Posts Tagged ‘CFM’

vote wisely says Christian Federation

February 19th, 2008
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Very rare (and I think I never heard) a religous body getting involved in the election process. CFM (Christian Federation of Malaysia) is asking its members and followers to “vote wisely”. Probably recent issues on use of the word “Allah”, confiscation of Bibles, and so on prompted CFM to issue this statement. » Read more: vote wisely says Christian Federation

subashini distraught over possible loss of children

December 29th, 2007
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Only the Sun carried an interview with Subashini while others only focused on the judgment 

After the decision was handed down, Subashini said she was disappointed with the judgement., saying she wished the judges had looked into her rights as a mother.

“It is unfair to treat me like this. I gave birth to our children and I have a right to make a decision about my children, as a mother,” she said in a phone interview with theSun.

“How can they say my estranged husband has the right to convert our second child? Does this mean I will lose my second son as well?” she added.

Subashini has not met her first son, Dharvin Joshua, for the past two years since her husband, Saravanan, converted the boy.

She said Saravanan, was only willing to grant her access to Dharvin in exchange for access to their youngest child, Sharvin.

Subashini said she was willing to give up not seeing Dharvin for fear that Saravanan would convert their second child as well.

“If that happens, then I am afraid that both my kids will be taken away from me, and I will have no one,” she said.

Subashini said it was unfair that her newly-converted husband seems to have been granted more rights over her as a mother.

“Where is my right, as a mother?” she asked, adding that  she was still discussing her next course of action with her lawyer.

Subashini’s lawyer K. Shanmuga told theSun Subashini was distraught over the judgment.

“She’s uncertain about her future and her children’s future. It’s a blow to her because she’s been told she can’t stop her husband from going to the syariah court to get orders regarding the breakup of their marriage, and she can’t stop him from converting their younger child,” he said.

Civil or Syariah, still unclear
R.Surenthira Kumar and Jacqueline Ann Surin

http://sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=20334

PUTRAJAYA (Dec 27, 2007): In handing down what is widely seen as an equivocal decision today, the Federal Court drew away from answering the question of which court, civil or Syariah, has exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases involving non-Muslim spouses whose partners had converted to Islam.

However the apex court made it clear, when it unanimously decided, that the High Court still has jurisdiction to hear cases involving non-Muslim spouses involved in a matrimonial disputes, even though the other partner had converted to Islam.

This was among the rulings that the three-man panel of judges handed down in the decision of the much awaited case of R.Subashini vs T.Saravanan today.

In the 2-1 decision,  the head of the panel Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abd Rahman and Datuk Azmel Ma’amor concurred while Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamad gave a dissenting judgement.

The rulings allow Saravanan, 31, whose Muslim name is Muhammad Shafi Abdullah to continue to seek recourse in the syariah court while Subashini, 29, can proceed to file for divorce proceedings in the civil court.

Nik Hashim said by embracing Islam, the husband and the son became subject to Muslim personal and religious laws and it is not an abuse of process if Saravanan, being a Muslim, seeks remedies in the Syariah High Court as it is his right to do so.

The Federal court however cautioned that questions may arise as to whether Subashini would be bound by the syariah court's decisions because she is not a Muslim.

“To my mind, the dissolution order of the civil marriage by the Syariah High Court by virtue of conversion would have no legal effect in the High Court other than as evidence of the fact of the dissolution of the marriage under the Islamic law in accordance with Hukum Syarak," said Nik Hashim.

"Thus, the non-Muslim marriage between the husband and wife remains intact amd continues to subsist until the High Court dissolves it pursuant to a petition for divorce by the unconverted spouse under Section 51(1) of the 1976 Act,” he added.

Nik Hashim said there is no impediment for Saravanan to appear in the divorce proceeding at the High Court albeit as respondent, as the jurisdiction of the High Court extends to him, unlike the Syariah High Court which restricts its jurisdiction to persons professing the religion of Islam only.

The court also paved the way for Saravanan to carry on with his other aims, including to seek custody of the two children and conversion of the second child to Islam, when the court set aside the Erinford injunctions obtained by Subashini previously against Saravanan.

But in this particular case, the court ruled that it could not grant the injunction because Subashini’s divorce petition was premature, due to the fact it was filed short of the three-month requirement.

Saravanan’s lawyer had argued during the trial that she had ignored the Islamic imposition of waiting for three menstrual cycles to lapse first.

Saravanan had previously converted his elder son to Islam when he embraced Islam on May 18, 2006.

