Muslim as she had never practised the teachings of Islam. He also ordered her conversion certificate to be annulled.

Othman said it was now up to Tan to apply to the National Registration Department to change the religious status on her identity card.

In his judgment, Othman criticised the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAIP) for failing to live up to its responsibilities to Muslims in the state.
He said the council’s failure was among the causes leading to Tan not practising the faith.

His judgment detailed the meaning of murtad (apostate) and kafir (non-believer) and how Islam dealt with such issues. Othman declared that the court had no choice but to allow Tan’s application as she had produced undisputed evidence of never having followed Islamic teachings since she converted. “We have heard how she converted for the sake of marrying an Iranian man.  “Witnesses have also testified how she continued to pray at Chinese temples and to various deities after her conversion,” Othman said.

Tan has been fighting for almost two years to renounce Islam and revert to Buddhism. Tan, 39, of Nibong Tebal filed an application on July 10, 2006, claiming that she had embraced Islam just for the sake of marrying an Iranian named Ferdoun Ashanian.  In her affidavit to renounce the religion, Siti Fatimah said she had never practised any of the Islamic teachings despite having converted in July 1998.  She said her lifestyle did not change and she continued to follow Buddhist teachings and to pray to various deities like the Tua Pek Kong, Kuan Yin and Thi Kong. Siti Fatimah said she and her husband even consumed pork after their marriage.  The couple was married in 2004 but the man left her after just four months. Siti Fatimah claimed no knowledge of his whereabouts.

She wanted MAIP to declare she was no longer a Muslim under Section 61(3) of the Penang Islamic Administration Enactment. She also wanted the court to change the religious status on her identity card from Muslim to Buddhist.

The court initially ordered that she learn more about Islam and to undergo three months of counselling with the Penang Islamic Religious Department’s unit ukhwah (brotherhood) to ensure she understood the religion. However, she only attended the session once and remained steadfast in wanting to revert to Buddhism.

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51 comments

  1. BJ says:

    Hi Bro

    Hope you can help me with this. One of my friend’s mother was an India Muslim and father is a Hindu, who converted to Muslim and mother already passed away. Now my friend wanted to convert to Hinduism and marry a Hindu girl. Can I know what are the procedures?

    Tks

    • poobalan says:

      hi,

      this is a bit of a problem. since your friend did not convert but was born into a muslim family due to his father converting when getting married, its most likely near impossible for him to convert out. anyway, try contacting Malaysian Hindu Sangam (contact number is on their website http://www.hindusangam.org.my) for more advice. i would suggest that your friend think again why he want to convert to hinduism. is it just because want to marry an hindu girl? that would seem like a very lousy reason, just like what is forced on to non-muslims if want to marry a muslim. if that’s the case, i’ll be wary of such a person because he using religion to justify his marriage. for me, it would be untrustworthy person.

      however, if he really interested to be an Hindu (and can still marry another Hindu or Christian, atheist, Buddhist, or other non-Muslim, or even remain a brahmacharya), then he should explore the religion more. a possibility is to move abroad (like India, Europe, US etc) and settle down there.

  2. Lena says:

    My Indian muslim boyfriend would like to to convert himself to hindu. please help me

    • poobalan says:

      Was he born Hindu and converted into Islam?

      • Lena says:

        @poobalan,

        Sir,

        He is an Indian Muslim from india. We want to marry. Now he decided to convert as a hindu.

        • poobalan says:

          Well, this is beyond me. I have no idea. I suggest you call up Malaysian Hindu Sangam office for advice (www.hindusangam.org.my) . if can, try to fix appointment with them to help you out.

          another option is to get married in India?

          I think converting for the sake of marrying is not good idea. Why not let him be in his religion and you in yours? If you plan to settle down in Malaysia, of course will be problematic, but may if married overseas and you provide the info to local Jabatan Pendaftaran, maybe different. If the guy is going for local PR, i think problematic.

          Also try to talk to some lawyers involved in family issues – divorce, conversion etc.

  3. suguna says:

    hai brother my aunty is hindu n her husband is muslim..actually he convert from hindu to muslim.n 1 more thing shes not married wt him under islam..but her four childrens name her husband put in islam name…now they all wan to convert back to hindu..bcoz they family following hindu n they dun noe how to pray in islam…from young they all pray hidu god…pls solve this problem…she wan her childrens back in hindu…hope u help them….

