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Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:23 am
by Freedompls
Hi Dear,
 
First of all, I feel very grateful for the creation of this forum to provide a lots of useful information for people who wish to leave Islam but without any knowledge on how and what should they do.
I'm a chinese girl from Malaysia, living in peninsular Malaysia, in a states name Sarawak. Recently I had come approach to this islamic issues about apostasy or conversion from Islam because of my Muslim boyfriend. He is born into Islam, the father is a mix of chinese & Malay while the mother is pure chinese who marrying to the father then converted into islam. But they had divorced since my boyfriend was 5 years old. So basically, he has to follow the father as a Muslim and raised by his father's side in a Malay family. But at the same times, he also get influence by his mother's side of some of the chinese lifestyles, he got a lot of chinese friends, he can speak chinese dialect and he did not really practicing his way according to his religion practice, he don't go to mosque praying every Friday, he dont do his prayers 5 times a day too. but of cause, he does shows his certain respect to his religion practice which he do not eat pork and sometimes he do fasting during Puasa month.  
 
He wants to do his conversion from Muslim to other religion due to I can't convert myself to his religion if we were to be together & planning for marrying in the future, but we got no idea on how should we go about it. we love each other very much but we are now stuck in the middle due to his religion, my family are strongly go against us to be together. I've done a lot of research to help him to understand more on how he is going to do for converted from Islam in a legally way in Malaysia.
 
The research that I've found and read about cases of conversion from different states in Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak actually is the lenient states to allowed Muslim for conversion, but of course I know it wont be that easy and we still have to follow the law suits of it in order for him to do his conversion successfully.
 
Therefore, I really needs your kind assistance & advice to provides us the knowledge and information on how should we go about for the conversion. My questions are
 
1) Where should he submit his application for conversion at the relevant islamic department? understand that he will need to go to department of Islamic affair of our state (Sarawak, Malaysia) to submit his appeal for conversion.
 
2) his case wil be submitted to Department of Islamic affair and later to Syariah court for appeal, couselling and judge by the court for him to leave Islam.
 
3) After jurisdiction of Syariah court annouced that he is leaving Islam, he will by then to change his identity at registrar department and obtain his new identity in this country.
 
Am I right to the above that he will need to go through along the process? what is other issues we need to be aware of or we might confronted with? May you enlighten us with further information? can he re-appeal of 2nd times if he fail in appealing for conversion in the first time?
 
4) How long will be the whole process take times in order for him to convert from Islam successfully?
 
5) After his conversion, his identity card can change to christian name follow by his chinese mother's surname?
6) If we were to married in the future, do we will be able to register our marriage legally in Malaysia? what about our children, are they be able to register their birth cert legally later? or we will having problems of being force to following the Islamic law due to his is former islam and we might get caught in islam law suit in the end of the day?
 
I really really urgently to know every circumstances that we might facing before and after his conversion. seeking for your advice & reply as soonest as possible in order for us to get ourselves well prepared before we go for this hard core.thank you so much to the people who willing to provides me their valuable experience and informations.

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:50 am
by manfred
I would advise some caution here...

First of all, a Shariah court will generally ONLY agree to a change of religion away from Islam, if the person concerned can be proved never to have practiced Islam. So, if your boyfriend ever fasted, attended prayer or celebrated Idul Fitri, the chances will be glum to get an agreement from a Shariah court. Without an agreement from a Shariah court, the civil authorities will not change the religion on his records. This will be be where you get problems.

You may find the case of Lina Joy quite telling:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Joy

In practice, most converts of other religions simply hide this fact, because they don't want to be hassled by local Muslims or even put themselves in danger. I assume you know that some parts of Malaysia have the death penalty for leaving Islam.

It is none of my business, but if you really want to get married, this may be a better solution: Go to Hong Kong or somewhere else in China, and get married there. Nobody will be bothered about your religion there. Malaysia generally recognizes marriages entered into in other countries. You can point to your background why you have decided to get married in China.

Frankly, in the long run, it would be better to move countries. Paradoxically, you would have a lot fewer problems in neighbouring Indonesia, if you settle in the islands east of Java, such as Bali, Sumbawa, or Flores. However jobs will be tricky.

The ideal solution in my mind would be for the both of you to move permanently to another country.

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:01 pm
by Marie
Is he considered to be an ethnic Malay? Ethnic Malays are forbidden to leave Islam.

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:33 am
by Freedompls
Dear ManFred,

Thank you for your advice..But i'm Malaysia born chinese, I'm a Malaysian. So how am I going to China to get our marriage cert there?

By the way, talking about Syariah court only agree to change one religion if he do not practice in Islam, how they can prove that my bf actually did celebrate Idul Fitri & do his fasting?through investigation to his family or friends around? He actually didnt do his fasting during this puasa month & he do not attend to prayer along this while..he do smoke & drink somehow..if he stand strong to his arguement or denied to the court that he never practice iSlam, wil this help? and may be he can argue that he want to change his religion because he wants to follow his chinese mother's religion (Christianity) since he is still young? doest he mother's word carried weight if court were to ask his mother as witness to support to his arguement?

I dont know wether this took time long or not for both of us to fight through it..sigh,...

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:26 am
by manfred
Thank you for your advice..But i'm Malaysia born chinese, I'm a Malaysian. So how am I going to China to get our marriage cert there?


Simple. Book a holiday to Hong Kong together, that's easiest. You don't need visa. Before you go, fill the the application on line. All the details are here:

http://hongkong.angloinfo.com/countries/china/hongkong/marriage.asp

It's quite straight forward.

