Monday, January 21, 2008


After 18 harrowing days of battling with Islamic religious authorities, Ngiam Tee Kong on Friday (January 18) finally won the right to bury his wife, who died last December 30, according to Christian rites.

High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan made the decision to allow the Christian burial of Wong Sau Lan after Islamic religious authorities from the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) dropped the claim to her body, saying that her alleged conversion to Islam was not in accordance with sharia (Islamic law).

Following her death, MAIWP had directed the hospital through the police not to release her body to her husband unless he admitted that she had converted to Islam last December. Ngiam maintained that his wife was a Christian who was baptized in November. He has indicated that he will file a suit against MAIWP for negligence.

Ngiam’s lawyer, Karpal Singh, told reporters that the MAIWP “must ascertain that any conversion is [made] according to Islamic law, not snatch a body and refuse to release it on the ground there is a conversion when there is not one, and later admitting that there was no lawful conversion.”


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