You are here: Home » PTI Stories » International » News
Business Standard

Malaysia withdraw bill allowing unilateral conversion of child

Press Trust of India  |  Kuala Lumpur 

Malaysia has withdrawn a controversial bill which allows one parent to give consent for the religious conversion of a child following an outcry that it discriminated against non-Muslim minorities in the country.

"The Cabinet has decided to withdraw the child conversion bill until the approval of all stakeholders is received," Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said here.

Muhyiddin said the Cabinet made the decision to withdraw the Administration of the Religion of Islam Bill during its meeting yesterday following concerns from various quarters including from within the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional party.

All consequential amendments from the Bill would also be withdrawn, he said in a statement.

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.

Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president G Palanivel welcomed the withdrawal of the Bill saying it was a fair move, taking into consideration everyone's sensitivities.

The Bill was tabled for the first reading in Parliament on June 26.

Malaysia's Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said yesterday that the proposed legislation must not be rushed and should be given time for in-depth debate.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low Seng Kuan had called for the bill to be withdrawn while Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz said the bill was unfair to non-Muslims.

The move comes after two minor ethnic Indian Hindu children in Malaysia had been converted to Islam without their mother's consent, triggering protests from the various groups.

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.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, July 06 2013. 14:25 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU