Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Religious bullying (1) Filial piety (0).

Apparently, this miscarriage of justice and filial piety has been dragging on for 7 years.

A non-Muslim soldier (E. Ragu) serves in the army and names his mother (Rukumony Muthiah) the beneficiary of his army insurance under a trust deed. 7 months before his death, he converts to Islam but does not revoke the trust deed. In accordance with the trust deed, the mother claims the proceeds of his insurance policy, but Koperasi Angkatan Tentera has seen fit to set aside this legal arrangment (under civil law) by invoking the argument that under syariah law, a non-Muslim cannot inherit the property of a Muslim. Read NST and Malaysiakini for the background.

At the crux of the matter is whether a conversion to Islam conveniently erases all the legal responsibilities, under civil law, that the convert had entered into before his/her conversion?

Here's a fictitious example that illustrates clearly the legal illogicality of the parties contesting the trust deed by arguing that a conversion renders all previous legal undertakings by the convert, null and void.

From: Do conversions automatically end civil law marriages? Hell NO.

Can someone like Saravanan come to my coffeeshop one evening and consume RM1,000 of Guinness Stout on his tab, then he converts to Islam the next day and reneges on his contractual obligation to pay his RM1,000 tab - on the argument that Muslims are not allowed to be party to a contract that involves things that are haram? Notwithstanding the fact that he had already gotten nicely pissed drunk on my booze which he hasn't paid for yet? Is that fair?
So, it is again up to the civil court to uphold the integrity of contracts and legal arrangements made under civil law, and defend the rights of non-Muslims against the encroachment of overzealous Islamist entities like the Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan and Amanah Raya Berhad.

And we are told over and over again that Islamic laws exist purely to serve and implement justice. Tell me, where is the justice in denying the final wishes of a dead man to be a filial son where by his passing, he wants to lessen the [financial] sufferings of his grieving mother?

I have no doubts whatsoever in the innate justice of religious law WHEN implemented by biblical prophets and messiahs. But I have little confidence in mortal men who seek to rule other men (even those of other faiths) by purportedly acting on god's behalf, ESPECIALLY when (unlike a milennium or two ago) god rarely makes personal appearances nowadays to confirm that delegation of authority.

As I see it, many of these inter-religious issues (eg. Rayappan, Subashini etc) are always the result of conversions that sorely lack proper due-diligence. Which is why (unless there is an official state visit by god himself to Putrajaya), Malaysia must move quickly to have much stricter and tighter rules governing conversions. Read an earlier post: A Solution to the Article 11 Impasse. The case would be scenario #3:
Therefore, the answer is to compel a prospective convert to satisfactorily resolve all his/her non-Muslim affairs before conversion, for example:
  • legally divorcing his/her spouse if the spouse will not convert with him/her, and distributing their marital property according to secular law,
  • producing a written agreement between the prospective convert and the spouse as well as other logical legal guardians (like grandparents and siblings) regarding the religious status of any of their children (this point is important because if the convert dies, and his children were converted as well, they cannot be cared for in a non-Muslim home, even if those people are the children's closest living relatives, including the non-Muslim biological parent).
  • resolving in a secular court any possible future conflicts arising from property jointly owned by the convert and a non-Muslim, or any property of the convert where secular laws and Islamic laws will treat differently in the event that a non-Muslim lays claim to it (eg. heir, family, business partner etc).
And as stated earlier, no conversion is possible if these matters are not fully resolved beforehand. In the event that the religious authorities fail in their due-diligence where a conversion is accepted, but the said resolutions required for the conversion are subsequently found to be insufficient or omitted at any time in the future - the earlier conversion must be deemed to be retrospectively invalid and any disputes that arise are to be adjudicated by a secular court.


Anonymous said...

totally unjust

Anonymous said...

The religion Islam itself isn't like that. It is the acts of those political and ethnic maniacs and clowns who created all the unfair rules and systems, holily naming them as Syariah Law!! These are gimicks ... all to save the BN "big brother & bully" from losing votes from its ethnic group during GEs!! This happens only in Malaysia -- the Boleh Land --- and nowhere else on this Earth!!

Anonymous said...

This joker just dont know the future implication.....so i will teach you a trick......You go and borrow some money...and then you convert to Muslim...hahaha

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, i recalled a few years back then a Malaysian Court absolved a Datuk from all his gambling debt in UK because as a Moslem he is not supposed to be gambling, hence he is not liable for his gambling debt. Anyone heard of this, or the result of the subsequent appeal by the UK gambling company?

Anonymous said...

I am going to Genting tonight to pun big! If I happen to loose and owe Uncle Lim 100k, I will convert To Islam tomorrow and tell Uncle Lim to piss off!