Bill for religion change must not be rushed: Malaysian HM

Last Updated: Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 00:10

Kuala Lumpur: The proposed controversial child conversion legislation must not be rushed and should be given time for in-depth debate, Malaysia`s Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said.
The Bill, which was tabled in Parliament recently, allows a person below the age of 18 to convert to Islam if one parent or guardian consents to the conversion.
"If it is brought up for debate, then all parties can make their arguments.
"If there are certain clauses that some do not agree on, they can still be amended during the committee stage.

"I think we should give it more room for debate," the minister said when asked about the controversial proposed child conversion legislation.

Minister in the Prime Minister`s Department Paul Low Seng Kuan had called for the Bill to be withdrawn while Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz said the Bill was unfair to non-Muslims.

Other Cabinet members, including Malaysian Indian Congress president G Palanivel and his deputy S Subramaniam, have also called for an amendment to the controversial clause in the Bill.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said all parties would be consulted before making any decision on the Bill.

Multi ethnic Malaysia has a 60 per cent majority Malay population, who are all Muslims.

The country`s 27 million people also includes 25 per cent ethnic Chinese who are Buddhists or Christians and Eight per cent ethnic Indians who are mostly Hindus.


First Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 - 00:10
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