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Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 23rd April 2009: 

Tsu Koon given another week to deliver “Performance Now” motto of Najib government or a Parliamentary Roundtable will be convened to demand justice to Indira Ghandi and her three children

The exasperation of the President of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, Datuk A. Vaithilingam at the lack of action of the “Performance Now” Cabinet, and in particular the KPI Monitor Minister In the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon over the injustices in the latest case of controversial and oppressive conversion is understandable.

As Vaithilingam lamented: “Everyone is very sympathetic. There is no use being sympathetic if it is mere sympathy without action.”

We are giving Tsu Koon another week to deliver the “Performance Now” motto of the Najib government to end the injustices suffered by kindergarten teacher from Ipoh, M. Indira Ghandi, 35, and her three children, Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinish 11 and year-old baby Prasana Diksa or a Parliamentary Roundtable will be convened to demand justice for such victims of controversial and oppressive conversions.

In the past week, the three-man “Performance Now” Cabinet Committee, headed by Koh, to resolve the Indira Ghandi issue, has expanded to five Ministers – with the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Law and Parliament, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil joining the original three Ministers – Koh, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department on Islamic Affairs, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and the Human Resources Minister, Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam.

However, there are no signs that the expansion of the three-man “Performance Now” Cabinet committee can contribute to any faster performance!

The immediate solution sought for the illegal and oppressive conversion of Indira Ghandi’s three children by her estranged husband K. Pathmanathan who had converted to Islam to become Ridzuan Abdullah are:

  • Immediate return of baby Prasana Diksa to Indira;

  • Iron-clad guarantees that her two children, Tevi Darsiny and Karan Dinesh can continue schooling without any interference with their religious rights from any quarter – very urgent as Tevi is preparing for her UPSR; and

  • Cabinet stand that there should be no forcible and oppressive conversion of children below 18 to another religion unless both parents agree; and that no single parent from a civil marriage has the right to convert the children to another religion until the civil court decides on divorce, custody and alimony.

This is not the first time such heart-wrenching cases occurred where irresponsible people used religion to evade their family responsibilities and commitments.

There had been a long list of unresolved controversies since 2005, from Moorthy to Subashini, Rayappan and now Indira Ghandi.

A Parliamentary Roundtable will be the occasion to revisit the host of these unresolved cases.

The rights and wrongs are very simple and straightforward. Why is the Barisan Nasional government taking five long years and still unable to resolve the injustices caused by irresponsible conversion of non-Muslims who are married through civil laws to evade obligations contracted in civil law marriages?

This is now an acid test for the five-member Najib Cabinet committee whether “Performance Now” motto is an empty and meaningless slogan, which should be replaced with “No Performance Now”.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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