Home Latest News Current Affairs Changes of Religion to be handled by Civil Court, YBAM agrees the amendment of Law

Changes of Religion to be handled by Civil Court, YBAM agrees the amendment of Law

Monday, 29 August 2016 14:19
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The Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) welcomes the Government’s proposal to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. With the amendment, the civil courts will have precedence in mediating divorce and child custody cases of marriages registered under Civil Law to resolve interfaith child custody conflicts due to the religious conversion of the spouse.

YBAM agrees with the three principles of the government on which the amendments were proposed: (1) Any issues relating to divorce for civil marriages to be settled in the civil courts first to safeguard custodial rights and child maintenance until adulthood; (2) Both parties to have chance to resolve civil marriage issues at the civil court and continue with their new life after that; (3) Conflicts between the civil and syariah courts resulting from one party’s conversion to Islam to be resolved and legal overlap in existing laws to be overcome.

YBAM also urges the government to look seriously the bill tabled by Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Parliament on the amendments of Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355) in May 2016. The Act 355 was enacted in 1965 to define the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court and restricted it as a District Court and to only have jurisdiction on minor personal offenses committed by Muslims, so that prevented the Syariah Court to be above Federal Laws.  However, after the amendments in 1984, the jurisdiction of Syariah Court has been expanded since then.

If the Act 355 is amended again, the Hudud Laws advocated by PAS will be enforced immediately, and the country will be ruled by theocracy.  This will lead to the collapse of the Secular System of the country.