    • poobalan says:

      hi,
      this is quite problem. you mean to say they were married under civil law (hindu wedding) and after that the husband converted? or they legally not married at all?

      if the children are having muslim name, and have grown up without knowing anything about their religion, surely a problem right? didn’t they go to school and learn pendidikan islam? or is the husband converted and changed the children name without the family knowledge?

      anyway, for this case need to get legal help and also MHS. i have emailed you. pls check your mail.

      • suguna says:

        actually they both not married at all.after get 1st baby then oni the husband inform her..bcoz his name in hindu is mahendran.he follow his sister convert to muslim

        • poobalan says:

          hmm…in that case, he can be arrested for khalwat since having affair with a woman. i’m wondering why your aunt has waited until four children with this guy without proper marital status, but never mind – everyone have their reasons and excuses. so, the children’s birth certificate has the father name and all their names are muslim names? how old are the children? i think better you refer to my mail and contact MHS soon.

  4. raj says:

    Dear Sir, im a hindu but got married to a muslim n converted past 14yrs. am divorced now n hv some health problems n would like to renounce my faith n to become a hindu again. gone to hindu sanggam but its a kinda off disspointment as they say iv got no way out. wat do u think? wats the procedure to renounce?

    • poobalan says:

      Hi Raj,

      Hindu Sangam is right. Since you converted willfully, you have no choice but to stay on or risk becomin apostate and being taken into custody by Jabatan Agama for “counseling”. Your options is very very slim, maybe you can get a lawyer to make the necessary applications, but i think you have an near impossible task of facing the counseling by jabatan agama. you need lots of prove of not practising islam any more. you can continue to live a double life, but at the time of death, be buried as a muslim. another option – migrate overseas.

  5. danvi says:

    Hi sir,I’m 30 this year and i born as a catholic.Sometime in early 2006 i become friendly with a indian muslim gal who is a divorcee with a kid but then her prior marriage was not registered in NRD as it taken place in a village as she claimed and when she checked in NRD it stated not married.As a result of my relationship with this gal,i was pressured by her to get married if not she threatened to harm herself which she did few times and in order to get married to her,i was pressured to convert to islam.Out of fear and pressure from her,i consented to convert to islam in Balai Islam in my hometown by filling up the form but then neva changed my NRIC.I only got the card of acknowledgement of conversion to Islam.After conversion,i still practiced by christian faith whereby i neva lived nor conducted my life as a muslim.After conversion,i gave many excuses not to get married to her tho we attended kursus kahwin and last year we separated on our own ways after unbearable with all the massive quarrels and arguements we had.After that i confessed everthing to my parents and they brought me to c a lawyer regarding this matter.The lawyer told me i still can get married to my religion and live my life as a christian according to my NRIC but then without this gal or any religious officers knowledge who noes bout my background.He also prepared for me a statutory declaration letter in front of commisioner of oath claiming that all these while tho i converted into islam out of pressure by this gal and neva lived or practice islam whereby i still practicing my christian faith till today.I never consider myself as a Muslim nor to conduct myself as a Muslim.The commisioner of of oath also chop and sign the declaration letter.Please kindly advice whether should i juz heed the lawyer advice by carrying on wit my life and get married according to my religion or wat should i do..

    • poobalan says:

      Hi Danvi,

      1. Go to your religious body authority (Hindus have Hindu Sangam), Catholics are under the Diocese, i think. Anyway, i’m not sure which is the main authority. ask your church. they will be able to advise you better. i think you need to have beyond a stat. declaration (SD) signed in front of commissioner of oaths. you already have a conversion notification card, so better go through proper legal procedure to nullify your conversion.

      2. get 2nd or 3rd opinion from lawyers as well. try bar council for advice too.

    • trishiya says:

      Hie Danvi, what happened next…? r u free out off it now? pls let me know tq

  6. danvi says:

    hi sir,pls kindly advice on how can i get advice from bar council as well the legal procedure to nullify the conversion.Will it become a issue to be printed in newspapers.

