Hearing of single mother's bid to challenge kids' unilateral conversion on May 17

29 Mar 2022 04:06pm
Single mother Loh Siew Hong is seeking a declaration that her three children are Hindus and her ex-husband M. Nagahswaran did not have the legal capacity to allow the Perlis State Registrar of Converts to register their children as converts without her consent. - BERNAMA
Single mother Loh Siew Hong is seeking a declaration that her three children are Hindus and her ex-husband M. Nagahswaran did not have the legal capacity to allow the Perlis State Registrar of Converts to register their children as converts without her consent. - BERNAMA
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KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court has set May 17 to hear an application for leave for judicial review by single mother Loh Siew Hong to challenge her ex-husband's action in registering their three children as Muslim converts without her consent.

Loh’s lawyer, A. Srimurugan, when contacted by reporters, said the application would be heard via online proceeding before Judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

Loh, 34, filed the application on March 25, and named the Perlis State Registrar of Converts, Perlis Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council, Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and the Perlis state government as the first to the fourth respondent.

The single mother is seeking a declaration that her three children are Hindus and her ex-husband, M. Nagahswaran, did not have the legal capacity to allow the Perlis State Registrar of Converts to register their children as converts without her consent.

The woman is also seeking a declaration that her three children, as children, do not have the legal capacity to convert to Islam without her consent.

She also sought a certiorari order to revoke the Declaration of Conversion to Islam, dated July 7, 2020, issued by the Registrar of Converts of Perlis in the name of her three children, and also other cards on their conversion to Islam that have been issued by other parties, and also prevent any party from issuing such a card.

Loh is also applying for a mandamus order to compel the Perlis State Registrar of Converts to delete or cancel the names of her three children or their Muslim names in the Perlis State Register of Converts and a prohibition order to prevent Mohd Asri, through officers, employees or the Perlis State Mufti Department from issuing statements that could meant that her children are converts or Muslims.

She is also seeking a declaration that Section 117 (b) of the Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2006, which empowers the Registrar of Converts of Perlis to register a child as a convert only with the consent of the mother or father of the child, even if both of them are still alive, is unconstitutional and is invalid.

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The three children, who were then under the care of the Social Welfare Department, were released to Loh last Feb 21 after the High Court allowed her habeas corpus application.

In a notice of motion filed through Messrs. SS Thind on Feb 13, Loh named Nazirah Nanthakumari Abdullah as the first respondent and an unnamed party whom she claimed to be taking care of her three children as the second respondent.

Loh applied for a writ of habeas corpus or other appropriate order by the court for her children to be immediately released from the respondent’s right of private custody and returned to her. - BERNAMA