“The wife’s petition was filed in contravention of the requirement under proviso to Section 51(1) of the 1976 Act in that it was filed two months and 18 days short of three months after the husband’s conversion to Islam,” said Nik Hashim.

He added it follows therefore that the petition was premature and invalid and the summons-in-chambers, ex-parte and inter parte based on the petition which were filed therein were also invalid.

Nik Hashim said the wife is entitled to proceed with the rest of the application but it would be most appropriate she files her petition for divorce afresh under Section 51 coupled with an application for ancillary reliefs as the court would grant the reliefs under Section 51(2) upon the dissolution of the marriage.

On the issue of whether, one parent can prevent the other from converting the religion of their children, Nik Hashim and Azmel ruled that either party cannot refrain the other from doing so.

Abdul Aziz howver disagreed, saying the opposing party has a right for his/her objections to be heard.

The Federal court also unanimously ruled the courts are eligible to grant Erinford injunctions to the disputing parties, to temporarily halt orders from the other courts, pending the applications to seek for leave to appeal to the higher courts.

After the decision was handed down, Subashini said she was disappointed with the judgement., saying she wished the judges had looked into her rights as a mother.

“It is unfair to treat me like this. I gave birth to our children and I have a right to make a decision about my children, as a mother,” she said in a phone interview with theSun.

“How can they say my estranged husband has the right to convert our second child? Does this mean I will lose my second son as well?” she added.

Subashini has not met her first son, Dharvin Joshua, for the past two years since her husband, Saravanan, converted the boy.

She said Saravanan, was only willing to grant her access to Dharvin in exchange for access to their youngest child, Sharvin.

Subashini said she was willing to give up not seeing Dharvin for fear that Saravanan would convert their second child as well.

“If that happens, then I am afraid that both my kids will be taken away from me, and I will have no one,” she said.

Subashini said it was unfair that her newly-converted husband seems to have been granted more rights over her as a mother.

“Where is my right, as a mother?” she asked, adding that  she was still discussing her next course of action with her lawyer.

Subashini’s lawyer K. Shanmuga told theSun Subashini was distraught over the judgment.

“She’s uncertain about her future and her children’s future. It’s a blow to her because she’s been told she can’t stop her husband from going to the syariah court to get orders regarding the breakup of their marriage, and she can’t stop him from converting their younger child,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saravanan's lawyer  Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, said it was difficult for him to respond to the latest development in the court case as they have yet to get the full written judgment.

"We have to wait for the full judgment first as we need to see what we can or cannot do. We have to see the reasonings of the judgment," he said to theSun when contacted today.

Subashini loses bid to stop her son's conversion by her estranged husband

PUTRAJAYA (Dec 27, 2007): The Federal Court today threw out a bid by a Hindu woman to stop her estranged husband from converting their youngest son to Islam.

Her case is another sign of strain in the social fabric of the multi-racial nation,where many non-Muslims believe their rights are being trampled by the Muslim majority.

R.Subashini took legal action after her husband converted himself and their elder son, now four, to Islam in 2006. She says she now fears the husband wants to take their two-year-old, who still lives with her, and convert him to Islam as well.

The Federal Court rejected her request for an injunction on technical grounds, leaving her free to try again, but one judge noted the court's jurisdiction was limited, given the husband was now a Muslim and therefore governed by Islamic or syariah law.

"The civil and syariah courts cannot interfere with each other's jurisdiction," said Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, one of two judges who dismissed the case One judge dissented.

Family law has become an emotional battleground between Malaysia's religious communities, with non-Muslims complaining civil courts are too willing to surrender jurisdiction to their Islamic counterparts in cases involving a Muslim conversion.

Marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims are forbidden in Malaysia, so once a non-Muslim spouse converts to Islam, the union is broken, lawyers say. While it can still exist under civil law, in reality the Islamic court does not recognise it.

A lawyer for Subashini said although his client's case failed on a technicality, the judges' comments made it clear they recognised the husband's right, as a newly converted Muslim, to have recourse to the Islamic courts.

"The High Court has jurisdiction to hear matters when this is a non-Muslim marriage but the husband also has a right to syariah court under Islamic Law," lawyer K. Shanmuga said when asked by reporters to sum up the ruling's significance.

Subashini, a 29-year-old clerk, had initially asked the High Court to prevent her husband from gaining custody of both their sons through the syariah courts.

Her husband, a 32-year-old businessman, had converted to Islam and when he conveyed the news to his wife, she attempted suicide and was admitted to hospital.

After her hospitalisation, she discovered her husband had converted their eldest son to Islam.

Her lawyers had told the Federal Court the civil system was the right place for this case because she was not a Muslim.