  7. Sabrina says:

    Hi, i have a friend whose dad is indian muslim, and mom a convert(from Hindu). She and all her sisters have learned the religion but have decided its not who they are, and now seek to convert out. is there any way this can be done? they dont practice islam at all and they think its not fair for them or the religion.

    please help me help this ppl, so that they can get a life of their own. the eldest sibling is 36 years old with a good career, but cannot get married due to this. they don’t want their next generation to be muslim’s and face the same problems as they did.

    pleaseeeeeeeeeee help.

    • poobalan says:

      Hi Sabrina,

      Your plea for help is quite long, but unfortunately, the case is difficult. I suggest you fix and appointment with Malaysia Hindu Sangam (get address/phone from http://www.hindusangam.org.my ). from my simple observation, its very difficult since the children are adults already. Need to have concrete evidence that they don’t follow the religion. The Jabatan Agama may harass or arrest them for counseling and/or punishment if there’s any signs that the family want to go for apostasy.

      “Learning the religion but have decided its not who they are, and now seek to convert out” – is easy for you and them to say, but in reality, its not so.

      Also contact lawyers that deal with family issues for advice.

      Worse case, they can migrate overseas.

  8. dharshini says:

    hello sir.

    i didnt know from where i have to start. i am hindu born girl. i was fall in love with my muslim husband before married legally i was pregnant and give birth to baby girl. after that i have to convert to muslim for seek that my husband is muslim. he tie a knot as hindu way and we living as hindu. he grow up as hindu too. after we legally married in jabatan islam, my second baby boy born. after 3 years he passed away (crime- neighbour killed him), my in laws their never bother about me and my kids, im staying with my parents and follow my hinduism. no one teach me about islam, my husband or my inlaws. now is already 6 years he passed away. since this 6 years, i taking care of my kids, i try so many ways to convert back but i didnt know how to do and what i need. i forcing myself to be muslim because of my 2 kids. please help me. i want my kids to be indian and i want to die as hindu girl. please help me.

    • poobalan says:

      hi dharshini,

      pls refer to malaysian hindu sangam (hindusangam.org.my). call them and arrange for appointment to meet with their experts, like ex-president Mr Vaithialinggam. they will be the best option to help you out.

  9. Nisha says:

    Dear Sir,

    I born as indian and was converted into muslim by my father when i was 3 years old.I was brought up by my mothers parents and siblings and has been practising hinduism all the way.I had filed case in johor bahru in 2007 and case still going on,im planning to marry b this year..i need your help sir..pls advise

    • poobalan says:

      hi nisha,

      the case is pending, so you can’t do much. how to get married since registration dept won’t accept your civil marriage. i suggest you wait, or push for faster settlement, or just migrate overseas :-)

      you may want to talk Malaysia Hindu Sangam for advice. refer to http://www.hindusangam.org.my

  10. samleong says:

    dear sir..
    im born a muslim..my mum is a chinese and she converted to muslim because my dad is a muslim..now my mum n dad had divorced since im 9 years old..now im 24 yrs old..for all this while i had never practised islam religion..i never celebrate raya, never puasa, never pray in muslim practised..but i follow chinese tradition..and my father never teach or guide us in islam practise..after his divorced with my mum he leave my mum and the children hanging as a muslim…i wanted to convert from islam..is there any procedures??

    • poobalan says:

      sam,

      go to bar council or get a prominent lawyer to help you. the possibility is there since you never practised the religion. you may be forced to undergo counselling etc., but if you persevere, you can succeed.

  11. askhita says:

    if an hindu convert to islam due to some influent..hvnt chance ic or name to islam is there any chance to convert back to hindu

  12. Nithie says:

    hi,

    i’m basically in d same predicament of the other who hv commented in your blog, and you seem to be advising almost all of them to refer to Hindu Sangam. My ques is… does Hindu Sangam entertains such cases and were there any successful cases? I’ve once being referred to Hindu Sangam, but it was not much of a help as I only managed to change my name to a hindu name but not able to chg the religion in my IC. Frankly speaking, do u think there is any chance for someone who is born as muslim but neva praticed islam to convert out of islam? Is there any NGOs or anyone to speak for us?

    • poobalan says:

      hi nithie,
      for hindus, hindu sangam is the option, along with HRP and also some lawyers. not all cases are successful. i asked the ppl in Hindu Sangam, but these are sensitive issue for the ‘others”, so we can’t see any more info.

      frankly speaking, the chance is low, maybe 10% because our law are intrepreted as per whim and fancy, and we are good at passing the buck. go to JPN, they say not under their power. go to civil court, they may say same thing. go to jabatan agama, you may be sent for “counselling”.

      HRP is fighting few cases.

      my suggestion: save enough money and migrate (if not australia or US, even india or any other country that has religious freedom).

  13. Nithie says:

    really unfortunate to be born here…((( and it is not easy to leave ur fly behind and migrate… anywy tks for ur view…

  14. Nisa Vattu says:

    Mr. Poobalan,
    I am a malaysian Hindu with canadian pr. I intend to come back for 6 months in which I want to marry my muslim boyfriend and then return to Canada alone first and then sponsor him later. Is it ok for me not to change my name on Mykad. I mean is it possible to not declare my conversion to JPN? Eventually I plan to give up malaysian citizenship. Kindly advise. Thank you.

    • poobalan says:

      well, are you planning to convert? if yes, are you planning to return to malaysia later in life as a PR to settle down? if yes to both, then getting married in malaysia under jabatan agama, and they will inform the JPN. if you plan to remain as hindu or thinking of getting a hindu cremation upon death, then better get married elsewhere.

      i’m not sure of your plan, but if getting married is to aid in sponsoring him to enter Canada, and if you need to convert to do so, so be it. but if it was me, i would think of other ways.

  15. Santhi says:

    My husband has married a muslim girl in Thailand in 2005. He was forced to convert to muslim by his muslim wife and was a muslim in 2009 without attending any muslim courses. His muslim wife have then registered their marriage in Msia after he has converted to muslim. He has not been practising muslim culture and now wants to convert back to hindu. I am an hindu and have yet to divorce him as he wants to be back to Hindu and plan to divorce his muslim wife. Question (1)Am I still a valid wife under civil law? (2)Can you please advise how can my husband be back to hindu as he was forced to convert to muslim for some reason. (3)If he divorces his muslim wife, would it be easy for my husband to convert back to hindu with a reason that he converted to muslim to marry her and now he has divorved her so he wants to be back to his hindu religion. (4)Please also advise where do I stand as his wife and what is the best decision for me as a hindu.

    http://poobalan.com/blog/borninmalaysia/2008/05/08/convert-allowed-to-renounce-islam/

    • poobalan says:

      Hi Ms Santhi.

      1. under civil law, yes still valid wife. he should initiate divorce process. (any children?)

      2. He has to get a lawyer, make statuatory declaration, prepare all the documentation, and be prepared to stand firm on his decision. There are previous precedents as the case highlighted in the newspaper. Have to go to court and all.

      3. i’m not sure about this.

      4. well, as a hindu (or non-muslim) its a ding-dong situation. the civil court says since husband is muslim, won’t entertain. but since you are non-muslim, you’ll think twice to go to syariah court (yes, you can go, but why should you?). that’s the issue with others like shamala, indira gandhi and so on.

      best is to approach hindu sangam, with your husband and let them give better advice. do email me at mpoobalan @ gmail.com and i’ll provide more details.

  16. Kumar says:

    Don’t be lustful…think of the consequences before doing anything…

  17. mike says:

    hi all,

    Anybody has succeed in this issue? Or have any tips. Please email me personally at terminator572007@yahoo.com…i would like to know more about it….

    Appreciate it much

    • siva says:

      sir i’m Hindu,and my girl is a Hindu muslim frm born.We would like to marrie.She and her parents are agree for her converting,but i wan to be in our religion as Hindu and my girl also want to convert to Hindu.Please help us for this convert sir

      • poobalan says:

        this is not easily done as she is muslim from birth. its better if you approach a lawyer or consult with hindu sangam. also depends on which state you girlfriend is in, as different states in malaysia has different laws on the religion.

