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asked on Dec 12, 2016 at 02:24
edited on Dec 22, 2016 at 06:48
The Star 11th Dec 2016

THE move by the Perlis state legislative assembly in allowing one parent to convert a child to Islam is totally at odds with what the Federal Government is finally doing.
It has disrupted the legal process of the Federal Government, and like it or not, this tiny state has set off a dangerous precedent.

Malaysians have argued, debated and decided on this contentious issue – and now Perlis has sent this controversy back to square one.

The issue of unilateral conversion became controversial in recent years after several cases like that of M. Indira Gandhi and S. Deepa, two women who faced lengthy court battles to gain custody and reverse the conversion of their children, carried out by their Muslim convert former husbands.

Understandably, Islam is a state matter but state legislation should be consistent with federal laws and the amended enactment by Perlis clearly contravenes the aims and spirit of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Bill 2016 which is intended to secure the constitutional rights of non-Muslims.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had noted that the Federal Constitution ruled supreme above all state laws, even in cases of unilateral conversion of a child.

“Once the amendment (to the Law Reform Act) is passed, it becomes federal law and it should be noted that Article 75 of the Federal Constitution provides that when any state law is inconsistent with a federal law, the federal law shall prevail over the state law,” she said in a statement.

You don’t have to be a lawyer or legal expert to understand that Section 88A of this Federal Bill specifically states that “conversion to Islam can only be done with the approval of both parents”.

Azalina tabled the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Bill 2016 for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat last month, the highlight being the inclusion of a new section (Section 88A) that explicitly states that “both parties in a civil marriage” must agree to the conversion of a minor to Islam.

Specifically addressing the “Religion of a Child” in civil marriages where one spouse has converted to Islam, the amendment also said that the child will remain in the religion of the parents at the time of marriage until the child is 18 years old, when he may choose his own religion.

“Where a party to a marriage has converted to Islam, the religion of any child of the marriage shall remain as the religion of the parties to the marriage prior to the conversion, except where both parties to the marriage agree to a conversion of the child to Islam, subject always to the wishes of the child where he or she has attained the age of eighteen years,” the section reads.

The proposed amendment also states that if the parties to the marriage professed different religions prior to one spouse converting to Islam, “a child of the marriage shall be at liberty to remain in the religion of either one of the prior religions of the parties before the conversion to Islam.”

I hope the state assemblymen in Perlis, regardless of their faith, have taken time to ponder on what they have decided on. It is easy to just say sokong (support) in unison. But have they considered the consequences?

Is it too difficult to allow children, where one parent has converted to Islam, to hold on to their original faith until they can decide for themselves at age 18?

Reverse the situation – if a Muslim parent residing in a non-Muslim country decides to embrace Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism, and then converts the child to another faith – what will the reaction be? Frankly, I do not think this should be admissible either.

The same rule should be adopted and taken from a compassionate and humanitarian stand. Worse, we should never allow religion to be used in the fight over child custody when a marriage breaks down. It’s simple, common sense. Let’s do what is humane and right.

In a nutshell: unilateral conversion should not be allowed for whatever religion, be it Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism.

Should a parent convert to a religion which is different from that at the time of marriage, especially during the dissolution of marriage, the children should remain in the original faith until they turn 18.

Forcing the children to embrace any religion when one party decides to convert may show a lack of confidence in oneself in practising one’s faith or worse still, show a lack of faith in the attractiveness, beauty and truth in his or her religion.

It is more rational for parents to show their children the beauty of their faith, new or otherwise, and allow them to decide once they become adults.

There is nothing to stop a Hindu father or mother, who has become a Muslim, from bringing his or her child to study Islam or visit the mosque to share the beauty of Islam.

When the time comes, let the child decide for himself. The question is – what’s the hurry?

This is a country which is predominantly Muslim. Certainly, the presence of Islam is increasingly dominant and the religious authorities should not worry about numbers.

These wise men of Islam, in fact, should be aware that there are selfish men and women out there who use religion for their own motives when a marriage goes sour.

Why are we denying justice to the non-converting spouse?

