Friday, July 11, 2014

Who are 'outsiders' threatening Islam, DPM?

4:26PM Jul 11, 2014 Malaysiakini

Who are 'outsiders' threatening Islam, DPM?

A day after Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin claimed his statement warning of another May 13 race riots was manipulated, spotlight has fallen on another statement of his that "outsiders" are threatening Islam.

DAP's Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran today referred to a July 6 Bernama report quoting Muhyiddin as saying that there was mounting pressure from "various quarters" questionning the implementation of laws by the syariah court.

The remark came a day after Muhyiddin's May 13 race riots warning, which was reported by Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia.

"He should clarify if Bernama has accurately quoted (him). If so, can he explain who, and how, have they questioned the religion of the federation and the powers of the syariah court?

"I wish to ask Muhyiddin, in particular, if he was referring to the recent interfaith custody cases when he talked about 'quarters' questioning the powers of the syariah court," Kulasegaran said in a statement.

Kulasegaran is lawyer for M Indira Gandhi, who is locked in a custody battle with her husband over their daughter.

Indira's ex-husband Mohamad Riduan Abdullah @ K. Pathmanathan had converted their underaged children to Islam without her knowledge and obtained custody over their daughter from the Syariah High Court in 2009.

'Challenge part of the legal process'

However, the High Court in in Ipoh ruled in 2010 that Indira had custody over their daughter and ordered police to retrieve the child, which the police refused, citing two differing decisions from the syariah and civil courts.

Kulasegaran said the challenge mounted by his client against the Syariah High Court decision was part of the legal process.

"I will not be surprised if some ignorant extremist groups view as valid and rational the legal arguments as challenging the powers of the syariah court. But I don’t expect the deputy prime minister to have such misinterpretation.

"If Muhyiddin was referring to some other cases and instances, then he should explain and justify why he has viewed them as questioning the powers of the syariah court," he said.

A similar case is also before the High Court in Seremban, involving S Deepa (left) and her five-year-old son.

Deepa's former husband, Izwan Abdullah @ N Viran, grabbed their son from the mother after losing custody of the boy, citing a syariah court order granting him custody. The case remains unresolved.

Yesterday Muhyiddin explained that his warning about the May 13 race riots was merely a reminder of what could happen if the races in Malaysia did not maintain harmony in the country.

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