MAIPs files leave to appeal over unilateral conversion of three children

KUALA LUMPUR – The Perlis Islamic Religion and Malay Customs Council (MAIPs) has filed an application for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision that set aside the unilateral conversion of single mother Loh Siew Hong’s three children to Islam.

The application was filed yesterday (Feb 8) at the Federal Court.

In the notice of motion, MAIPs raised several constitutional and legal questions regarding the religious position of the three children.

On Jan 10, the Court of Appeal set aside the unilateral conversion of Loh’s three children to Islam, ruling that the unilateral conversion by her ex-husband M. Nagahswaran was illegal.

Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, who chaired a panel of three judges, said the court was bound by the decision of Indira Gandhi’s case which held that consent of both parents must be obtained before a minor can be converted to another religion.

Loh, 37, is appealing against the decision of the High Court here on May 11, 2023, which dismissed her judicial review application to challenge the conversion of his three children to Islam by Nagahswaran without her consent.

The single mother, who filed the application on March 25, 2022, named the Perlis State Registrar of Converts, MAIPs, Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and the Perlis government as respondents.

Loh is seeking a declaration that his three children are Hindus and Nagahswaran did not have the legal capacity to allow the Perlis State Registrar of Converts to register their children as converts without her consent.

The woman is also seeking a declaration that her children, as underage children,  did not have the legal capacity to convert to Islam without her consent.

She is also applying for a certiorari order to revoke the declaration of the conversion to Islam dated July 7, 2020,  issued by the Perlis Registrar of Converts in the name of her three children. – BERNAMA