Since the landmark 9-year-long court case that voided the unilateral conversion of a kindergarten teacher’s three children to Islam, more cases of Muslim converts wanting to renounce their faith have surfaced.
The most recent case involves three individuals from Sarawak who recently appealed in court to leave the religion.
The three applicants were initially seeking to change their identity cards and other documents to indicate that they are now Christians. However, on the 27th of February, Malaysia’s federal court dismissed their appeal to have their case heard by the civil court.
Now, in light of this recent case, Sarawak chief minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg stated that the state’s religious law would be amended to provide administrative solutions for apostates. According to The Straits Times, he was quoted as saying,
“We will amend any weaknesses in our syariah laws in dealing with apostasy cases. There must be a standard operating procedure (SOP) because we cannot leave people hanging.”
“If that person wishes to leave (the faith), why not let him leave?”
“Give me six months to do this. Sarawak must have a liberal and practical policy,” the chief minister added, pointing out that they would fix loopholes in the state’s religious law.
The three Muslim converts in this recent court case had reportedly married Muslims, but sought to return to Christianity after their spouses had passed away.
Sarawak reportedly has a higher number of Christians than Muslims and is the only state with these statistics. In 2010, there were 1.04 million Christians, making up 44.2 per cent of the state’s entire population. Meanwhile, 710,815 Muslims were reported in the state during that year, making up 30.2 per cent of Sarawak’s population.
Well, whatever the outcome, we’re positive this will dramatically change things for a lot of Sarawakians!
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