08 July 2013

The government did not cave in to pressure from certain parties to withdraw the controversial conversion bills from Parliament, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.

He said the Cabinet had unanimously agreed to withdraw the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 before the second reading in Parliament.

"It was done to protect the interests of all quarters involved and to refine the Bill. The Act will remain and any amendment to it will only be done after everyone has their opinions and views recorded and we have discussed it with them," he said.

The government, he pointed out, believed that Islam was fair to everyone and discrepancies that arose from a child's religious status should be resolved based on Islamic principles.

Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution states that the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be decided by his parent or guardian.

Earlier today, Jamil Khir told Parliament that the government was withdrawing the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013.

He also said the government was withdrawing two other bills – the Syariah Court Civil Procedure (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013 and the Syariah Criminal Procedures (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013.

The Cabinet had, on Friday, decided to withdraw the Bill, which concerns unilateral conversion of minors.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Cabinet had extensively reviewed the Bill, which was first tabled at the Dewan Rakyat on June 26. - July 8, 2013.




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