Thursday, April 30, 2009

Muslim converts or Islamic convenience?

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.



  1. i think it is very unfair that you make judgments of people's faiths and their conviction, especially in that very snide tone. from the outside looking in, we are both possibly as informed about the issue as the other - which is close to none at all. it may seem understandably problematic that the father took away the children, but one shouldn't make it an issue of beliefs per se, because it probably isn't - at the end of the day it boils down to a man and his wife, separated because of faith, wanting custody of the children. i understand completely why the mother would be upset, and i think it's unfair for the father to "steal" the children like that without going through the law first, but at the same time we have to understand that the father is, well, a father himself. just as the mother would want her children to remain Hindu (ie. her religion, salvation-attainment, which in spiritual terms is probably the best thing that a loving parent would want for his/her children etc), so would the convert father probably want his children to be Muslim for the very same reasons. i suppose it's fair enough for you to call him wrong in terms of what he did, taking the children away, but i don't think any one of us are in the position to judge people's faith, and the love of both parents for their children.

    there are many subtle factors involved, as there always is in any marital problems, which we know nothing of. granted the father took a wrong turn, but people do crazy things for their loved ones.

  2. The point is what right have the father or mother to bring in the Muslim religion to a what was a civil marriage and to use the religion as a way to secure custodial rights. This is the same as changing the rules in the middle of a game to favour oneself. The point here is not the religion but the question of fair play.

  3. Well written.If PAS practiced what it preach, the first thing for them to do is to condemn tese oportunistic practice.
    Conversion for money, opportunity, greed and sex goes against good consciense and justice.
    Yet PAS is more intereted in the superficial act of conversion. Is this truly Islam?
    Or is it political Islam or convenience store?

  4. You sure Pak Hajis wear knickers? Of the Victoria Secrets' type? Holy Mackerel!

  5. i think u should read from zulkifli nordin's blog. he explained that either one of parents have the right for their children's religion. religion is different from custody. in one previous case,zul explained that even though the father converted his children to Islam, the custody was given to their mother,a Hindu on the condition that the mother do not convert back her children to Hindu. He thought that the cabinet decision contradicts with the constitution and human rights and also subjudicice to some of the cases that still in court.
    I personally think,many non Muslim thought that when the children converted by their father, the custody is given to the father,which is in fact do not happen.THis misconception should be cleared.

  6. 'I personally think,many non Muslim thought that when the children converted by their father, the custody is given to the father,which is in fact do not happen.THis misconception should be cleared'

    There is no misconception here. The question is why should the father be allowed to convert his children against the wishes of their mother. I do not give a shit what rights he may have under Islam simply for the reason that the children came into this world having nothing to do with Islam and should remain so until they are old enough to choose for themselves. The question here is choice.

  7. Who mentioned that motherf@#$%@ zukifli nordin from Kulim?????
    Again he is still with his one track mind on islam!
    Tell you this ....its only happens to indians for most cases!This indians take the easy way out and hence this problems!
    Remembered had an indian guy and bosoom friend among us but we really did'nt know he converted without us knowing.He got to be buried twice ,his body dug out and reburied twice after a few years mind you.Nobody knew why or how???
    Hey those pak hajis are paid and never did use their brains for fairness.They are all the same ,playing God most of the times!