They cited a landmark ruling by the Federal Court in July which stated that if one party was a non-Muslim, the syariah court had no jurisdiction. This was a rare ruling that went against a tide of decisions granting jurisdiction to the Islamic courts. – Reuters    

Hindraf to hold another two assemblies

December 29th, 2007
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Hindraf to hold another two assemblies
Kimberley Lau

http://sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=20338

PETALING JAYA (Dec 27, 2007): Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is organising another two peaceful assemblies to protest Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan's claims that the organisation is linked with terrorists.

Hindraf coordinator S. Manikavasagam said "we will hand over a memorandum to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to investigate the validity of Musa's statement".On Dec 6, Musa accused Hindraf of soliciting help and support from terrorist groups.

"We want to 'mendesak' (force) and 'mencabar' (challenge) the IGP to present proof for what he said," he said, adding that the handing over of the memorandum will most likely be scheduled for mid-January. He said the accusations were inappropriate, claiming that Hindraf does not have any connections with terrorists.

Manikavasagam, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat Supreme Council member, said a second peaceful assembly will also be held in February in Putrajaya.He said a memorandum will be handed directly to the Prime Minister's Department.

Hindraf will apply for permits to hold these assemblies.

gerakan on paranjothy and hishamuddin

December 24th, 2007
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All three english dailies had article on Gerakan's response to its youth leader Paranjothy's article and also Hishamuddin's comments.

The Star:

Gerakan leader may be sacked over statement

PENANG: Gerakan Youth vice-chief S. Paranjothy could be sacked or suspended for stirring up feeling of unpleasantness among the multi-racial community and Barisan Nasional, said acting party president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon. 

Dr Koh said Paranjothy would face the disciplinary committee and central working committee for making racially-sensitive remarks. Paranjothy was quoted in Internet media as saying that the Indians were treated as fourth-class citizens. 

“The disciplinary committee headed by Tan Sri Song Siew Hoong will be sitting soon to deal with the matter. “We will look into all aspects. He (Paranjothy) could be suspended or even sacked,” Dr Koh told a press conference at Gerakan headquarters in Jalan Macalister here yesterday. 

Dr Koh also said Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein should not have given an ultimatum to Gerakan to clarify matters, as disciplinary action was already being taken against Paranjothy. Dr Koh said Hishammuddin should not threaten Gerakan. 

“He (Hishamuddin) can condemn Paranjothy or criticise Gerakan Youth. But he should not make statements that can mar relationship between component parties within Barisan,” said Dr Koh. 

Hishammuddin had expressed regret over the remark made by Paranjothy, and demanded that Gerakan explain itself. 

Dr Koh said Hishammuddin should not have overreacted, adding that he felt saddened and angry over Hishammuddin’s comments.  “Gerakan would have taken action against Paranjothy even if Hishammuddin had not made any statement,” he said.

NST:

Youth head to face action

By Lee Keng Fatt news@nst.com.my

GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has referred its National Youth vice-chairman, S. Paranjothy, to the disciplinary board for allegedly making racially-sensitive remarks against Umno. 

Its acting president, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, said yesterday that the board would investigate the matter and refer its decision to the central working committee (CWC) for action. If found guilty, Paranjothy could face suspension or even expulsion from the party.

"Paranjothy has violated the party's ethics and the Barisan Nasional spirit with his statement. "It is wrong for him to attack any BN component party in such a harsh and open manner and with words which may hurt the feelings of others.

"Therefore, we have decided to initiate action against him," Koh, who is also Penang chief minister, said at a press conference in the state Gerakan headquarters here.

He said it was the party's decision to act against Paranjothy based on what the latter had said. "What we did has nothing to do with any pressure from other groups," he said in reference to a statement by Umno Youth chairman Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who called for Gerakan to explain its stand on Paranjothy's remarks.

Paranjothy, who is a member of the Gerakan Subang division, issued a press statement on Dec 21 claiming that he was not happy with Umno and the way Indians in the country were being treated.

The SUN:

Gerakan to act against youth leader for criticising Umno, govt
Opalyn Mok

PENANG (Dec 23, 2007): Disciplinary action has been initiated against Gerakan youth vice chief S. Paranjothy over a statement criticising Umno and the government, titled “Discrimination from womb to tomb”, which appeared in a website over the weekend. Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said Paranjothy’s statement in malaysiakini was ”highly exaggerated” and could raise negative sentiments and create dissent.

