After receiving Royal Assent on 9 October 2017, the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Act 2017 still awaits its date of commencement in the Federal Gazette.
Unilateral conversion of minors is not a rare phenomenon in a multi-religious nation like Malaysia. Over the recent years, news regarding the conversion of children to Islam by their converted parent without the consent of the other parent has caught the attention of the public. Although a few high-profile cases were brought before the courts in the past, there is yet a solid solution to this increasingly frequent controversy as of now.
In 2007, Subashini lost the custody of her elder son to her Muslim-convert husband, who converted the child without her knowledge, when the apex court ruled that either party to a marriage has the right to convert a child to Islam. Almost a decade later, S Deepa found herself in a similar predicament, when the Federal Court followed the 2007 landmark decision. The series of unilateral conversion cases, however, did not stop there.
Following the more recent case of Indira Gandhi, the longstanding controversy over the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam finally prompted the government to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. Aiming to also settle disputes regarding the legal rights of the both converting and non-converting spouses and the custody of children, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, tabled the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2016 in November 2016. With five amendments and two new provisions, the long-anticipated bill is undoubtedly a breakthrough in the Malaysian family law.
Nevertheless, in August 2017, the bill was re-tabled and passed with the withdrawal of Section 88A, which addressed unilateral conversion issues. Inevitably, this move caused an uproar among lawyers and activists, who have been urging the lawmakers to resolve this persistent conundrum. Without the crucial clause, will the new bill be sufficient in narrowing the loopholes in the LRA?
This article aims to give a general overview of the amendments and new provisions incorporated via the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2017, examine the proposed Section 88A and Section 95 in depth, and finally, discuss issues that the Bill failed to address.
II. General Overview of the Bill
A) Jurisdiction of Civil Courts over Dissolution of Marriages and All Matters Incidental Thereto
The amended Section 3(3) is as follows:
“This Act shall not apply to a Muslim or to any person who is married under Islamic law and no marriage of one of the parties which professes the religion of Islam shall be solemnized or registered under this Act; but nothing herein shall be construed to prevent a court from having exclusive jurisdiction over the dissolution of a marriage and all matters incidental thereto including granting a decree of divorce or other orders under Part VII and Part VIII on a petition for divorce under section 53 where one party converts to Islam after the filing of the petition or after the pronouncement of a decree, or a petition for divorce under either section 51, 52 or 53 on the petition of either party or both parties to a marriage where one party has converted to Islam, and such decree and orders made shall, notwithstanding any other written law to the contrary, be valid against the party to the marriage who has so converted to Islam.”
The former Section 3(3) of the LRA provides that the Act does not apply to Muslims, and the solemnization and registration of Muslim marriages are prohibited. However, an exception is made for cases where a non-Muslim party to a marriage obtains a decree of divorce under Section 51, and such a decree is enforceable against the Muslim party.
After the amendment, the civil courts now have jurisdiction over the dissolution of marriages in which one party has converted to Islam, and the grounds are extended beyond the scope of Section 51. If one party converts after the filing of a petition for divorce or the pronouncement of a decree of divorce, the marriage can be dissolved under Section 53. If one party converts during the marriage, a petition for divorce can be filed under Section 51, 52, or 53.
Further, the right to petition for a divorce is no longer limited to the non-Muslim party, but is extended to either or both parties. Besides divorce proceedings, matters related to the division of matrimonial assets, the maintenance of spouse and children, and the custody of children are also dealt in the civil courts.
B) Consent to Marriage of Child Under the Age of 21
A person who has yet to attain the age of 21 but wishes to marry, is required to obtain a consent in writing as provided under Section 12(1). The consent, however, is only restricted to one from the person’s father or adoptive father. Consent from the person’s mother or adoptive mother will only be accepted if the person is an illegitimate child, or the father or adoptive father is dead. If both the natural or adoptive parents are dead, consent has to be obtained from the individual standing in loco parentis to the person in question.
