No plan to re-insert Section 88A Into Law Reform Act: Muhyiddin

04 Apr 2019 / 20:43 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no plan to re-insert Section 88A relating to the religious conversion of a child below the age of 18, into the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the section, which states that the religion of a child which is a product of the marriage “shall remain as the religion of the parties to the marriage prior to the conversion”, was removed in the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Amendment Bill 2016 because it contravened Article 12 (4) of the Federal Constitution.

“This is in line with the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ view on Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution which states that the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be decided unilaterally by his parent or guardian,” he said in reply to Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) during the Minister’s Question Time today.

On the Federal and High Courts decisions against several unilateral conversions last year, Muhyiddin said the ministry was aware of that and the proposal to re-insert Section 88A was placed under close scrutiny of the ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“Following the scrutiny, it was concluded that it is the courts, as the judicial body, which has the freedom to interpret a particular legal provision, in which case the Federal Court’s decision will bind the decision of the lower courts,” he added. — Bernama

email blast