The same principle applies to those of other faiths too, and we acknowledge that all religions believe in justice and compassion.

We should also remind ourselves that the Federal Constitution is a major piece of legislation aimed at balancing the needs of all races and religions that make up this multi-racial country.

If a single parent is to be allowed to convert a child it would only have the effect of ignoring constitutional provisions.

Take a breather, listen to our hearts of heart, do what is fair, just and right – not what is politically right or politically beneficial.

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answered on Feb 3, 2015 at 05:54
edited Dec 28, 2018 at 23:46
Source: THE STAR

Act to save the family unit

Monday February 2, 2015 MYT 8:04:27 AM

STRENGHTENING the family institution and promoting noble values are in greater need now than ever before, judging by the issue of moral degradation and social ills besetting our children and teenagers today.

When a nation progresses the family institution could be the first victim with children not getting enough attention and guidance leading to the emergence of various social ills affecting our teenagers.

The fact is that parents are busy with their careers and not able to spend quality time with their children with the result that thousands of urban children are left to the whims and mindsets of foreign maids, baby-sitters and in some cases relatives.

Children who return from schools find themselves in empty homes as both their parents are out at work. There is no one around to show parental love, teach and inculcate in the children good family values.

Instead of seeking guidance from parents these children do so from their peers. With negative peer pressure, an environment will exist which will eventually lead to various social ills.

Children who grow up in such an environment will end up becoming the victims of social ills like truancy, violence in schools, drug abuse and even crime.

If this problem is not addressed it will result in a serious divide between children and their parents and an increase in social problems and crime involving young people.

If this problem is not addressed it will result in a serious divide between children and their parents and an increase in social problems and crime involving young people.

Parents must be increasingly concerned about the quality of family life and must constantly take steps to instill in their children the basic moral values needed to build the foundation for a strong, stable and cohesive society.

It is meaningless to have dynamic economic growth with improved living standards and per capita income when the moral values, quality of life and family development do not grow proportionately.

Family development and family empowerment are essential in the upbringing of children, educating and guiding them to grow up as useful and positive citizens.

The power and potential of the family in the fight against social ills afflicting our nation’s youth is much greater and more meaningful than all the enforcement agencies we can muster to tackle social problems.

For while law enforcement is essential, more important is our ability to open our homes and give communities access through the strength and the power of the family.

Empowering families to undertake the tasks and responsibilities towards tackling social problems must include inter alia the inculcation of parenting skills and motivating families to be interested and involved in the development of their children.

The Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) calls on both the public and private sectors to organise more family-based activities with incentives from the Government in order to strengthen family institutions and their role in national development.

With regard to the family well-being index which, according to the Prime Minister, currently is at 7.55 out of a scale of 10, it is obvious that a lot more needs to be looked into by the Government for further improvement.

Apart from the social ills which afflict families, other issues like the frequent occurrences of crime and safety in the community must be addressed continuously and effectively as they impact greatly on family well-being.


Vice-chairman, MCPF
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answered on Dec 12, 2016 at 02:26
edited Dec 22, 2016 at 06:48
The Star 11th Dec 2016 

KUCHING: The Majlis Islam Sarawak Ordinance 2001 should be amended to require the consent of both parents for child conversions, said the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS).
Its secretary-general Ambrose Linang said this would avoid the constitutionality of the state law being called into question should Parliament pass the amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act.

“If the amendments to the Act are passed by Parliament, under Article 75 of the Federal Constitution, this will prevail over state laws, including Section 69 of the Majlis Islam Sarawak Ordinance,” he said in a statement yesterday.

ACS, he added, welcomed the proposed amendments to the Act.

Under the proposed amendments tabled in Parliament last month, a child’s religion will remain that of both parents prior to the conversion of any spouse to Islam and the consent of both parents will be needed for children below 18 to be converted.

However, Section 69 of the Ordinance states that a parent (“ibu atau bapa”) or guardian can give consent.
Ambrose said the Government's proposal to amend Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution to substitute the word “parent” with “parents” would clear the ambiguity over the legality of unilateral conversions.
“This will save the non-converting spouse from the suffering and anguish caused by single parental conversion,” he said.

