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By Bobby Yee
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) on Tuesday said the Government should be allowed to study the controversial proposal to allow just one parent to convert children to Islam before any decision is made.
Its President, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, said the matter has been referred to the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, Datuk, Seri Jamil Khir Baharom
Kurup (photo), who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government really takes into consideration the voices of the people
“And because we listen to the voice of the people, we discussed about it during Cabinet meeting recently,” he told reporters after officiating at the finals of the National Higher Learning Institution Debate.
During the meeting, he said, the Federal Cabinet discussed about the people’s reservation about the issue especially among non-Muslims.
Apparently, the MCA, MIC, DAP and Upko have expressed its concern over the proposed amendment to Section 107(b) of the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which had been tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.
Former minister and President of Upko, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had said that the provision contradicted the concept of acceptance, inclusiveness and moderation.
He also claimed that the proposal had been dropped previously.
DAP adviser, Lim Kit Siang, said the proposal should be withdrawn.
Nevertheless, Kurup said Jamil would be issuing a statement soon, which is hoped to appease everyone.
“So, let us give him the chance to study the proposal,” he said.
The Cabinet, he said, has agreed that the matter must be fine-tuned first.
It is for this reason, he said, that PBRS could not make a stand on the matter because of his position as a member of the Federal Cabinet.
Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, said on the other hand, said on Monday that the proposal is based on a Federal Court ruling and provisions in the constitution.
“(However) the Government is aware, and is taking into account all the views. We are looking into the matter.
“The Cabinet has discussed this matter thoroughly, and we realise there is a need for a fair solution to the matter,” he said.
On Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s proposal for a Unity Consultative Council be formed so as to enable such issue be discussed, Kurup said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has said that the National Consultative Council be revived.