An ethnic Indian Hindu woman has urged Malaysia's highest civil court to stop her Muslim husband, who had embraced Islam, from converting their sons to the religion against her wishes.
Subashini Rajasingam, an ethnic Indian Hindu married Saravanan Thangathoray five years ago and the couple has two sons - Dharvin and Sharvind. However, Saravanan told Subashini last November that he had converted to Islam.
29-year-old Subashini, a clerk, attempted suicide and was hospitalised. When she returned home, she found that her husband had left with their son Dharvin, whom he claimed had also converted to Islam.
The woman turned to the court to prevent her husband from converting Sharvind and from seeking a divorce in an Islamic Shariah court instead of a civil court. However the Court of Appeal ruled in March she should argue her case in the Shariah court. She then approached the Federal court against the verdict.
The Federal Court began hearing Subashini's appeal on Sunday where her lawyers stated that one parent cannot convert a child to Islam if the other parent objects.
The lawyers felt that a ruling from the Shariah court may affect Subahini's rights. "With respect, only this honorable court can ensure that no such injustice occurs," her lawyers said in a statement.
"The Shariah courts have no jurisdiction since (Subashini) is not a person professing Islam," they said adding until the Federal Court rules on the case, Saravanan cannot convert Sharvind, divorce his wife or seek custody of the kids.
Malaysia is a Muslim majority country where 60 per cent of the 27 million people are Muslims. Indians, mostly Hindus, form 10 per cent of the population.