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Malaysia Malaysia's Largest Interfaith Group Warns It Will Take Lawsuits To The United Nations

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Malaysia Malaysia's Largest Interfaith Group Warns It Will Take Lawsuits To The United Nations

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Malaysia’s largest interfaith group warns it’ll take lawsuits to United Nations if need be

http://news.malaysia.msn.com/malaysia-news/malaysia’s-largest-interfaith-group-warns-it’ll-take-lawsuits-to-united-nations-if-need-be

Lawyer Jagir Singh said the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism will chart a roadmap to refer religious rights issues to the UN.

In another sign of declining faith in the system, the new president of the largest council of non-Muslim religious groups in Malaysia has promised to take legal challenges all the way to the United Nations if they cannot be resolved here.

Lawyer Jagir Singh said the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism will chart a roadmap to refer religious rights issues to the UN.

He also suggested there should be more non-Malays among judges, saying a mixed-race judiciary will get rid of the perception of racial bias in court.

He was speaking to a dinner gathering of 1,000 last night to mark the 30th anniversary of the interfaith group.

A rising number of issues causing concern to non-Muslim religious groups are ending up in court, as in the case of the legal challenge to use the word Allah for non-Islam gods.

Or they are an issue based in law, for example, the recent government push for a Bill to allow the religious conversion of a minor by consent of just one parent, even if the other parents disagrees.

The attempt was abandoned by the government when its own coalition partners and some Cabinet ministers objected to the Bill.

Jagir, a practising lawyer, has often taken a leading role in speaking for the inter-faith group on such issues even before he became president last month.

Last night he told the group: “We will continue to pursue the Allah issue and conversion of minors through legal means, and if necessary will appeal to the United Nations, namely on elimination of discrimination of women through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, known as CEDAW.”

He added that the group will also work at protecting rights and to find solutions to issues such as building of places of worship and burial grounds.

Guest-of-honour Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, who delivered his speech after Jagir, said the government has “taken a zero-tolerance approach and sometimes contentious position on religious bigotry”.

He added: "We can't allow issues that might just be a storm in a teacup to take a turn for the worse, abruptly turning it into a perfect storm, destroying what took us years and years to build."
 

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