Ambrose said the Inter-Governmental Committee Report and Malaysia Agreement provided safeguards for Sabah and Sarawak, including the guarantee of religious freedom enshrined in Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.
“Any state law or part of such law that is inconsistent with the Federal Constitution is void,” he said, citing the Sarawak High Court’s decision in the case of Roneey Rebit.
Roneey, a Bidayuh who was converted to Islam as a child upon the conversion of both his parents, won a judicial review in March to be declared a Christian on the ground that this was within his constitutional right to freedom of religion as an adult.

SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said no state law could contravene the provisions in the Federal Constitution, which was the supreme law of the land.
He said the party did not agree with some scholars’ views that Islamic laws were within the autonomous powers of a state.

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answered on Dec 12, 2016 at 02:28
edited Dec 22, 2016 at 06:53
The Star 11th Dec 2016  

PETALING JAYA: The Perlis state assembly acted contrary to the Federal Constitution when it amended its enactment to make it allowable for just one parent to convert a child to Islam, said G25, the group of eminent Malays.

“The amendments are contrary to the Constitution which provides that words in the singular include the plural and that words referring to the plural include the singular.
“The word ‘parent’ in this case includes both mother and father,” said Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, the spokesman for G25, yesterday.

On Thursday, the Perlis legislative assembly passed amendments to the Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2006.

Under Section 117, the phrase in Malay, “father and mother or guardian” was amended to “father or mother or guardian” as those who can consent to the conversion of children under age 18 to Islam.
However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman has given an assurance that the Constitution rules supreme and was above state law, even in cases involving the unilateral conversion of a child.

The move by Perlis has sparked outrage among several rights and political groups, including MCA and MIC, which said the amendments went against the Constitution.
Noor Farida said the state assembly was also in contravention of the Federal Government which had tabled a Bill, amending the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act, in Parliament for first reading last month, aimed at resolving the thorny issue of unilateral conversion of a child.
“Those who are affected can apply to the civil courts for a judicial review of the Perlis Islamic law enactment and the court can strike out the amendments if they are ultra vires the Constitution,” she said.

In Johor Baru, Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad said the Perlis government should address and resolve the issue surrounding its move to amend the enactment.
He said Azalina has pointed out that as far as the Government was concerned, the Constitution overrides state law.
“So, I think there are some issues to be resolved,” he said after handing out school aid to some 50 underprivileged children yesterday. The state government also has to sort out matters with the Federal Government, he added.

Agreeing with Shahrir, Johor Syarie chief judge Datuk Amir Danuri said he hoped that the issue could be quickly resolved to avoid causing more confusion among the people.
He said he was rather puzzled over how the issue even surfaced, as such matters were seldom debated during meetings between the syariah and civil courts.

“In Johor, the consent of both parents is needed. Both parents, along with the child, must be present at the state Religious Islamic Department to allow him or her to embrace Islam,” he said.

Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the state government would neither interfere nor comment on the issue, adding that it would “leave it to the Federal Government to settle”.
In Ipoh, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria declined to comment, saying that he was “not feeling well”.

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answered on May 17, 2017 at 17:20
edited Aug 12, 2017 at 08:47
Widow gets Socso pension in landmark ruling

17 May 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time in Malaysian legal history, a woman whose marriage was not registered under civil law has been recognised as the surviving widow by the court and deemed entitled to Socso pension.

High Court judge Justice Su Geok Yiam ruled that odd-job worker Lam Kun Tai, 51, is entitled to the Social Security Organisation’s survivors pension.

She ruled that Lam fell under the category of “dependant” as the widow of her late common law husband Leow Teng Song. Leow was a supervisor who passed away on Nov 16, 2015.
Yesterday, Justice Su dismissed an appeal by the director-general of Socso who appealed against the decision of the Employees’ Social Security Appellate Board’s chairman which decided that Lam was entitled to the pension.

Justice Su also awarded RM5,000 in costs to Lam.