Undoubtedly, this section brings great inconvenience to any individual whose father has left the matrimonial home and could not be found. Nevertheless, it is no longer an issue as the amended section now allows either the father or the mother to give consent to the marriage of any individual below the age of 21:
“A person who has not completed his or her twenty-first year shall, notwithstanding that he or she shall have attained the age of majority as prescribed by the Age of Majority Act 1971, nevertheless be required, before marrying, to obtain the consent in writing –
(a) of his or her father or mother;
(b) if the person is illegitimate, of his or her mother;
(c) if the person is an adopted child, of his or her adopted father or adopted mother; or
(d) if both his or her parents (natural or adopted) are dead, of the person standing in loco parentis to him or her before he or she attains that age,but in any other case no consent shall be required.”
C) Filing of Petition by Converting Party to a Marriage
A petition for divorce may be filed under Section 51, which provides the ground of conversion to Islam. The drafters of the LRA were of the opinion that some married individuals see conversion to Islam as a means to escape from their obligations under their existing non-Muslim marriage. Thus, Section 51 was created to protect and allow the innocent non-Muslim spouses to have the privilege in bringing an action against their Muslim spouses.
The non-converting party may only petition three months after the date of conversion, and the Court may make provision for either party to the marriage and for the support, care and custody of children after the marriage is dissolved. Unlike grounds for divorce under Sections 52, 53 and 54, the 2-year bar stipulated by Section 50 does not apply to Section 51.
Section 51, however, is criticised for limiting the rights of the converting party. Not only he or she is not allowed to file the petition, but matters regarding maintenance, distribution of property and child custody can only be decided after the decree of divorce becomes absolute. Moreover, the converting spouse may obtain a declaration from the Syariah court that the marriage is no longer valid and convert the children to Islam. By then, the civil court has to acknowledge the orders by the Syariah court, even though this puts the non-converting party in an unfair situation.
The amended Section 51 is as such:
"Dissolution on ground of conversion to Islam
(1) Where one party to a marriage has converted to Islam, the other party who has not so converted may petition for divorce:Provided that no petition under this section shall be presented before the expiration of the period of three months from the date of the conversion.
(2) The Court upon dissolving the marriage may make provision for the wife or husband, and for the support, care and custody of the children of the marriage, if any, and may attach any conditions to the decree of the dissolution as it thinks fit.
(3) Section 50 shall not apply to any petition for divorce under this section.”
With that, the new Section 51 allows either or both parties to petition for divorce in civil courts, and to enable the parties to settle disputes on maintenance, matrimonial assets and child custody at any time.
D) Inheritance of Property by Non-Muslim Family Members
Islamic law forbids the inheritance among heirs under different faiths, unless it is by wills, whereby the deceased can bequeath only one-third of his or her property to the non-Muslim heir. In the classic case of Re Timah binti Abdullah, it was decided that non-Muslim heirs were excluded from inheriting the property of a Muslim. If there is no Muslim heir, the treasury will escheat the entire property.
Subsequently, there are conflicts between Muslim and non-Muslim heirs pertaining to one’s religion upon death - one of them being portrayed in the case of Kaliammal a/p Sinnasamy v JAWI. The dispute arose due to the secrecy of the deceased’s recent faith, as the non-Muslim relatives claimed rights at civil courts and the Islamic Religious Council authority filed the case at the Syariah court. Although Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution provides that any matter within the jurisdiction of Syariah courts shall not be encroached by the civil courts, the conflict between the decisions of the two courts is still unavoidable.
Therefore, the newly introduced Section 51A aims to solve the issue of the inheritance of property that arises when one party to a marriage converts to Islam, which fundamentally stems from the jurisdictional conflict between civil and Syariah courts. The provision is as follows:
“Property of spouse after conversion
(1) Where a person who has converted to Islam dies before the non-Muslim marriage of which that person is a party has been dissolved, that person’s matrimonial assets shall be distributed by the court among the interested parties in accordance with the provisions of this section upon application by any interested party.
