BN's complete betrayal of non-Muslims - P RAMASAMY is Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | It is indeed shocking
to know that the leader of the MIC and current Health Minister Dr S
Subramaniam would support the withdrawal of amendments to the Law Reform
(Marriage and Divorce) Act of 1976.
Subramaniam said that it would be wise to focus on other amendments
that would not require constitutional amendments as a way forward on the
issue of the unilateral conversions that have plagued the nation. Since the amendments involving Section 88A will go against the
constitutional provision of allowing for a single parent to convert his
or her child, such an amendment would require a two-thirds majority.
Minister of Tourism and Culture Nazri Abdul Aziz also remarked and
even defended that withdrawal of Section 88A on the grounds that such an
amendment, if tabled in Parliament, might not get the support of the
opposition and would put the government of the day in a bad light. If the amendments get rejected in Parliament by the inclusion of this
controversial Section 88A, it would mean that the government of the day
will lose its confidence.
BN politicians are suggesting that the non-inclusion of Section 88A
in the amendments will be way forward as there are other issues that
might bring relief to those families affected by unilateral conversions. There are six other amendments that would not require changes to the
constitution but will be nonetheless effective in addressing issues
pertaining to unilateral conversions and their effect on families.
For instance, the amendments to allow for the dissolution of civil
marriages, provisions for the seeking of custody of their children,
distribution of assets and others might be a way forward for families.Subramaniam and Nazri are trying to defend the BN government for
withdrawing the bill on the grounds that the government might not get
the necessary support and, what is more, the Section 88A contravenes the
However, both of them don’t realise, or pretend, that the key or
fundamental issue in the bill to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and
Divorce) Act of 1976 is the issue of unilateral conversion by one of the
Bill pointless without Section 88A
This is in accordance with the Federal Constitution, a provision that
is the main cause of worry and misery of those families affected by the
unilateral conversion. The case of Indira Gandhi and many others point
to the fact that it is this provision that has emboldened the one-side
conversion of the children.
Thus, rescinding this very relevant section from the bill makes no
sense. Without Section 88A, it would be pointless to bring relief and
comfort to families affected by the conversion of one spouse and the
subsequent conversion of the children.
DAP, with its 36 Members of Parliament, are ready to support the
government bill if reintroduced with the inclusion of the Section 88A.
Without this section, the bill is empty and meaningless. Having contemplated and discussed the bill for some time, the
government cannot turn around to give the lame excuse that the bill
might not get the support of the opposition.
is not about getting the support or non-support but that the BN
government, in facing the next general election, is afraid to offend
Muslims in the country, particularly its new found friend, PAS.
BN non-Malay component parties are either silent or supporting the
withdrawal of the bill by saying that it is better to "pluck the low
hanging fruits" first.
This is a complete nonsense and total betrayal of
non-Muslims by political parties such as the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and
other mosquito parties.