Thursday, April 19, 2007

Justice, Malaysian Style.

The following scenario could be expected to take place in a few lawless states where justice can be markedly different from what we in the democratic world are used to. Yet the sad story below did actually happen here. It is a tale of misery and woe for a mother, detained without trial, forcibly had her baby girl separated from her, all because of her religious defiance. A defiance that brought upon her the entire weight of Islamic officialdom. She will be detained until she 'repents'. All she has to do is to tell a lie, a white lie, that she 'believes' in Islam and will 'practice' the Muslim faith and her 'rehabilitation' will be considered successful and she would be free to enjoy her life in religious bliss! Unfortunately her courage in facing official coercion as well as obstinately refusing to embrace a religion which has no meaning or value to her will be her downfall. The choice is hers. Either tell a lie and become a part of the Ummah or show true courage and conviction and stand condemned and imprisoned. What a choice!

A Malaysian Islamic court has extended the detention of a Muslim-born woman living as a Hindu in defiance of the law after she refused to be rehabilitated, an opposition leader said Wednesday.

Revathi Masoosai, an ethnic Indian, was detained by the Islamic Religious Department in southern Malacca state in January and sent for religious counseling in a rehabilitation center after they discovered she had been born to a Muslim family.

Revathi, 29, was born to Indian Muslim parents who gave her a Muslim name, Siti Fatimah. But she claimed she was raised as a Hindu by her grandmother and changed her name in 2001, opposition Democratic Action Party officials have said. Malaysian Islamic law regards people born to Muslims as being Muslims themselves.

Islamic officials seized her 15-month-old daughter from her Hindu husband, Suresh Veerappan, last month and handed the child to Revathi's Muslim mother.

Revathi married Suresh in 2004 according to Hindu rites but the marriage has not been legally registered because Suresh would have had to convert to Islam first. Revathi's official identification documents state she is Muslim because Malaysians who are born as Muslims cannot legally change their religion.

Parliamentary opposition chief Lim Kit Siang, who chairs the DAP, said the Malacca Syariah Court has extended Revathi's initial detention term of 100 days, which expired Wednesday, for an additional 80 days. Her husband was informed by court officials that "she did not cooperate during the 100-day stay," Lim told The Associated Press.

Revathi was not brought to court and Veerappan's demand for a copy of the court order on the extension was rejected, he said.

Islamic Department officials in Malacca could not immediately be reached for comment.

"It is sad and tragic that this heart-rending tale of the father, mother and baby girl being forcibly separated into three different locations by law and religion had not been resolved today," Lim said.

"When law and religion comes together to break the family, it gives a bad name to our country. Something is very wrong and it must be put right."

Lim urged the government to intervene and ensure justice for Revathi's family, warning that the case could promote ill-will among Malaysia's different races.

Revathi's case, which was made public by the DAP last month, highlights an increasing number of conflicts affecting the religious rights of the ethnic Indian and Chinese minorities.

Indians, who form about 8 percent of Malaysia's 26 million people, are mostly Hindus while some are Christians, Muslims and Sikhs.

Activists say a string of recent disputes have ended in favor of Muslims — who comprise nearly 60 percent of the population — and strained ethnic relations in the multicultural nation, which has enjoyed racial peace for nearly four decades. (International Herald Tribune)

***** Where this unimpeded zeal shown by our religious department is going to lead us finally to, I really don't want to speculate or even think about. But I do know that the consequences will not be pleasant.

Earlier related post: Malaysia's Islamic Officials Seize Baby From Mother Who Sought A Hindu Life.
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Blogger bakaq a.k.a penarik beca said...

Tuan/Puan pemilik blog yang dihormati


Mohon maaf kerana mengacau. Jika Tuan/Puan sudi dan mempunyai masa, harap lawati Malaysiakita. Salam.

8:54 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

apa dah jadi dengan malaysia ni?!
tak ada kebebasan beragama langsung!
mana Pak Lah, kata dia islam hadhari, kurung orang lagi!

9:11 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see this happening in other religions. Why?

10:02 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The spiritual divine laws is always supreme compared to "man-made religious" laws. When politics meddle with religions, everything gets muddled. And keroscene mixes with fire, you get explosions and human tragedy. Religious should mean spirituality, values and humanity. Divine laws are always "just" and you don't get this here in Malaysia via post laju from politicians and religious bigots.

11:40 AM GMT+8  

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