SUPP backs reintroduction of Clause 88A, says sec-gen

Datuk Sebastian Ting

MIRI: The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) supports the proposed reintroduction of Clause 88A to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Act (LRA).

SUPP secretary-general and Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting said this would be consistent with the recent unanimous Federal Court decision against the unilateral conversion of a child to Islam.

He said this in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s statement that the government is considering amending the law to bring it in line with the court’s decision.

Ting said the Federal Court’s decision reflected the law, practicality and sensibility.

“It was unanimous and this is important as it reflects the thinking is the same on this issue by the judges at the highest court in the country,” he said.

He said SUPP welcomed the Federal Court’s decision as this was in line with SUPP’s long-standing stance against unilateral conversion.

Clause 88A states that the religion of the child ‘shall remain as the religion of the parties to the marriage prior to the conversion’ and that the child can, after turning 18 and with the consent of both parents, convert to Islam.

The clause was withdrawn from the Bill to amend the LRA, which was passed by Parliament last August.

The Federal Court’s landmark decision on Monday nullified the unilateral conversion of M Indira Gandhi’s three children – Tevi Darsiny, 20; Karan Dinish, 19; and Prasana Diksa, 9, – by her ex-husband K Pathmanathan @ Muhammad Riduan Abdullah in 2009.