Lam was married to Leow by way of a Chinese customary marriage at a temple in Kepong in 1991. They were married for 24 years until he died.
The mother of four children, aged between 15 and 21, smiled and said she felt very happy.
“I only earn about RM60 each time I help somebody at wedding and birthday functions.
“The money will reduce my burden as I am not educated enough to find a better job to support my children,” she added.

Lam’s counsel G. Manimegalai, who is from the Bar Council’s Legal Aid Centre here, said it was a victory. “This is the first of its kind in Socso matters pertaining to insurance claims where the customary marriage is recognised,” she said.

Manimegalai said that the ruling means that “even if the marriage is not registered under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act, my client is entitled to the survivors’ pension as the widow of her deceased husband.”

Lam and her children made a claim for survivors pension under the Employees Social Security Act (Essa) 1969 but the D-G of Socso only approved the children’s claims. The pension payments for the children will be made to them until they turn 21. The eldest son, who is disabled, is already 21 but is dependent on his mother for support.

Socso’s lawyer Diba Natalia Ishak said Socso would now have to calculate the amount that Lam is entitled to.

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answered on May 31, 2017 at 02:30
edited May 31, 2017 at 02:32
by   jeff005
Plight of the ‘illegitimate’ child?

WHAT happens when a child is born out of wedlock to a Malaysian-citizen father and a foreign migrant mother who leaves the country and cannot be traced? The marriage is not registered under the relevant law. The child is, hence, considered "illegitimate".
Is the child a citizen by operation of law? The National Registration Department refuses to recognise the child as a citizen.

The legal position is set out in the Federal Constitution. It says that a child born within Malaysia after Merdeka Day one of whose parents is at the time of the birth a citizen, automatically becomes a citizen. This is by operation of law. This applies only to a legitimate child.

If the child is illegitimate, then the constitution says that you only look at the nationality of the mother. So if the mother is a non-citizen, then the child cannot be a citizen under our law.
But there is an overriding provision in the constitution – to the effect that a child born in Malaysia who is not a citizen of any other country – is a citizen of this country by operation of law. This is to prevent a child becoming stateless.

In a recent court case a child born out of wedlock to a Malaysian father and a Thai mother was denied citizenship because the child acquired Thai citizenship under Thai law which accords Thai nationality if the mother (or father) is a Thai national – even if born outside Thailand. This child was born in 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. In this case, the application for the child to be declared a Malaysian citizen was dismissed – because the High Court concluded that the child would not be made stateless (Lim Juen Hsian v Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara).

Two points. First, the Thai law was proved, reportedly, by the government lawyer tendering an internet extract of Thai law. Second, the court seemed oblivious to the implications of its decision. 

This child brought up entirely in Malaysia with his father has now to seek his fortune in – what will to him be – an entirely alien land and culture!

On appeal the court ruled that the "identity and citizenship status of the parents are known". As the mother is a Thai national therefore the child has its mother's citizenship.
Now, whether the child acquires citizenship because his mother is a Thai national has to be proved as a matter of fact. This foreign law must be proved through evidence – usually by experts or someone conversant with Thai citizenship law. No such evidence was adduced. The basis of this aspect of the Court of Appeal's conclusion is hence questionable, with respect.

The Appeals Court then went on to say that since the father could not prove that the child was stateless, as required by law, the child could not be shown to be stateless.
Perhaps. But the court did not consider the rather disastrous consequences of its ruling on a child of such tender years.

Statelessness, for sure, is the most extreme consequence of the denial of the right to a nationality. It disables a child from the right to education, healthcare, the right to move freely, enjoy liberty and other basic human rights. The child becomes invisible for most purposes – a non-person!
A news report talks of two "illegitimate" children refused schooling. Their father is a citizen who did not marry the mother – a foreign migrant (who has since disappeared).
Malaysia is party to an international treaty – the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 3 of the treaty says that "In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration".
Admittedly, international treaties are not directly enforceable in domestic law unless and until they are enacted in Parliament.

This did not stop the apex Australian court to rule that there is a presumption that administrative authorities would normally act in accordance with the terms of a treaty; and consider the paramount interest of the child when making a decision.

