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Friday, June 15, 2007

Candlelight vigil for Revathi (and for Malaysia)

I hate to publish a post like this on this blog, but I am a Malaysian citizen born and bred here, and expect to live the rest of my life here as well. However, like many citizens, I am concerned at recent developments in Malaysia, particularly the fact that some of our judges who have sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution, are not doing so in my and many others opinion. There is going to be a Candlelight vigil for Revathi (and for Malaysia)

Date: Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Time: 8 p.m.
Venue: Dataran Merdeka (at the flagpole)

and I as a concerned citizen intend to go, and hope others who happens to chance upon this post will do the same, and if unable to do so, at least leave a comment to lend your support and/or send the URL to your contacts. I shall now reset the blog to enable anonymous comments so that those who do not want to set up a Blogger account can do so, but I need to enable comment moderation to avoid comment spam and comments with languages less than desired.

I was alerted to this because I subscribe to Berita Malaysia and the actual announcement is at A candle for Revathi. Because I want to get the message to as many people as possible, I will post what I copied from Berita Malaysia of which some or all may be duplicate of the above post, and I shall write to the author of A candle for Revathi if he (or she) has any objection to this post. If there is any objection, this post or a part of it will be deleted.

A candle for Revathi
June 14th, 2007

Candlelight Vigil

There will be a peaceful candlelight vigil in support of Revathi, and many others like her, who are unable to fully exercise their Constitutionally- guaranteed freedom of faith.

The vigil is an initiative of civil society organisations including MCCBCHST (the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism) and various women's rights groups (All Women's Action Society (AWAM), Sisters in Islam (SIS), Women's Aid Organisation (WAO), Women's Centre for Change, Penang (WCC) and Women's Development Collective (WDC)).

Date: Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Time: 8 p.m.
Venue: Dataran Merdeka (at the flagpole)

Show your support in affirming the supremacy of the Federal Constitution and its protection of our fundamental liberties, including the freedom of belief.

Bring candles, candle-holders and banners.


Summary of Revathi's case:

Revathi, an ethnic Indian woman, has been held in a rehabilitation center run by Islamic authorities since January 2007 because she wants the State to acknowledge she is a Hindu and not a Muslim.

Revathi was born to Indian parents who had converted to Islam before her birth. She claims she was raised by her grandmother as a Hindu. She and Suresh were married according to Hindu rites in March 2004. Revathi was advised by the Malacca Islamic Religious Department to make an application at the Malacca Syariah High Court to confirm her status as a Hindu. She did as she was told.

However, the Syariah Court ordered her detained in a rehabilitation centre in Ulu Yam, Selangor under Melaka's Syariah criminal laws for 100 days. This detention was extended in Revathi's absence for a further 80 days supposedly because she had not "repented". In the meanwhile, Revathi's Muslim mother obtained a Syariah Court order granting her custody of Revathi and Suresh's 15 month old baby. That order was enforced on Suresh's Hindu family with the assistance of the police.

The family is now torn apart - with the mother in detention, the child with the grandparents and the father in limbo without his family.

Update 15 June, 3.10pm

Got a lightning quick response from Haris. He says: "no copyright issues", so this post will remain as it is. Plus I see Haris has started a campaign
Get to know your MP (Member of Parliment) and I have responded positively. Hope if you are also a concerned Malaysian citizen, you will do the same. Here is some explanation of what Haris is trying to do:
Know your MP (Member of Parliment): What and How

To participate in the get to know your MP, you will need to know your constituency. Got this link from Haris:

Suruhanjay Pilihan Raya Malaysia

All you need to do is to key in your Identity card number and withing seconds the site will tell you in which constituency you are registered in.

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