  8. PAS slams BN for betraying Islam in conversion issue
    By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
    KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 - PAS leaders broke their silence on the religious conversion issue today and attacked the cabinet's recent decision for betraying Islam as the controversy continued to divide Malaysians.
    Conservative Muslim groups have already condemned the government for decided on its own that children should be raised in the faith of their parents while they were married even if one spouse becomes a Muslim.
    A number of PAS leaders joined in the chorus of dispproval, saying the cabinet should have consulted with various Islamic institution like the Conference of Rulers, the country's supreme authority on Islamic matters, and the Muslim Lawyers Association before making such a decision.
    The cabinet announced its decision recently in a bid to resolve the custodial issue surrounding Indira Ghandi, a Hindu, and her ex-husband who had converted to Islam.
    Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, Mahfuz Omar, a PAS parliamentarian, said the government in making appeared to have bypassed and disrespected the country's rulers and Islam in general.
    "By making such a decision without having first consulted the Conference of Rulers, the BN government has shown no respect towards the country's rulers. They are the country's supreme authority in Islamic matters.
    "This means they have directly ignored the role of the country's rulers. They are the 'penderhaka' (traitor) and by doing so, they have betrayed Islam and the Muslim community of this country," he said.
    Mahfuz added that the government had also handled the matter hypocritically.
    "In the past, they have repeatedly said that whatever the problem is, we can solve it trough the proper channel which is the courts. But here we have the government totally ignoring the decision of the court."
    When asked if he thought it was right for the Syariah court to decide, without consent, that the children of Indira should be converted to Muslims now that their father had done so, Mahfuz said he believes that the capability of the Syariah court to be just in the matter should not be questioned.
    "I believe the Syariah court is and has been capable of handling such matters justly," he said and added that he also believes that the parents should have the right to decide on the religion of their children.
    Mahfuz' argument is backed by a fellow PAS leader, Khalid Samad, who said the decision made by the government had disrespected the country's judiciary system.
    Khalid who is MP for Shah Alam said the government had denied the judiciary its innate authority by overturning the decision of the court which had 'legally' converted Indira's children to Muslims.
    He also said that such 'automatic' decisions would not help solve the conversion problem and urged the government to seek a way to provide a more just solution for all the parties involved in the matter.
    "No automatic decision (as made by the government) should be acted upon without detailed discussion on the problem first.
    "The children must be given the access to both views and they should be given the right to decide on which faith they wish to follow," he said.
    Both the Syariah and civil courts must be able to deliver justice to all the parties involved, added Khalid, who believes that the two channels are the best avenue to solve such problems.

  9. The Taliban Finally Came Out!

    1. Didn't I told you that PAS just could not hold the urge to use this issue to gain political mileage?

    2. If Najib made a different decision no doubt they would be singing a different tune.

    3. Now, how will the response from the non-malays/non-muslims be?

    4. Najib made a brave and right choice. No doubt about it.

    5. So much for a new PAS a.k.a PAS FOR ALL....

  10. PAS division to ignore Pakatan consensus and field candidate in Penanti

    PETALING JAYA: The Permatang Pauh PAS division will field a candidate in the Penanti by-election although the party’s central leadership has disagreed with the move.

    Division chairman Omar Hassan said the move had received the “green light” from Penang PAS.

    He said the division would stand by its decision to contest.

    “We are not doing this for personal gain but for the interest of Pakatan Rakyat.

    The Penanti state seat was vacated by Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin who resigned on April 16.

    PKR has announced Mansor Othman as its candidate.

    An independent candidate, Aminah Abdullah, a former Penang PKR Wanita chief, has also expressed her intention to contest.

    Barisan Nasional will decide next week whether or not it will contest.

    Omar said: “It is our responsibility to champion the people of this constituency. We feel responsible to live up (to expectations).

    “We realise that the central leadership is against the decision but God willing, as long as we have not named the candidate, there is still room for discussions,” he said.

    It is learnt that there was a mutual agreement in Pakatan that a candidate standing to contest in a by-election must be from the party that contested in the constituency in last year’s general election.

    Omar said there was a need for the agreement to be revised in this case.

  11. Karpal raps PAS’ reaction to Cabinet decision

    KUALA LUMPUR: PAS’ reaction, through its information chief Mahfuz Omar, to the Cabinet decision that minors follow the common religion of the parents at the time of their marriage, is an “unjustified attack on the decision of the Cabinet”, says Karpal Singh.
    He said there was no doubt the Cabinet’s decision was pragmatic, reasonable and in accordance with the considerations of justice.
    “Non-Muslims who embrace Islam should not do so for the purpose of defeating the rights of their non-Muslim spouse, or in any way affect the rights of children born during their marriage,” Karpal Singh said in a press statement Friday.
    The DAP chairman said the aspect to be considered was whether the Cabinet’s decision, which was an Executive act, could override or in any way supersede the Federal Court.
    The Federal Court had on Dec 27, 2007 ruled that the husband of R. Subashini, T. Saravanan, who had embraced Islam, had the right to convert his child who was under 18 to Islam, without the concurrence of his non-Muslim spouse.

  12. Yo Killer

    Its has started !

    Power struggle in Penang PKR heightens
    Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | May 2, 09 12:09pm
    For outsiders, the Penanti by-election may be a forgone conclusion, where PKR is expected to retain the seat regardless of whether Umno is contesting or not.

    However, for Penang PKR party insiders, it is the beginning of a new chapter in the power struggle within the party.