Australia's membership of the CRC gave rise to a legitimate expectation "particularly when the instrument evidences internationally accepted standards to be applied by courts and administrative authorities in dealing with basic human rights affecting the family and children". Lord Steyn also noted the "growing support for the view that human rights treaties enjoy a special status" in Re McKerr.
We do not know the number of cases of children born out of wedlock, and rendered stateless by the refusal of the registration department. Why the parents failed to regularise their marriage remains undocumented. Ignorance, poverty? Perhaps. But why punish the child for the alleged omission or "sins" of the parents?

The High Court and Appeals Court in this case were doing no more than apply the text and the purpose of the Constitution. Which is their remit.
But, perhaps, consonant with the exhortation that the constitution be interpreted dynamically "to fashion remedies to meet its needs", the judiciary should infuse the constitution with modern-day realism to portray its compassionate, living and evolutionary nature.
Especially where human rights are injuriously impaired, as in the case of an illegitimate child.

Source :-
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answered on Oct 12, 2017 at 20:48
RM1,000 fine for late birth registration

KLUANG: Parents who fail to register their children within 60 days after their birth will be fined RM1,000 compared with only RM50 previously.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the implementation of the fine to be imposed with immediate effect, was not a means to increase the government’s revenue but to compel parents to register their child’s birth within the prescribed period.

“The government has made a decision (to increase the penalties) after the amendments on the Births and Deaths Registration and Adoption Act (Act 299), approved and passed by the Dewan Rakyat last year, which also stipulates that all births must be registered within 60 days, including that of illegitimate babies.

“This is to ensure and encourage parents to register their children as soon as possible. If they register the birth late, then they will have to pay the RM1,000 fine.

“Parents should not take this lightly as it concerns their children’s identity,” he told reporters after opening the new Simpang Renggam national registration department (NRD) branch office in Taman Indah, near here, yesterday.

In August, the government enforced the extension period for late birth registration from 42 days to 60 days, to provide more time for single parents or single mothers to complete their confinement period before registering their newborn.

Also present were Johor NRD director Rokiah Hanum Ibrahim.

“In the peninsula, there is no reason for parents to register the birth of their children late because they have good facilities in terms of communication, transportation and close proximity to NRD offices.

“However, it is different for parents in Sabah and Sarawak who may face problems in terms of distance and location of NRD offices that are far from residential areas (especially in rural areas),” Nur Jazlan said.

Meanwhile, the government has allocated a 30-day period to applicants of identification cards who have yet to claim their identification documents at the NRD offices to do so, failing which, the documents would be disposed.

He added that based on NRD records, 106,000 identification cards have yet to be claimed by their owners for the last three years.

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answered on Oct 12, 2017 at 20:59
Denda RM1,000 jika lewat daftar kelahiran anak

Rabu, 11 Oktober 2017

KLAUNG: Berkuat kuasa serta-merta, kelewatan pasangan suami isteri mendaftarkan kelahiran anak dalam tempoh 60 hari dengan Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) akan dikenakan denda sehingga RM1,000.

Sebelum ini, JPN hanya mengenakan denda sebanyak RM50 bagi pasangan yang lewat mendaftarkan kelahiran anak.

Timbalan Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed berkata, peningkatan kadar denda itu bukan kutip hasil, tetapi sebaliknya mahu galakkan ibu bapa percepatkan pendaftaran kelahiran anak mereka.

"Isu dapatkan sjil kelahiran bukan isu yang dibahas dalam Parlimen, tetapi yang dibahaskan adalah kesan kegagalan ibu bapa daftarkan kelahiran.

"Pendaftaran kelahiran anak tidak boleh diambil mudah dan sambil lewa kerana akan menimbulkan pelbagai masalah berbangkit ketika anak membesar khususnya bagi mendapatkan MyKid.

"Kerajaan ambil keputusan semua kelahiran mesti didaftarkan dalam tempoh 60 hari sama ada anak sah taraf atau luar nikah, jika ibu bapa daftar lambat daripada tempoh berkenaan mereka adan dikenakan denda sehingga RM1,000 berkuat kuasa serta-merta.

