Court’s decision expected, says Perlis mufti

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PETALING JAYA: Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin said he was not surprised by the High Court’s decision to grant single mother Loh Siew Hong’s habeas corpus application to regain custody of her three children.

However, Asri said he was now looking at other measures which the law can provide to protect the children if they wanted to remain Muslims.

“What we are defending is their religion and if they want to continue to embrace Islam. We are looking at other measures in terms of the law,” he said.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning allowed a habeas corpus application by Loh against the social welfare department and a preacher who looked after the children at one point.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed her application after hearing submissions from her lawyers and counsel appearing for preacher Nazirah Nanthakumari Abdullah.

Asri previously confirmed that the Perlis religious authorities had registered Loh’s three children as Muslims without her being present, which goes against a 2018 Federal Court ruling that the conversion of any child under 18 to another religion needs the consent of both parents.

In today’s statement, Asri again stressed that despite the children being brought to the Kangar police station to be handed over to Loh last week, they refused to follow their mother, whom they had not seen in three years.

“Then Loh agreed that they be cared for by the social welfare department, and they were taken to Kedah instead of Perlis,” he said.

“We never stopped their mother from meeting them.”

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