  18. Ramesh says:

    Dear Sir,

    Good day. We are Hindu by nature. I have a cousin sister who just converted to Islam last year December 2011, just because she wanted to get married to a muslim guy. She registered in Wilayah persekutuan and was given a green ID card with a islam name. She was asked to change herself the IC but didn’t proceed on it. Now the marriage is cancelled and the guy has left. She wants to renounce back to hindu and move on in life. When we check with the NRD, her IC is still under Hindu. She has filed for a case on May 2012 and its moving slow. How long will these procedures take. What are the success rates. Would like to get your advice on this.

    • poobalan says:

      Hi

      The case will move slowly, of course. can expect a year or two at least. The success rate in this case is high because she just converted to get married, and even the marriage was cancelled. There are precedents, for example a chinese lady who converted to marry an iranian above.

      • Ramesh says:

        Dear Poobalan,

        So we can assume that the case will take 1 or 2 years. In teh mean time, will she be able to get married and get on with life or she can only get married upon completion of this prosess.

        • poobalan says:

          she’ll have a problem if try to get married or proceed with any legal processes that involve religion. things like buying house/car, furthering studies, changing jobs shouldn’t be an issue. getting married will be a problem because even if do temple wedding, still need to register at JPN. there may be complications. i think better not to muddle things, but sort out one by one. settle the unconversion first.

  19. Julie says:

    Dear Sir

    Good day, I’m Malaysian divorcee Chinese Lady with 1 daughter and my boyfriend is Iranian. His not belong to the religious type and not practiced on the religion but leave with no choice he need to carry as a Muslim. We now want to plan for future but to me it will be a high risk once I convert to Muslim and I can’t convert back to Buddhism. I scared to face a 2nd failed and added up with the convert renounce issue and worried creating problem for my daughter. May I know is that possible for him to convert to Christian or others religion in Malaysia? At least my daughter can remain her religion as well. Well, any recommendation on you? I’m in confusing and really need helps…Million thanks in advance.

    • poobalan says:

      1. its not possible for him to convert to another religion while in malaysia. the choice is in your hands whether want to convert and marry him. as for your daughter, if she’s above 18 then she can decide for herself, if not the norm is that the child follows the religion of the parents. you may want to consider about talking to a lawyer. perhaps you can appoint a close relative as guardian of your daughter (meaning you are giving her away for adoption) legally, to avoid her getting converted.

      if later you decide to convert out of islam (in case the marriage didn’t work out), you can do it, but its a very loooong process and difficult. any children that you may have would be a muslim and you’ll have more problem trying to convert them to buddhism.

      2. since he is a foreigner, why not consider moving out of malaysia?

      3. personally, i’m not in favor of “living together while not married” concept, but its also an option. legally you are still divorcee, and any children you may have with him is still malaysian and buddhist IF you don’t reveal the father’s identity.

      best is to approach a lawyer familiar with such cases and get professional opinion. you may try the buddhist associations or political party like MCA welfare bureau.

      • Julie says:

        Hi Sir
        Thank you so much on your advise.

        1. If I converted to Muslim and my daughter still remain as buddhist, can she able to get all my property once I pass away?

        2. Any idea which country can able to convert the religion of him? So that he may back to Malaysia and marry.

        3. Political Party like MCA Welfare Bureau? What they can help or advise on this issue? (Sorry to say caused I have no idea on this)

        • poobalan says:

          1. most likely she is not able to get your property. can pursue legal method, but its a tedious process. muslims have own rule in the inheritance, so it becomes a legal issue if you daughter wants to inherit it. a lawyer would be able to advise you better.

          2. well, basically as long as not a muslim majority country, its not a problem. only limited countries are obsessed with the religious status of the individual. anyway, even if he converts, he still need to renew his passport etc, which if go to iranian embassy would be a big problem. he may need to ask for citizenship in other country, which is not easy at all.

          3. they can advise if have experience with similar cases and perhaps guide you on the procedures or contact suitable lawyers. another option is bar council malaysia.

  20. Julie says:

    Dear Sir

    Morning…TQ again !!!

    Last Question – Once converted, is it my original Sur name & name all totally need to be change? The Malay name will be appear in all… (ic/birth cert/others) ???

    Thanks for all your advise

    • poobalan says:

      you can still maintain for example julie binti abdullah or julie @ julia binti abdullah

      btw, from what i read, your non-muslim next of kin can get at most only 1/3 of your assets.