What Is The Point Of The Prime Minister Referring Interfaith Child Custody Cases To The Federal Court For Resolution(en/cn)

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On13.6.2014

What Is The Point Of The Prime Minister Referring Interfaith Child Custody Cases To The Federal Court For Resolution If Both The Minister For Home Affairs And Inspector-General Of Police(IGP) Prefers To Politicise The Issue By Refusing To Comply With Civil Court Orders?

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s suggestion urging families involved in interfaith child custody cases to use the Federal Court to resolve them is an empty one when his own Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and IGP Khalid Abu Bakar is in contempt of civil court orders. What is the point of the Prime Minister referring interfaith child custody cases to the Federal Court for resolution if both the Minister for Home Affairs and IGP prefers to politicise the issue by refusing to comply with civil court orders?

Instead Najib should be directing the Attorney-General, Home Minister and IGP to perform their constitutional duty to enforce civil court orders as set out in our Federal Constitution. Have they and even the Prime Minister forgotten their oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Malaysian Federal Constitution?

The question is not about the Federal Court giving priority to these sad interfaith custodial cases but whether the BN Federal govenrment respects natural justice or practices injustice by giving the right to either one parent to conduct unilateral conversion of their children merely on the strength that he or she has converted to Islam.

The Court of Appeal last month dismissed the application of Muslim convert N Viran (Izwan Abdullah) to set aside the Seremban High Court decision giving his former wife S Deepa, a Hindu, custody of their two children. In another case, M Indira Gandhi got a Ipoh High Court order early this year to cite her former husband K Patmanathan for contempt of court for failing to hand over their youngest child, six-year-old Prasana Diksa. However the syariah courts have given custody to the convert father on the basis that he is a Muslim.

To separate underaged children from their mother has not been recognized by any democratic country that is compassionate and respects the rule of law. Unless evidence can be shown of the mother’s incapacity to take care of the children, separating the mother from the underaged children merely on the basis of her religious status is unacceptable and cruel. Unfortunately no proper consideration has been given to the genuineness of the father’s conversion to Islam as a matter of faith or a mere device to exact revenge against the mother and gain custody of the children.

If Najib is indeed worried over the fate and welfare of the children caught in these interfaith cases, then he should carry out his constitutional duty as set out in his oath of office to protect, preserve and defend the Malaysian Federal Constitution by complying with the civil court orders to return the children back to the mother,

Najib should also give due attention to the failure of the Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the police and IGP to prevent police custodial deaths. The latest police custodial death happened a few days ago in Penang, bringing the number of police custodial deaths involving Penang to seven cases this year, and ten nationwide.

By blaming the police custodial deaths on the health of the victim is not only an abdication of responsibility but also indicates that custodial deaths will only persist, continuing this inhuman cruelty and sorrow to many helpless families. Clearly the IGP has shown himself to be incapable of carrying out his duties and should resign.

LIM GUAN ENG

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民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼国会议员于2014年6月13日在吉隆坡发表的文告

当内政部长及全国总警长皆政治化改教案的小孩扶养权,拒绝听命于民事法庭谕令办事,首相建议提交该争议案由联邦法庭审理到底有什么用呢?

首相拿督斯里纳吉建议牵涉改教案扶养权的家庭利用联邦法庭解决争议根本是空口说白话,因为首相自己属下的内政部长阿末扎希及全国总警长卡立阿布巴卡因为这事件可以藐视民事法庭谕令。当内政部长及全国总警长皆政治化改教案的小孩扶养权,拒绝听命于民事法庭谕令办事,首相建议提交该争议案由联邦法庭审理到底有什么用呢?

与其提出这种建议,纳吉应该命令总检察长、内政部长及全国总警长履行他们在联邦宪法明文之下应尽的宪政职责,执行民事法庭所下的谕令。难道是他们,甚至是首相本身忘了就任时宣誓要卫护、保护及捍卫马来西亚联邦宪法吗?

在这件令人难过的改教案扶养权争议中,问题不在于联邦法庭给予优先审理与否,而是国阵联邦政府是否尊崇自然正义原则,还是不公正地只因为任何一方家长皈依伊斯兰教,就赋权让他或她有权力单方面改变其儿女的宗教信仰。

上个月上诉庭已经驳回皈依穆斯林的维兰(伊赞阿都拉)要求搁置芙蓉高庭判予其信仰兴都教前妻蒂芭获得两名孩子扶养权的决定。在怡保的另一案件,瑛德拉甘地在今年初获得高庭庭令传召其前夫,因为藐视法庭谕令不肯交出他们6岁的小儿子帕玛纳丹。然而,伊斯兰法庭却基于丈夫是穆斯林的原因,将扶养权判予该名孩童父亲。

任何和睦与尊崇法治的民主国家是不会允许将不足龄孩童与其母亲分离的事件发生。除非有证据显示母亲没有能力照顾其小孩,否则只因为宗教因素就将不足龄的孩童与母亲分开,这是多么令人难以接受与残酷的事。很不幸的,这完全没有顾虑到父亲改信伊斯兰到底是诚心的信仰,或这只是对母亲进行报复及抢回孩童扶养权的工具而已。

如果纳吉真的担心这群被改教案纠缠的孩童的命运与福利,他就必须根据他就任时曾宣誓保护、维护及捍卫马来西亚联邦宪法,去履行他的宪政职责,执行民事庭谕令,交还孩童给其母亲。

同时,纳吉也必须关注阿末扎希、警方及总警长无法防止警方扣留犯频频丧生的事件。前几天,槟城又发生警方扣留犯死亡事件,让槟城警方扣留犯死亡案例增加至7宗,全国第10宗。

将警方扣留犯死亡都归咎于健康问题,不只是推卸责任,同时也显示这屡屡发生,惨无人道的扣留犯死亡事件,将周而复始发生,让更多的无助家庭悲痛莫名。很明显的,全国总警长无法胜任其职务,应该引咎辞职。

林冠英

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