Lim Kit Siang to take up with the Prime minister, Tun Razak, the case of 14-year-old Lok Kim Eng, of Batu Pahat, who had been taken away from her parents’ home without the parents’ permission
On 20th December 1973, I raised in Parliament the case of Lok Kim Eng, 14, daughter of Lok Wan Fah of Banang Estate, Batu Pahat, who since October 31, 1973, had been taken away from parents’ home without the parents’ permission.
The girl was taken away from the parents’ house to be converted onto the Islamic religion, without the parents’ consent. This is against the fundamental liberties provided under the Federal Constitution clause 12 which provided for children below 18 years of age, the parents shall decide the religion of the child.
Since October 1973, the father, Lok Wan Fah, a rubber tapper, had asked the police, the social welfare department and MCA leaders for help, but have failed to get any assistance.
After I raised this matter in Parliament, the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Datuk Wan Abdul Kadir bin Ismail, promised to look into matter.
Datuk Wan Kadir had written to me to say the following: Official report received by the Johore Religious Department states that the girl, Loh Kim Eng, is in the house of Y.B. Datuk Syed Isa bin Alwee in Batu Pahat with the consent of the parents of the child.
“The report also states that the girl had stated her intention to embrace Islamic religion, but the authorities at the Batu Pahat Kathi Office did not register the conversion as she is not yet of age.”
I have since then been in touch with the parents, and the parents have denied giving consent or approval to their daughter staying with Datuk Syed Isa, formerly Member of Parliament for Batu Pahat Dalam, The father, Lok Wan Fah, has also sworn a statutory declaration in my possession stating that they have not given permission for their daughter to stay with Datuk Syed Esa.
The 14-year-old girl, Lok Kin Eng, has not returned to her parental home since October 1973, although it is now about four months already. Nor did the girl returned home to her parents for the Chinese New Year.
The girl was switched to another school in Batu Pahat when the school re-opened without the parents’ knowledge or consent.
I have now decided to appeal directly to the Prime Minister, Tun Razak, to intervene in this matter to restore the girl back to her parents and uphold Fundamental constitutional liberties, of all Malaysian citizens, however humble their station may be.