Malaysian Buddhists Lose Conversion Case

January 29, 2008


Source: Lexington Herald-Leader

Wire Service: AP

A Malaysian court on Tuesday rejected a petition to have a dead man declared a Buddhist after he was buried as a Muslim in the latest interfaith dispute to rock this multiethnic but largely Muslim nation.

Relatives of the late Gan Eng Gor had asked the High Court in southern Seremban state to reverse a decision by an Islamic Shariah court that declared him a Muslim. But the High Court rejected the plea, saying it had no jurisdiction in the matter, the family's lawyer, Tan Foong Luen, told The Associated Press.

The deceased, an ethnic Chinese, was given an Islamic burial last Thursday by his eldest son, a Muslim convert, who won custody of the body after getting the Shariah Court's approval. The rest of the family insisted the man had never converted, saying he had suffered two strokes and couldn't even speak at the time of the alleged conversion.