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.