Press Conference Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Malacca, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Friday, 10.1.1986
DAP gives five-day ultimatum for the return of Kelantan school-girl, Ng Yee Kuan, 16, to her parents or habeas corpus action for her release would be filed next Wednesday
On Nov. 23, 1985, in Petaling Jaya, in the presence of Ng Sin Man, of Kampong Pa’amin. Pasir Mas, Kelantan, I made public the case of his daughter, Ng Yee Kuan, 16, being forcibly converted into Islam and taken away from her family.
Ng Yee Kuan never returned home after school closed for the year-end holidays on Nov. 13, 1985, and subsequently the father found that she had been taken away by a religious teacher in her school, Sekolah Sultan Ibrahim (1) Pasir Mas, Kelantan.
Before Ng Sin Man complained to me, he could only see her daughter once in Malay Kampong, and was not allowed to take her daughter home.
I had called on the Home Affairs Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, to ensure that Yee Kuan, who is underaged, to be returned to her family; and I had also spoken to the Education Minister, Datuk Abdullah Badawi, about this case.
It is now nearly two months since Yee Kuan’s removal from her family. Since the press conference, the father had seen her twice, once on Dec.3 and the second time on January 7, both o casions at the Kota Bahru Religious Department, where Yee Kuan was not her normal self, and always looking to the religious department officials before answering or talking. Yee Kuan’s mother saw her for the first time since her removal from home on January 7.
I am shocked that since Yee Kuan’s case. There have been more such cases of schoolgirls being forcibly converted in to Islam and taken away from parental home, without parental knowledge or consent.
Only today’s press, we read of another case of a schoolgirl in Terengganu who was taken away from her home. As she is three months short of the age of 18, the family was told to return three months later to see her daughter, when legally she would have the right to decide without parental consent.
This is a grave threat to inter-racial and inter-religious harmony, a threat to family integrity, and unconstitutional. and unlawful.
Article 12 of the Con titution made it clear that for religious instruction, the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be divided by his parent or guardian.
As Ng Sin Man has not been able to get back her daughter up to now, although he has tried his very best by all means, the DAP is given a five-day ultimatum for the return of Ng Yee Kuan to her parents and home, failing which a habeas corpus writ would be filled in Kota Bahru on Wednesday for her release.
DAP MP for Bukit Bendera, Gooi Hock Seng, would file the action for her release, as she is under illegal custody which tantamounts to unlawful imprisonment.
The government has been talking about the need for all concerned to respect the law, but unfortunately, there are certain government quarters who have no regard whatsoever for the rule of law.
In view of the frequency of the the instances of Chinese school-girls being forcibly converted into Islam against parental constant and taken away from parental homes, the DAP has decided to form a special committee under the chairmanship of Sdr. Gooi Hock Send, with Sdr. Karpal Singh as adviser, to take up all such unlawful and unconstitution cases.
I have also asked the DAP Kota Bahru Branch Chairman, Kang Sam Chuan, to arrange for a meeting for me to discuss with concerned parents in Kota Kelantan and Terengganu next Wednesday to protect the constitutional rights of the parents to protect their family units from being broken by unlawful actions.