Muslim converts should clarify he rights of their family members so that the tragedy of the 28-day corpse dispute of Lee Siew Kee would not recur


by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 1st June 1991:

Muslim converts should clarify he rights of their family members so that the tragedy of the 28-day corpse dispute of Lee Siew Kee would not recur

The High Court judgement ending the 28-day corpse dispute of Lee Siew Kee is a very important and historic one.

It is my hope that the tragedy of the 28-day corpse dispute of Lee Siew Kee, which has caused so much anguish and suffering to his wife and children, would not recur again Malaysia.

It is important that Muslim converts should clarify the right of their family members and loved ones so that they do not become another Lee Siew Kee when they die.

We are aware that as a result of the Lee Siew Kee case, many Muslim coverts are worried about the legal rights of their loved ones when they die-especially with the contention by Islamic religious department officials that the non-Muslim wife and children will lose all their legal and property rights.

These matters must be resolved when the Muslim coverts are still alive and can take action for their resolution; and not left until they die, with their non-Muslim members suffering even greater anguish.

The Lee Siew Kee case can be a guide for the resolution of these cases. As the judge said in opening of his judgement in the Lee Siew Kee case, the main issues to be determined were:

Whether Lee Siew Kee at the time of his death was or was not professing the Muslim religion.

Whether the deceased, who was Buddhist, was properly converted to Islam in 1973;

If he had been properly converted to Islam, whether he had renounced the religion of Islam before he died.

Finally, I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, to take action to ensure that corpse disputes like the Lee Siew Kee case will never occur again in Malaysia, as this is not conducive to inter-religious harmony and national unity.

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