In the earlier days of Malaya (that's right, not yet Malaysia) my uncle told me that whenever a Chinese converted to Islam, the Chinese community would smirk and even say “Smart Chinaman, business angle one, cheen chnea gau (sangat cerdik)”.
Unc said in the general case that half envious half snide remark was correct, but there have been exceptions, admittedly rare but nonetheless the true converts did exist.
It’s not so strange when you consider there are more Chinese Muslims in China than the entire population of Malaysia, let alone the local Muslims only.
Apparently with less restricted religious practice since 1978, the Chinese Muslims have some 12,000 mosques and 2,800 imams just in the province of Xinjiang alone. Not bad for a supposedly communist country.
Anyway, the sad truth is that in Malaysia many converts became Muslims for economic reasons.
And many others did so for far more ulterior motives.
And when I read The Malaysian Insider’s PAS slams BN for betraying Islam in conversion issue (but alas, not in Malaysiakini) it saddens me that PAS doesn’t seem to understand that there could well be people who have exploited Islam for their own ends, …
… either to seize control of their children, knowing the other spouse won’t be able to seek relief from a cowardly civil courts - see my post Just or jittery judiciary?, or …
… to take advantage of Islamic inheritance laws – eg. A brother or uncle or nephew who so happened to be a Muslim and who would swear that the deceased converted to a Muslim prior to his death, knowing the non-Muslim spouse would not be allowed to inherit the benefits.
So to those Pak Hajis, my advice is not to let your knickers be all tied up in a knot just because of some dodgy Abdullah’s-come-lately – they don’t deserve your concerns.
Besides, Pak Hajis, don’t unwittingly allow them to insult the greater glory of Islam indirectly by their (mis)using Islam for baby snatching tactics.