"Kerajaan menaikkan jumlah denda lewat daftar ini selepas pindaan Akta 299 Kelahiran, Kematian dan Anak Angkat yang dilulukan Dewan Rakyat tahun lalu," katanya.

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answered on Jan 10, 2018 at 16:09
edited Jan 30, 2018 at 09:09
Illegitimate Child Paradox of bin Abdullah and binti Abdullah...

Adam’s story: How illegitimate Muslim children here carry ‘bin Abdullah’ stigma

Tuesday January 9, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Adam* is like any other child in Malaysia, except the National Registration Department (NRD) wants him to ditch his father’s name and use “bin Abdullah”, a patronym that is virtually a badge of shame worn by illegitimate Muslim children.

Muslim parents Rahman* and Aisyah* married in Selangor and gave birth to Adam in the same state in 2004. Adam was issued a birth certificate and a MyKid that carried Rahman’s name with no questions asked by the NRD then.

Prepared to see their newborn child registered with “bin Abdullah” as he was born less than six months into their marriage, they were surprised and thought the department made an exception by accepting Rahman as the father’s name.

“So I didn’t question them and they also didn’t call (to ask for correction), so we thought it was OK; we also didn’t pay NRD to put Rahman’s name,” Aisyah said in a recent joint interview with Malay Mail and, adding that the couple had merely accepted the birth registration as it was then.

While the NRD understandably uses the term “illegitimate” for children born to unmarried couples, a Home Ministry parliamentary reply last year showed that the term is also applied to children born within six months of their Muslim parents’ marriage date or for children born to couples who married abroad and did not subsequently register their marriages locally.

The NRD allegedly has the practice of insisting on “bin Abdullah” or “binti Abdullah” as the patronym for male and female Muslim children respectively if it determines them to be illegitimate.

The couple received a rude shock in late 2016 when Adam turned 12 and applied to have an identity card or MyKad.

Hours later after the application process that Rahman described as “usual”, an NRD officer called to inform him that Adam’s MyKad could not bear Rahman’s name, simply due to the phrase “Permohonan Seksyen 13” (Section 13 application) in the child’s birth certificate.

“So he rejected, he said because the status is Permohonan Seksyen 13, I don’t understand Section 13… I can’t believe it, I can’t accept it,” Rahman said, referring to Section 13 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act (BDRA).
This was despite the section only stating that the father of an illegitimate child is not required to provide information on the child’s birth, and that no one’s name is to be entered by the Registrar in the register as the father of the child unless it is at the joint request of the mother and the person who acknowledges himself as the father.
Section 13 does not specify the rules for Muslim illegitimate children or bar the use of their fathers’ names, and does not mention the need to use “bin Abdullah” or “binti Abdullah” in place of their fathers’ names.

Rahman said that he then went to the NRD office to cancel the IC application as instructed, but confirmed that the NRD did not provide further advice on how to correctly apply for Adam’s MyKad. It has been over a year since and Adam does not have the document yet.

Bearing NRD’s error

Aisyah said it appears as if the family is being forced to bear the consequences of what she described as “cincai” or an indifferent work attitude by the NRD during Adam’s birth registration.

“So now he is already 12 years’ old, for 12 years he has been using his father’s name. So when it’s already 13 years, he will question us why have to ‘bin’ another name. For us, if from the beginning it’s ‘bin Abdullah’, we can accept… don’t after 13 years only you want ‘bin Abdullah’, my child is used to using the name ‘Rahman’,” she said of her only child.

She said they would have accepted this if it had been enforced on them upon Adam’s birth, but given that they did not, Aisyah said it would be too traumatic to force this on them now.

A sudden change to Adam’s name in official records from “bin Rahman” to “bin Abdullah” would be a giveaway of his illegitimate status, with Aisyah voicing fears that it could lead to situations such as suicide or running away from home. While not all Muslim children bearing the name “Abdullah” as their patronym are illegitimate, it is often an indicator of such status especially when their father’s name is not Abdullah.
Both Rahman and Aisyah are trying their best to shield Adam from the knowledge that he is an illegitimate child and that this status stood in the way of him getting an IC, noting that Adam — now 14 — used to be a happy child who is now questioning the year-long delay.

