MIC President, Samy Vellu, it appears, is standing with the Indian community which thus far has been the most vocal in their concerns, considering the brouhaha was triggered by events affecting one of their own. Malaysiakini reported that a two-hour meeting with a delegation from the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (MCCBCHS) was held at his office the other day to discuss recommendations to be submitted to the PM.
Samy Vellu said during the meeting, which was also attended by experts and lawyers, that some changes should be made to the governing laws on non-Muslims as certain states adopted laws that might not be very acceptable to non-Muslims. He referred particularly to the case of automatic conversions of children of a muslim convert without necessary consent of his non-muslim wife.
Senior lawyer Haris Ibrahim said among other things, that right and remedy are fundamental to justice and “if Moorthy’s case doesn’t wake the public up to what’s happening, God help this country. [But] I don’t see why God will bother if we ourselves won’t bother.” And that is the blunt reality.
Syariah Lawyers Association president Mohamad Burok on the other hand doesn’t think there is an issue and questions where the confusion lies. With regards to Muslims leaving the faith, he says rules dealing with apostasy are in the works but if you’re curious as to how it’s shaping up, here’s the short version: “The principle is, in Islam, once we are in, we cannot leave. That is binding among all Muslims. It is a matter of aqidah (faith). This is a serious matter.”
He adds: "It may not be specific for those born Muslims or Muslim converts but there will be a method for Muslims to apply to leave the religion through the syariah court. It is not meant to allow Muslims to become apostates. In the process, we will try to tarbiyah (educate) them so they will remain in the religion. We will continue to try to rehabilitate and reform their faith in Allah."
Referring to clamour for amending the contentious Article 121 (1a), Bar chairperson Yeoh Poh Seng cautions against haste in reviewing or amending the federal constitution but adds that, “Any amendment to the constitution, if and when necessary, will only prove useful and constructive if it further promotes fundamental rights and liberties, not if it erodes or dilutes them."
That the issue is delicate cannot be overstated. In fact, in most if not all Muslim countries, dialogue is practically impossible and non-existent. There is a wide chasm between propaganda and reality, and most of us get no further than hand-wringing as far as making a stand is concerned. While I do not believe in confrontational politics, I also do not rule out compromise. The point is where to draw the line; and if there is a line, will there be enough people standing together maintaining that boundary? I remain in prayer.
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. Prov 21:1