  13. Fuck emoc. Your unc sounds like a fag. Did he play with your peepee when u were little? Heh. Or rather Wakakaka

  14. 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

    You are really giving your own countrymen a bad many chinese muslims are in the multi millionaires league if really their intention of converting were purely economical...You can't find any chinese muslim in the top 20 or 50 of Malaysia's richest're a liar kt and you're unc must be a frustrated ah beng..

  15. Yo chaptokam

    Yes, just like we predicted !! Not just PKR but PAS and DAP also in the ring as well. This Penanti by-election gonna be lottsa fun. I have stocked up plenty of popcorns to watch the fun unfolds. I think this could be the beginning of the end of the Pakatan. Despite the Cheap Minister's public position, according to my DAP sources, he is furious with the whole affair and not to mention the prospect of sharing the power with Dr Mansor, the GSOS' crony. LGE had enjoyed undisputed control of Penang but this affair has damaged him politically and Dr Mansor will be the real Penang CM for all intent and purposes. The Cheap Minister better prepared to handover the power to Dr Mansor and turn into Penang's version of Nizar.

    On the topic of PAS' opposition to Najib's decision on child conversion, well there is nothing to be surprised about. What do we expect out of these Talibans ?

    Those naive morons of PAS Fan Clubs must now be wondering whatever happened to the slogan "PAS Untuk Semua". As a matter of fact I am wondering what our regular academic and PAS defender Phua has to say about this.

    In today's news the GSOS finally broke his silence to say that PR supports the mother in the case of Indira Gandhi. But in typical snake oil sales man style, refused to say that he supports the cabinet decision. However it was intresting to note that the PAS president interjected to say something completely opposite to the GSOS in the same press conference, only to be cut in the mid sentence by the GSOS.

  16. Hi Killer and Chaptos,
    Remember dont be bloody cocksure on Penanti!If we were correct you all took us for a bn ride and were waiting for Dom Perinoign to overflow for Bk.Gantang and Selambau??Xiean had to lick his boots and eat humble pie???He he he he !!!
    Wanna bet this time like shaving your bald if you all lose??
    Sometimes you all put Nostradamus to shame with your predictions!

  17. This is something I would like to share with all friends.When I first went into Lim Kit Siang's blog (, the first thing I read is him calling Mukhriz (Jerlun MP) and Tan Keng Liang (gerakan kedah youth chief) as people "lack of grey matters" and silly. That was about 2 weeks ago. Today, I read that he said "the IQ of the Health Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is MCA Vice President and Penang MCA State chief, is highly suspect when he could not understand simple English". The problem is that the more Lim Kit Siang branding that he is smarter than the rest of the people in the world (which I don't belief), the more people will just see him as a person barking on the wrong tree. I support DAP but I wish that our party's chairman can be more polite when addressing other leaders (whether they are Barisan or Pakatan). Otherwise, this will set bad example to the new generation of Malaysians.

  18. cili padi

    I am very surprised you have managed to see thru Kit Siang's wolfs hide .
    I takes guts and wisdom for you to say that . Ya Kit Siang has been that kind of person all along since those days when he was the Sec Gen of DAP . Many DAP stalwarts left the party because of him as he ruled the party with an iron hand .

    When there are issues like lately the issues on the conversion thing , ( see my posting above ) he has not come out to support the Cabinet decision which everyone thinks its fair and we are on the right track save for those Talibans whoever they are !.

    Cheers to you ! If I am not mistaken and my memory serves me right you use to comment in Dr Hsu's blog . I have not commented in that blog for quite some time , All I can remember is telling off that idiot monsterball .

  19. lupo

    You alos a liar. To convert into muslim, need not to become million because UMNO still consider them non-bumi but they can have better position and promotion in the Polis force like Hadi, DG of Governmemt Departments or ambassadors or getting a licenceIt is better than just remain an ordinary general scale Government or an UNLICENSED hawker. Common use your brain

  20. anon 11:04 AM,

    Don't simply talk cock, My guest was 2-1 for BN, which is wrong so what the big deal? You dare not even make a prediction then, so why are you shouting now!.........

    What you want to bet about ? say it loudly and clearly and don't be a mama's boy and hiding under your mama's sarong......wakakakakak

  21. Xiean, xiean,
    You bloody chinese bn kocksu....still tak faham admit their mistakes!China bodoh at its best!!!!!!!hehehehehe!

  22. do u think its fair to accuse those chinese who converts to islam as "oppurtunistic".save the comments to urself please.every human being has the right to choose his/her own faith .grow up la...