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High Court to decide August 1 whether Hindu mom Loh Siew Hong can continue with court challenge to invalidate children’s unilateral conversion

Loh Siew Hong speaks during a press conference at Wisma Tamilar Kural, Perai, February 15, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 – The High Court has fixed August 1, 2022 to decide on the leave application in the judicial review sought by Hindu mother Loh Siew Hong in challenging the unilateral conversion of her children to Islam without her consent.

Loh’s three children were converted to Islam by her ex-husband Nagashwaran Muniandy without her consent and she is contesting they were incapable of embracing Islam without her consent.

Loh had named the Registrar of Mualaf, Religious and Malay Customs Council of Perlis, besides Perlis state mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and the Perlis state government as respondents.

Loh’s lawyer A. Srimurugan from law firm Srimurugan & Co confirmed the granting of the leave application and the confirmation of the hearing date to Malay Mail.

“The respondents had argued that we were out of time to apply for the leave but we insisted that not only asked for more time prior to this but had acted swiftly.

“The mum (Loh) had been granted custody of the kids on February 21 after High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the application to the habeas corpus and everything was official only on March 10. Not to forget the conversion of the children was done behind her back.

“Hence we’ve been granted the leave till August 1, 2022,” he said when contacted.

In December 2019, Loh obtained interim custody of her children pending her divorce, but her court case was delayed when the country went into Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020; she finally obtained an order granting her full and sole custody in March 2021.

On February 21 this year, Loh was finally reunited with her children after the High Court granted her a writ of habeas corpus for an immediate release of her three children from alleged unlawful detention.

In delivering his decision and allowing Loh’s application, Justice Collin said a December 2019 High Court interim ex-parte order and a March 2021 High Court final order which granted sole custody and full care of her children were still valid and enforceable.

A month later on March 17, the High Court issued an order for all mainstream media organisations and social media platforms not to expose and publish the names and pictures of Loh’s three children to protect them.

The case was heard before High Court Judge Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

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