Putrajaya to re-table marriage amendment bill, drops clause on child's faith

PUTRAJAYA is dropping a controversial clause on keeping a child’s faith if their parents convert to another religion when it tables fresh amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2016 tomorrow.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said withdrew the bill today before question time, leading to speculation that it was meant to prevent an outcry among Muslims, who form the majority of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s vote bank.

She later said in a statement that the new bill will be tabled without Clause 88A, which states that the religion of the child should remain the same despite the conversion of one of the parents.

“The amendments needed to be done so that it would not be in conflict with the provisions under the Federal Constitution,” the minister said in the statement.

Azalina said the fresh amendments would also be in line with the courts’ decisions on the interpretation of the Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution, which states that the religion of a person under the age of 18 shall be decided by his parent or a guardian.

“Therefore, the government hopes everyone will look at this positively to protect the multi-racial principle in our community.

“I hope all parties can support this new bill without having to politicise it,” she said.

Clause 88A, which states that the religion of the child should remain in the religion he or she was raised in before one parent converted, was a new addition to the amendments.

It sparked some debate with those against it saying that it would make it impossible for the converted spouse to gain custody of the child and also prevent the child from ever becoming a Muslim. – August 7, 2017.

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  • Same old, same old. The parent or guardian who "kidnapped" the child can still force a conversion. There was a precedent ......

    Posted 6 years ago by Malaysian First · Reply