PETALING JAYA: An MP has spoken out against Perlis Mufti, claiming that his argument that unilateral conversion was legal under state law, was “weak”.

Sepang MP Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, who is from Parti Amanah Negara, said that the Federal Court had ruled against unilateral religious conversion, and said that Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s stance was “hard to defend”.

On Friday, Asri said that the unilateral conversion of single mother Loh Siew Hong’s three children to Islam was legally done in accordance with the Perlis Islamic Enactment, which he says allows for either a father, mother or guardian to convert a minor to Islam.

“In my opinion, if we look at the point of view of the current national legislation, with all due respect, I argue that the statement of the Perlis Mufti is difficult to defend because it is seen as quite weak,” Said Mohamed Hanipa, who was formerly deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs.

Mohamed Hanipa added that the stand of the Perlis Mufti seemed to be driven more by sentiment rather than one grounded in fact or law.

Mohamed Hanipa clarified that the Federal Court had laid down a precedent in the M. Indira Ghandi case, ruling that unilateral religious conversion of a minor was illegal under the Federal Constitution.

“From a legal point of view, I do not see how the statement of the Perlis Mufti that the conversion of the three children is valid, can be defended,” he said.