“His statement that the Indian ethnic group are like fourth-class citizens will only serve to raise even more dissent and dissatisfaction among the public,” said Koh. He said Paranjothy’s action in releasing such a statement was not in line with Gerakan’s team spirit to always take a consultative and positive front. "It is important for Gerakan leaders to take the positive and moderate approach in solving any issue or problem,” Koh said.

”He can criticise government policy but it should  be done in a positive manner. It is not right of him to openly attack a Barisan Nasional component party using hurtful words and even raising issues that have been resolved.”

The case has been referred to the party’s disciplinary committee, which will decide on the action to be  taken. The decision will be forwarded to the central working committee for further action. Paranjothy faces being suspended or stripped of his position.

Koh, who called a press conference at the Gerakan headquarters to announce that disciplinary action was being taken against Paranjothy, also voiced his disappointment over Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s ”over-reaction” to the statement. 

“I am taken aback and disappointed over Hishammuddin’s response in his threat that Umno Youth will sever all relations with Gerakan,” he said. “It is not right for him say that Umno Youth and Barisan Nasional want to sever all relationships with the whole party because of a single statement by one Gerakan youth leader. This emotional outburst is not right and it is an over-reaction for him to say that.”

Koh also clarified that the disciplinary action to be  taken against Paranjothy is not because of demands from Umno Youth but because of the party’s stand to act against all its leaders and members who breached discipline.

On Friday, Paranjothy released a statement to malaysiakini pointing the finger at Umno for raising racial sentiments among the Malays to gain political mileage.  He alleged that Hishammuddin’s keris-waving and his deputy Khairy Jamaluddin’s claim that non-Malays would take advantage of a weak Umno leadership were prime examples of racial posturing.

Hishammuddin responded on Saturday by demanding an explanation from Koh. “If the explanation given is not satisfactory, we are prepared to sever all relations with Gerakan. This is no laughing matter,” Hishammuddin reportedly said.

churches to continue using Allah

December 24th, 2007
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After Johari said the word is exlusive to them only, the Church responds. Basically, the church is telling that (i) the use of "Allah" is widespread all over the world, (ii) the newsletter is for Catholics and not sold in public, (iii) the ministry's decision in unconstitutional, and (iv) the churches will continue to use the word "Allah".

Church leaders explain use of 'Allah'
source
Joseph Masilamany

PETALING JAYA (Dec 23, 2007): The use of the word “Allah” to refer to God among Christians has been widely practised for generations in many countries and it is not meant to offend or confuse the Muslims, Christian leaders said on Sunday.

Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of local Catholic weekly The Herald, told theSun that its Bahasa Malaysia segment catered to the many Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Catholics in the country.

“The newspaper is only circulated among Catholics and not sold at newsstands and neither is the paper issued to Muslims,” he stressed.

He said The Herald was informed by the Internal Security Ministry in a letter dated Dec 10 to stop its Bahasa Malaysia segment. He added that the letter said this would be so when the publication permit is granted. The annual permit expires on Dec 31 and the publication has yet to receive the renewed permit.

Lawrence said the term “Allah” used by Christians or in Christian literature was not intended to offend Muslims or create confusion. We follow the Bible, he said. “The Malay-language Bible uses ‘Allah’ for God and Tuhan for Lord.”

He said since the early 19th century, Catholics in Malaya had prayer books in the Malay language and “Allah” was used to refer to God. The Maltese Catholics also use the term “Allah” to refer to God and so do Christians in Indonesia, Pakistan and the Middle East.

There are more than 850,000 Catholics in Malaysia, and The Herald has a circulation of 12,000 and a readership of 50,000. Other than the English segment, it also has sections in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil to cater to the multi-racial and multi-lingual make-up of the Malaysian Catholic population.

Hence it is common for some Catholic religious celebrations to be conducted in Bahasa Malaysia during the Sunday worship, and even on special national occasions such as Merdeka Day.    

Lawrence said the ministry had no right to interfere in the internal management of the church, in accordance with the Federal Constitution.Quoting Article 11 (3) A, he said the constitution allowed every religious group to manage its own affairs. He said the ministry’s decision to abolish The Herald‘s Bahasa Malaysia segment was unconstitutional and had no legal standing.

The weekly is still in talks with the authorities to renew its permit, and would appeal if the government refuses to issue the permit.

The general-secretary of the Council of Churches Malaysia Rev Herman Shastri told theSun each religious community was endowed with the right to translate its respective holy scriptures. 

“Christians living in Muslim-majority countries are using the term ‘Allah’ in reference to God during their liturgical celebrations. Even if the authorities disallow the use of certain words, the churches will continue to use them because it has to do with our sacred scriptures,” he said.