Once upon a time, a Chinese bloke by the name of Goh Fook Heng married a Malay woman called Che Putih. Naturally he converted to Islam. They had 6 children. Number 2 honourable son was given the name of Muhammad Yunus. He also carries a Chinese name, not unlike many Chinese Thais or Chinese Indonesians. According to one sweet nona in Jakarta that I used to date, the Chinese names would be known only among the family.
Muhammad Yunus is registered in his identity card as a Muslim. Having seen the M. Moorthy tragedy versus the Syariah Court’s more accommodating case for Nyonya Tahir, he has raised his personal religious standing again.
Basically, he hasn’t practised life as a Muslim for 50 years, since he was 13. He married a a fellow rubber tapper, Yan Joo Eng, when he was 23. Like his dad, he has 6 kids, now aged between 19 and 30. He raised all of them as Buddhists.
He has been a Buddhist for 50 years and wants this made official to avoid the M Moorthy hoo-haa when he departs this world. He said "I do not want to share the same fate as some other cases. When I die, I want my funeral to be peaceful. I don’t want any problems."
On the advice of Kampung Tampin Tengah village chief Ali Umar, he has applied to the Syariah Court to declare he is not Muslim. As mentioned, this won‘t be the first time, as he had reported his practising status in 1974 to the Tampin Religious Department. Then, he was denied permission to renounce his religion.