A newly formed action group comprising Hindu organisations wants to set up an online registration system to assist those whose religious status is listed as Muslims against their will.

Hindu Conversion Action Team (Hicoat) head Arun Dorasamy, however, said they hoped to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to get his blessings.

Hicoat is made up of eight Hindu-based NGOs including Malaysia Hindu Sangam.

Arun said that since 2014, there have been some 3,900 case enquiries received by Hindu organisations from Hindus who were listed as Muslims, and who wanted to freely practise their chosen faith and to marry non-Muslims.

He added that the figure of 7,000 such cases nationwide was a conservative projection.

“We have been getting an average of 80 enquiries per week from such persons, that is how widespread the problem is, and we need to get this across to the prime minister,” he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Arun said most of these cases were concentrated in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kedah, Negri Sembilan and Johor.

He took the National Registration Department to task for not helping Hindus to correct their religious status on their identity cards.

“They know there are so many genuine cases where these people have been raised as Hindus all their lives and yet the authorities have failed to set up a dedicated unit to deal with cases of religious status correction.

“Instead they refer them to the shariah court where we have cases pending for six to seven years.

“And on top of that, there is harassment within the system of the Muslim shariah lawyers who represent our cases,” Arun said.

Arun said that cases of unilateral conversion, as seen in the custody battles involving Hindu mothers M. Indira Gandhi and S. Deepa, only constituted some 10% of cases reported to them.

He said 90% of minors whose religious status is listed as “Islam” are those whose parents converted to Islam but left them to be raised by Hindu grandparents in a Hindu environment.

“So from the age of six months, these kids are raised as Hindus, and when they are of marrying age, they find Hindu partners.

“How can the system then still see them as Muslims?” he questioned.

He also hit out at Cabinet members for not briefing the prime minister on the severity of the issue, saying that the Prime Minister’s Department was surprised at the statistics.

“So why do we need Cabinet ministers if the JPM is finding out the severity of the issue from us NGOs?” he asked. – February 23, 2016.

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