“He did ask his friends, it was done in a short while for his friends, he asked me why it is not done yet, my reason is that there are some problems. But he is quiet only... I don’t know, maybe he thinks about it… He is always moody, if I ask what is the problem, he doesn’t say,” Rahman said.

Because of the uncertainty over what will be Adam’s official name, Aisyah said they could not open a bank account for him, while Rahman said he was forced to produce Adam’s MyKid that should have been replaced with a MyKad at the age of 12 during visits to clinics.

So far, the secondary school Adam attends and his teachers have not pressed the parents for his MyKad but Rahman is worried this will change going into Form Two this year.  Adam would also need the IC next year for his Form Three Assessment (PT3).

Efforts to solve

Rahman said he has tried various options including seeking legal aid, only to be told that such free legal services were not available for lawsuits against the government.
The Births and Deaths Registration Act does not state that illegitimate children born to Muslim parents must use “Abdullah” — one of the 99 names of Allah — as a patronym.
Immediately after NRD’s rejection, the couple had pored through the 99 names to see if any closely resembled the father's name and could be used as an alternative to “Abdullah”, but could find none.

They have not filed an appeal letter or engaged further with the NRD on this issue, and are still seeking advice on how best to proceed to secure an IC for Adam that maintains Rahman’s name.

How big is this problem potentially?

In a written parliamentary reply during the July-August 2017 meeting, the Home Ministry had said that the National Registration Department’s statistics showed that the birth of 542,363 illegitimate children in Malaysia were registered during the 2006 to June 30, 2017 period.

But not all these children are born to Muslim couples or born out of wedlock. The breakdown of the NRD statistics according to the parents’ religion were not given.
According to Sisters in Islam’s (SIS) statistics, its free legal advisory service Telenisa encountered growing trend involving illegitimate children over the 2014-2016 period: 5.8 per cent or 27 out of 474 cases in 2014, 7 per cent or 28 out of 397 cases in 2015, 11.4 per cent or 48 out of 419 cases in 2016.

SIS said it handled about 10 cases involving the ‘bin Abdullah’ issue for 2017.
Nik Shazarina Bakti, a legal officer at SIS handling Rahman and Aisyah’s case, said that a Muslim mother in a previous case became so frustrated that she wanted to renounce Islam as she felt that she was hampered from taking responsibility for her child as compared to non-Muslims.

Another case involved a Muslim couple who registered their marriage in Thailand, but their eldest child still ended up with the “bin Abdullah” patronym as his calculated date of birth from the subsequent marriage registration in Malaysia fell short of the required six months.

Denied the father’s name because of the technicality in dates, the eldest child has been asking the parents why the younger siblings have different names, Nik Shazarina said.

“We hear of many cases where people abandon babies because of this (bin Abdullah), because it stigmatises. The father wants to take responsibility over this child, how can we don’t allow?” she said, contrasting Rahman’s cases with other cases where fathers disappear and mothers single-handedly raise their illegitimately born children.

Where does the law stand now?

Rahman and Aisyah’s problems stem from the NRD’s policy to register illegitimate Muslim children with “Abdullah” in place of their fathers’ names, with the Court of Appeal pinpointing the NRD’s decision as being based on two fatwa or religious opinion by a national-level body (National Fatwa Committee) in 1981 and 2003.

The Court of Appeal ( had in May 2017 said that Section 13 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act (BDRA) allows the father of an illegitimate child to be registered with the mother’s consent, and that Section 13A(2) of the same law allows the illegitimate child’s surname to be that of the person who is registered as the father if requested by the latter.

In the case of a Johor Muslim couple and their child, the judges noted that the BDRA does not distinguish between a Muslim and non-Muslim child and that Section 13A does not say that illegitimate Muslim children are to be treated differently for surname registrations.

“Specifically, Section 13A(2) does not say that in the case of a Muslim child, his surname must be ‘Abdullah’,” the judges said, believing that Islam does not condone the “public humiliation of an innocent child” by announcing to the whole world the child’s illegitimate status through the “bin Abdullah” tag.

