Sunday, January 22, 2006

Second Class Status For Non-Muslims In Malaysia

Malaysia's non-Muslim ministers have withdrawn a controversial memorandum which called on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to protect the rights of religious minorities, local media said.
The ministers came under fire from several colleagues at Wednesday's weekly cabinet meeting after they submitted the memo, which calls for a review of laws and the constitution where they infringe on minorities' rights.

Their unusual move followed the controversial Muslim burial of well-known mountaineer M Moorthy over his Hindu wife's protests, which sparked outrage among religious minorities.

Moorthy was found to have converted to Islam by a sharia court in which his non-Muslim wife had no say. A civil court later refused to rule on the religious court's findings.

Abdullah said he met several of the non-Muslim ministers at his residence over the weekend to convince them to retract the memorandum.
I wonder how they were "convinced".
Religious minorities in mainly-Muslim Malaysia say non-Muslims are increasingly losing out in legal disputes to Muslims, whose matters are heard in sharia courts in the country's dual legal system.

Malaysia's constitution says civil courts have no jurisdiction on matters under sharia courts.