Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) applauds the recent Federal Court decision in the Indira Gandhi’s appeal against the Court of Appeal decision.
This decision is important because it clarifies the issue of conversion of minors to another faith requires the consent of both parents. It is hoped with this clarification, future personal tragedies as experienced by Indira Gandhi, a result of systemic failure, can be avoided.
The court’s decision is also in line with Article 14(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 14(1) provides that the state shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Article 14(2) provides that states shall respect the rights and duties of the parents to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.
We call upon the police to act upon the decision of the court to find Indira Gandhi’s daughter, Prasana, who is believed to be with Indira’s ex-husband, and return Prasana to Indira Gandhi.
More importantly, we wish to emphasise that this decision is not about victory or defeat to any faith communities but rather one of natural justice and in the interest of the welfare of the children in such cases.
We also note with concern that certain quarters have played up this issue as one of attacking religious faith. This is clearly not the case, as the point of the Federal Court’s decision is one of clarifying a point of law.
We urge all Malaysians to remember that Malaysia is a country that upholds the supremacy of the constitution as stated in the Rukun Negara.
Endorsed by the following GBM member organisations:
1) All Women’s Action Society (Awam) 妇女行动协会
2) Engage 愿景工程组织
3) Japan Graduates Association, Malaysia (Jagam) 马来西亚留日同学会
4) The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH）隆雪华堂
5) LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG) 林连玉基金
6) Majlis Perundingan Malaysian Agama Buddha, Kritisian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao (MCCBCHST) 马来西亚五大宗教理事会
7) Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH) 森美兰中华大会堂
8) Partners in Community Organising (Pacos Trust) 沙巴社区伙伴信托组织
9) Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran) 国民醒觉运动
10) Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (LiuHua) 马来西亚留华同学会
11) Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS) 雪隆社区协会
12) Pusat Komas (Komas) 社区传播中心
13) Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) 马来西亚之子
14) Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) 人民之声
15) Tamil Foundation Malaysia (TF) 淡米尔基金会
16) Tindak Malaysia 行动大马组织