The Court of Appeal also said that a fatwa is not law and cannot be the basis for the NRD director-general’s decision on surnames for illegitimate children, unanimously ruling that the decision to use “bin Abdullah” and the “Permohonan Seksyen 13” phrase was unauthorised by law.

But the NRD has since appealed and obtained a stay against this decision pending its appeal at the Federal Court. The appeal will now come up for hearing at the Federal Court on February 7 where three legal questions will be deliberated on.

* Names have been changed in this story to protect the child and for privacy purposes.

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answered on Jan 10, 2018 at 16:17
edited Jan 30, 2018 at 08:52
Perils of Cross Border Marriages...

Thai-born girl with Malaysian father hopes to go to government school


GEORGE TOWN, Jan 9 — While most children hate going to school, Thai-born girl Patcharamai Chailungka, 7, dreams of being allowed to attend a public school here this year.

Patcharamai grew up in Malaysia under the care of her Malaysian father, Hng Wei Liang, when her mother left them and went back to Thailand.

“I only want to start school here like other children and I promise I will study hard because I want to be a doctor,” Patcharamai said.

According to Hng, his daughter is currently attending a homeschooling academy run by a church. The 42-year-old hoped his daughter could go to any government primary school in Penang soon.

Hng had sought the help of PKR’s stateless programme coordinator A. Kumaresan to help him register Patcharamai with the state education department as he did not know how to go about it.

Kumaresan said the education department allows stateless children or children without proper Malaysian identification to register for local schools as long as one of their parents is Malaysian.

“The Malaysian parent needs to submit some of the documentations required, such as proof of his or her citizenship when applying for a school for their children here,” he said.

He said they will also help Hng to register his daughter with the National Registration Department (NRD) and apply for citizenship for her.

Hng said he will register his daughter under the name of Hng Mei Qi with the NRD and hoped to be able to get her citizenship sorted out soon.

Patcharamai was born in 2011 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and had a Thai birth certificate.

The restaurant manager said his wife, Supaporn Chailungka, wanted to go back to Thailand to deliver the baby at that time and after that, refused to come back to Malaysia.

“After six months, I went to bring them back here but my wife left us after three days and since then, we have lost contact with her,” he said.

He said his parents helped raise Patcharamai and that the girl should be a Malaysian since she grew up here.

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answered on Jan 10, 2018 at 20:05
edited Jan 10, 2018 at 20:28
by   jeff005
Comments (non-intrusive, for legal discussion only)

that the girl should be a Malaysian since she grew up here. 
The girl is a Thailand National. Growing up here does not entitle her to get citizenship.

What happened if the Father is a Malaysian? She is Malaysian by Constitutional Law.
Was there a legal Marriage in Thailand and Malaysia? And the marriage is properly registered in both the Embassies of the 2 countries. Was her birth registered too at the respective embassies? This child is not  stateless  . She is a Thai National.

Without proper documents and registrations, it was be difficult for this child to get citizenship. My personal opinion is that the various agencies will sit on this application until there is no mother comes looking for her. How do the depts know if this is not a  "snatched"  child due to to relationship problems and was kept hidden from the mother? Changing of name will wipe out her  PAST,  not allowing her biological mother to trace her. There could be a miscarriage of Justice and the child is too young to understand. Was she a victim of child trafficking? There remains a number of Q's marks.

Note :  There are children really sold together with the birth certs.
Example : Surrogate mothers. 
Thailand has outlawed surrogacy which was popular 10 years ago.

had a Thai birth certificate. 
Is the name of the father inside. If there is, there should be no issue to apply for citizenship.

such as proof of his or her citizenship when applying for a school for their children here
The proof is already there. She has a Thai BC and is a Thai citizen by birthright.

Supaporn Chailungka, wanted to go back to Thailand
I went to bring them back here but my wife left us after three days
The mother has a passport and not an illegal. She may and can come back to claim this child in the future.

The moral of the above story, couples wishing to start a  Family  must register their marriage legally according to the marriage laws of the two countries. Their children should  NOT  bear the blunt folly of their misadventures.
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