By the way, talking about Syariah court only agree to change one religion if he do not practice in Islam, how they can prove that my bf actually did celebrate Idul Fitri & do his fasting?through investigation to his family or friends around? He actually didnt do his fasting during this puasa month & he do not attend to prayer along this while.


The burden of proof is on HIM. He has to show that even though he was born a Muslim, he NEVER practiced Islam or was held to do so. In reality that is pretty much impossible to do. That is why very few people get a consent from a Shariah court. They also ask trick questions, like "Do you know the shahadda?, can you tell us how it goes?" If then says the shahadda they say he just confirmed his Islamic religion. Seriously, I would bypass those clowns. They are not in the least interested in what he wants to do. They simply pass judgement on one basis only: has he been born a Muslim, i.e. was his father a Muslim? If yes, then did he ever accept Islam? Attendance of Muslim school would be a sign of accepting Islam. Living with or spending time with his father would also mean the same thing. Being circumcised would be counted as accepting Islam. Going to prayers even once would mean the same the thing, as would be attempting to fast for a single day

In practice they would possibly agree in cases where a baby was adopted by a Christian family, for example.

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:15 am
by Freedompls
He do not live together with his Muslim father ever since he was 5 years old after the parent divorce. He was under guardian of his grandmother, who is the Chinese adopted by Muslim family. the father move out from house during he is 13 or 14 years old due to re-married and got his another family.He live independently after he finished school & started working, guess bout 22/23++. He did not attend to Muslim school, the school that he attend from kindy to seconday is not Muslim school, it is a Sekolah Kebangsaan catholic church school, their medium mostly is using English and few subjects of using BM. he done his Diploma in private college.

Means he got no argue points even if he wish to do his conversion legally in Malaysia? But i do ever heard a case of my friend telling me that his friend who is a mix Malay gal married to her christian husband then able to change her name from Binti xxxx to chinese name (e.g Lina Soh) then change her religion to Christian. But i got no chance to meet her to know more about this...

Talking about we do our marriage cert in Hong Kong, then if we wanted to come back to Malaysia for living, Malaysian government accepted to our foreign marriage cert? what about our children? they can register their birth cert in Malaysia? hold their IC as Malaysian?

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:57 am
by enceladus
Welcome, Freedompls!

Manfred has given very good advice - I can't add much to what he's said.
I agree with him - moving permanently to another country would be a very good thing to do.
I also agree that Hong Kong would be as good a place as any.

Best wishes - good luck! Bye for now -
- enceladus

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:33 am
by manfred
Talking about we do our marriage cert in Hong Kong, then if we wanted to come back to Malaysia for living, Malaysian government accepted to our foreign marriage cert? what about our children? they can register their birth cert in Malaysia? hold their IC as Malaysian?


http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/marriage.html wrote:C. Marriages of Malaysians in a foreign country
....
(ii) If A marriage which has not been solemnised at the Malaysian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate then the marriage must be registered at nearest available Registrar in that country or on arrival in Malaysia within 6 months.

a. produce certificate of marriage from the country where the marriage took place or evidence either oral or documentary that such marriage took place.

b. Registrar may dispense the appearance of one of the parties if he is satisfied there exists a good reason for his absence.


More details also here:
http://www.lawyerment.com/library/kb/Families/Marriage/1025.htm

Please be aware that a written consent is required from a parent if either one of you is under 21 years old, and you could not register a marriage in Malaysia without it, even though valid in other countries.

So, the short answer is YES, they will, provided you meet the conditions of section 12 of the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976, which are listed in the first link I gave. They are only to do with age and with consanguinity.

Children's nationality :


A Malaysian is every person born on or after Malaysia Day, and having any of the qualifications specified below

1) every person born within Malaysia of whose parents one at least is at the time of the birth either a citizen or permanently resident in Malaysia and
2) every person born outside Malaysia whose father is at the time of the birth a citizen and either was born in Malaysia or is at the time of the birth in the service of the Federation or of a State and
3) every person born outside Malaysia whose father is at the time of the birth a citizen and whose birth is, within 1 year of its occurrence or within such longer period as the Malaysian Government may in any particular case allow, registered at a consulate of Malaysia or, if it occurs in Brunei or in a territory prescribed for this purpose by order of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, registered with the Malaysian Government and
4) every person born in Singapore of whose parents one at least is at the time of the birth a citizen and who is not born citizen otherwise than by virtue of this paragraph and
5) every person born within Malaysia who is not born a citizen of any country otherwise than by virtue of this paragraph

So, you children would be regarded as Malaysian, as both of you are Malaysians. They even would be Malaysian if you were not married at all. Where you get married does not affect the nationality status of your children in any way, it is completely irrelevant. So, YES, you can register the birth of your children in the normal way.However, they will probably be regarded as Muslim, unless you specify something different AT BIRTH.

Re: Would it be possible to leave Islam legally in Malaysia?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:29 am
by Freedompls
manfred,

If I married at hk and get their marriage cert, when I returned to Malaysia I need not to register again at their Islamic department for our marriage ?what reason we can provide as the reason why being absent to do our Register of marriage at Malaysia ?

talking bout to giving birth to our children in future. u said unless I state some diff AT BIRTH so that my children won't be regardless as Muslim. Means I cannot filled in my spouse details and only filled in myself as giving birth of the child without married?

Thank you for ur advice:)