Court Rejects Hindu Widow’s Claim to Husband’s Body, Saying He Converted to Islam

December 29, 2005

Source: Taipei Times

Wire Service: AP

On December 29, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "An ethnic Indian Malaysian was buried with Islamic rites yesterday after his Hindu widow lost a court battle over his religious identity, in a sensational case that has the potential to blow into a racial firestorm. The High Court ruled in favor of the Islamic Affairs Department, allowing it to take possession of the body of ex-army commando M. Moorthy. The body has been lying in a legal limbo at a Kuala Lumpur hospital since Moorthy's death on Dec. 20 after seven years of paralysis. The court rejected an appeal by Moorthy's widow, Kaliammal Sinnasamy, who had sought custody of the body, disputing an Islamic Sharia court's ruling last week that Moorthy, 36, was a Muslim convert and should be buried as a Muslim... The case threatens to blow into a rare interracial and religious dispute in this Muslim-majority nation, which prides itself on religious tolerance among a population that also includes Buddhists, Christians and Hindus."