Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Girl marries in Punjab, Amanah leader hits out at govt

Raja Bahrin Shah demands action, saying the issue involves Muslim religious sensitivities.

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A senior Amanah leader is unhappy that the government is not taking action against a Malay-Muslim woman who wedded in Punjab according to Sikh customs.

Terengganu Amanah chief Raja Bahrin Shah said the minister in charge of religious affairs, Zulkifli Al-Bakri, should launch an official probe into the religious status of Illi Najwa Saddique after a video of her wedding went viral.

Illi Najwa, the niece of Barisan Nasional’s Kota Tinggi MP Halimah Mohamed Sadique, later explained that her husband, Indian hockey skipper Manpreet Singh Parwarwas, had already converted to Islam last year.

Islamic marriage laws in Malaysia prohibit Muslims from marrying non-Muslims.

But Raja Bahrin said the government and the relevant Islamic authorities owe an explanation.

“Explain how the ‘Malay-Muslim’ Perikatan Nasional government and the relevant Islamic department could grant permission to Illi Saddique to fly to India during Covid-19 and hold a ceremony in such a form,” he said.

Adding that the issue involves Muslim religious sensitivities, he said the authorities must take “firm action”.

A video clip shared on social media shows Manpreet and Illi Najwa exchanging their marriage vows in a traditional Punjabi marriage ceremony.

It is learnt that authorities in Malaysia and India had granted them special travel permission to attend the wedding ceremony.

Illi Najwa, whose mother is also a professional hockey player, recently said that she had been under a lot of stress following condemnation targeted at her aunt, Halimah.

“I have never changed my name or religion as what they are saying, my name will always be Illi Najwa Anuar Hussin Saddique. His family has been calling me Navpreet since 2012 since it’s difficult for them to call me by name,” she said in a response shared by an aide to Halimah.

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