PETALING JAYA, March 17 — The Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association (PPMM) and Hindu Conversion Action Team (Hicoat) have formed a technical team to address issues related to Hindus mistakenly registered as Muslims by the authorities.
Hicoat president Arun Doraisamy today said the team will provide technical assistance to those facing the problem and attempting to correct these through official means.
“We will go through Shariah Court, Islamic religious department and the National Registration Department to help correct the documents of Hindus who are classified as Muslims in paper,” he told a news conference.
He said this after having an hour-long meeting with PPMM president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar at the Hindu Sangam office here.
Arun also corrected a news report that said there were over 7,000 cases of Muslims who are allegedly in a dilemma to renounce their religion to become Hindus.
“Let me clarify that this is not entirely true. While there are about 7,000 cases of Hindus with wrong documentation, there is no such thing as anyone being forced to renounce their religion,” he said.
Arun said the technical team would slowly handle each of these cases, adding that each case was different in nature and must be handled accordingly.
“A big chunk of these cases come from children who are born out of wedlock and their Muslim father had registered them as Muslims.
“But the children are raised by their Hindu mother in Hindu faith and this becomes a problem later when they want to get married,” he said.
From 2012 to this year, Arun said Hicoat took up 512 such cases, 117 of which were solved through the Shariah courts.
He also explained that Hicoat was a coalition of eight Hindu NGOs, including the Hindu Sangam.
Zainul Rijal, who lauded the meeting with Hicoat, said he was optimistic about solving the cases through the technical team.
“In Islam, we have never forced anyone to convert and we always respected other races to practise their faith accordingly,” he said.
He added that any work executed by the technical team would be made known to National Registration Department and the Prime Minister’s Department, especially de facto law minister Nancy Shukri.
“In fact, we have met her (Nancy Shukri) before this to explain about this situation and our intention to form this team,” he said.