Friday, January 25, 2008

Fighting for the corpse or soul?

Malaysiakini tells us that a dead 74-year old man considered by his family as a Buddhist has been buried as Muslim amid conversion row.

His eldest son, a Muslim, had informed Islamic religious authorities that his late father had converted to Islam, thus his (the late Mr Gan) fate was sealed or shall we say, buried deep.

After his Muslim son reported of his father’s conversion just last year, the full force of the State kicked in with great alacrity, with police seizing his body.

His other family (meaning all minus the eldest son) were left flabbergasted because they stated that the old man couldn’t have converted as he was senile and paralysed for the last two years after suffering two strokes. They should know as he was in their care, and of course not the eldest son's.

His other son criticised the conduct of the state Islamic authorities who buried his father with undue haste in a Muslim cemetery yesterday on the orders of a religious court, without investigating into the matter properly.

He said: "He could not even move his arms or talk. It is shocking that Islamic authorities say he recited some Islamic words when he was being converted last year."

Indeed, how could a paralysed man, looked after by his Buddhist family, convert to Islam? And all just on the say so of a Muslim son!

This sounds similar to the Moorthy case, where the late and paralysed soldier, looked after by his Hindu wife, was also seized by the Islamic authorities on the say so of his military (Muslim) colleagues and a Muslim brother, and buried. I suppose that the old legal adage of 'possession being nine points of the law' guarantees his eternal Islamic status - likewise with the late Mr Gan.

The parallelisms in circumstances are rather striking – a paralysed man, cared for by his non-Muslim families, not the Muslim ones, but on death seized by Islamic authorities for burial without proper and fair investigation, with the words of the Muslim relative taking precedence above all other family members, in given circumstances that raise doubts as to his actual conversion to Islam.

Sadly, the authorities were so cruel in their indecent haste to bury the late Mr Gan that they didn’t even allow his family to see his body for a final farewell parting.

If I may I would like to send condolence to the Gan family, and remind them that as Buddhists, they should take comfort in the words of the late Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera who said:

… Buddhists do not believe that one day someone will come and awaken the departed persons spirits from their graveyards or the ashes from their urns and decide who should go to heaven and who should go to hell.

The consciousness or mental energy of the departed person has no connection with the body left behind or his skeleton or his ashes. Many people believe that if the deceased is not given a proper burial or if a sanctified tombstone is not placed on the grave, then the soul of the deceased will wander to the four corners of the world and weep and wail and sometimes even return to disturb the relatives. Such a belief cannot be found anywhere in Buddhism.

Buddhists believe that when a person dies, rebirth will take place somewhere else according to his good or bad actions. As long as the person possesses the craving for existence, he must experience rebirth. Only the Arahants, who have gone beyond all passions will have no more rebirths and so after their death, they will attain their final goal Nibbana.



  1. According to religious law, everything will go to the son who converted, but the government/religious authorities will get a cut of the booty. The 'Islamic' officials will be only too happy to play along.

    Today, you have yet another example on how religion was used for insidious agendas. Add that to the countless instances in Malaysia's history.

    I know who I'm gonna vote this election... this fiasco has only reaffirmed my choice.

  2. Yea, the Muslim eldest just wants to get his grubby hands on the inheritance - plus g'ment and Islamic authorities. Since he is declared a Muslim , the estate cannot be distributed to non-Muslim family members, and any will the deceased wrote out previously becomes invalid.

  3. And Muslims wonder why non-Muslims do not want to have any truck with their religion. When I was a young professional in KL, a Malay in a giant western company promised to get me on its panel if I said I was a Muslim. before I could answer, he asked me if I wanted to marry his sister (whom I did not know). Unsurprisingly, I said 'No" to both offers.

  4. whatever the story about inheritance, blah blah...are the officials idiots or what? Can a senile paralysed man convert? and did the official confirm with the person who did the conversion?

  5. could this happen??

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008
    Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong Declared a Muslim, Children ‘Disinherited’

    can anyone answer??

  6. This body snatching crap is just a lot of nonsense which has a lot to do with politics and very little with religion. Any ordinary person will conclude based on the evidence given that the late Mr Gan was not a Muslim. The eldest son is nothing but an opportunist of the worst type and I doubt very much he is a Muslim at heart and for all you know he continues to eat pork, drink alcohol and do all kinds of un-Islamic things! He will get his just karma in that he will be reborn as a pig or a dog.

    All this body snatching crap will stop if the PM tells them to. But our Bodohlah seems to see nothing, hear nothing and therefore do nothing.

    If some of you can recall, the late MIC Manickavasagam who died in 1979 had in fact converted to Islam - secretly by marrying a Malay girl or something. Yet when he died, then PM Hussein Onn decided against body snatching by the JAIS and he was given a Hindu funeral and cremated according to Hindu rites.

    Minus politics, this body snatching crap is nothing but a horrendous crime where all these culprits ought to be hung upside down by their balls! Talk about religious freedom? Ptui!!!!