Thursday, May 08, 2008

From 'bin Abdullah' to 'being Tan'

Hallelujah – Omitofu - Om mani padme hum - Aum Namah Śivāya!

Malaysiakini reported that in Penang the Syariah Court allows convert to renounce Islam.

Apart from Penang’s original (very early days) motto of 'Leading we serve' being once again demonstrated to other/lesser Malaysians ;-), the Penang Syariah Court adopted a realistic stand on a case of potential apostasy by allowing a Chinese ‘convert’ to renounce Islam.

In 2004, Tan Ean Huang became Siti Fatimah in order to marry Iranian Ferdoun Ashanian. Hmmm, wouldn’t then she be a Shiite as almost all Iranians are. Would a Shiite be subordinated to a Sunni Syariah court? Just musing ...

Anyway, her husband left her so she filed for renunciation of her faith which she embraced because of marriage.

Judge Othman Ibrahim said he had no choice but to allow Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah (note that mandatory ‘Abdullah’ tag) to revert to being Tan Ean Huang. Tan was and now is again a Buddhist.

The Judge said wisely: "The court has no choice but to declare that Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah is no longer a Muslim as she has never practised the teachings of Islam."

Instead he (correctly if I may remark) rebuked the state Islamic religious council for not counselling and looking after the welfare of new converts.

But in the final analysis, this is kaytee’s take on Tan’s easy exit from Islam.

PAS being in Pakatan Rakyat has been less vocal and aggressive on Islamic issues, which effect flowed on to an UMNO being less defensive about its Islamic credentials, which effect flowed on to the Syariah Court’s more independent-minded compassionate attitude which effect flowed on to a lucky Tan.

It’s all bloody politics, which is why the State and church must always stay separated.



  1. Not binti Abdullah meh? :P

  2. I'll keep the champagne for the moment.

    Penang is one of the few states in Peninsular Malaysia which has not enacted legal penalties for apostasy. In many other states, its not only an offense, just the act of applying to the Syariah Court seeking permission to leave Islam can attract serious repercussions to the person. Re-education camps, forced indoctrination etc.

    There have been many cases of people like Tan who have in practice left Islam, but really fear the likely pain of making any formal application, to themselves, their family members etc.

    I don't think that will change, just yet. PKR and even the more liberal members of PAS fear to tread on this piece of territory.

  3. Too many judges in Bolehland, both Civil, Criminal and Syariah Courts still have to look at the "Weather Report" before making their judgement.

    I think some of them are
    so entrenched in this sorry process, if the Judiciary suddenly became truly independent, they wouldn't know how to write the judgement !

  4. Pssst...state and religion. :)

    The church has nothing to do with the Syariah Court and last I checked, Malaysia's national religion was still Islam. :P

  5. You say it right - its' the bloody politicis! everything get screwed up! If only politicians will left everything alone and not poke their noses into everything, the world would be a much, much better world.

  6. klaw, 'binte' would have spoilt my title lah ;-)

    kamigoroshi, church with small 'c' means the religious institutions, whether the christian church, buddhist church, hindu church etc

  7. I think the fact that Penang does not have a monarchy also is a factor to the sensible outcome.

  8. Bottomline - Tan is now able to get on with her Chosen path in life - not bound to stay a Muslim in name only, which means she need not marry another Muslim, but may marry whoever she wants next. Hopefully, she and other, will be more aware of this matter if they are faced with the situation of marrying a Muslim in Malaysia - it's like the line in the song Hotel California - you can check out anytime you like; but you can never leave...

  9. What if Tan falls in love with a man who happens to be Muslim and they decide to get married?

    Then what if the man decides to divorce her later?

    An incredulous situation, but then, I wonder if she will get another 'victory'.

  10. This is salah. She should be go to camp to learn more about suci Islam.
    Lepas itu kalau 3 tiga kali enggan, boleh dihukum bunuh.

  11. it's nice to rebuke the council for not convincing her etc...

    why don't they go all the way and rebuke whoever made the law that marriage to a muslim must convert?

    in this case, won't have people converting just for the sake of marriage, not for the sake of religion.

    why, more converts gets more brownie points ah? like the way body-snatching happens. i have some brownies for ya if ya want them so bad.