(2) In exercising the power conferred by subsection (1), the court shall have regard to-
(a) the extent of the contributions made by the interested parties in money, property or works towards the acquisition of the matrimonial asset or payment of expenses for the benefit of the family;
(b) any debts owing by the deceased and the interested party which were contracted for their benefit;
(c) the extent of the contributions to the welfare of the family by looking after the house or caring for the family;
(d) the duration of the marriage;
(e) the needs of the children, if any, of the marriage; and
(f)the rights of the interested party under the Distributions Act 1958 [Act 300] if the deceased had not converted.
(g) For the purposes of this section, “interested party” or “interested parties” means the surviving spouse and surviving children of a marriage, if any, and the parents of the deceased converted spouse.”
Under the circumstance where the converting spouse dies before the dissolution of the non-Muslim marriage, the court shall distribute his or her matrimonial assets among interested parties, who are usually non-Muslim family members of the deceased. These individuals are subjected to considerations such as the extent of their contributions in acquiring the assets, in caring for the house or the family, and any debts owed for their joint benefit with the deceased.
This section brings about positive changes as it protects the legal rights of non-Muslims over the properties left by Muslim family members.
E) Consideration of Contributions by Parties in Division of Matrimonial Assets
Section 76 intends to grant the court powers to order the distribution of matrimonial assets upon divorce or judicial separation. In deciding the proportion each party should receive, the court will look at whether the assets are acquired by the joint efforts of both parties or the sole effort of one party.
For assets purchased by joint efforts, the court is more inclined towards ordering a just distribution, having regard to the contributions of each spouse to the improvement of the property. On the other hand, when ordering the division of assets acquired by sole effort, the court considers the extent of contributions made by the other party to the welfare of the family by looking after the home or caring for the family. Unlike joint effort, the party who made the sole effort will most likely receive a greater proportion than the other party.
Section 76 is then amended:
“Power for court to order division of matrimonial assets
(1) The court shall have power, when granting a decree of divorce or judicial separation, to order the division between the parties of any assets acquired by them during the marriage or the sale of any such assets and the division between the parties of the proceeds of sale.
(2) In exercising the power conferred by subsection (1) the court shall have regard to –
(a) the extent of the contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards the acquiring of the assets or payment of expenses for the benefit of the family;
(aa) the extent of the contributions made by the other party who did not acquire the assets to the welfare of the family by looking after the home or caring for the family;
(b) any debts owing by either party which were contracted for their joint benefit;
(c) the needs of the minor children, if any, of the marriage;
(d) the duration of the marriage,
and subject to those considerations, the court shall incline towards equality of division.”
This section no longer emphasises on the efforts made by parties in the acquisition of assets; it requires the court to consider the contributions of the parties. In addition to assets, the court shall also have regard to the participation in looking after the home or the family, the payment of expenses for the benefit of the household, the duration of the marriage, the debts contracted for the parties’ joint benefit, and the needs of minor children. Subject to these factors, the court is apt to order an equal division of matrimonial assets between divorcing spouses.
F) Maintenance of Children Above 18 Years of Age
According to Section 95, an order for custody or maintenance of a child shall have effect until the child turns eighteen. If the child is under physical or mental disability, the order would only expire after the disability has ceased, even though he or she has attained the age of eighteen.
The amendment of Section 95 is as follows:
“Except where an order for custody or maintenance of a child is expressed to be for any shorter period or where any such order has been rescinded, it shall expire on the attainment by the child of the age of eighteen years or where the child is under physical or mental disability or is pursuing further or higher education or training, on the ceasing of such disability or completion of such further or higher education or training, whichever is the later.”
Now that the scope of this Section is extended, the expiry of the order for custody and maintenance of a child above 18 years of age is no longer determined by “physical or mental disability”. A child who is still pursuing higher education or training is entitled to rights under custody and payment of maintenance until the completion of the programme. Following such a positive amendment, no child shall be deprived of the opportunity to receive education.
III. The Removal of Section 88A
Despite the odds of failing her battle like the mothers in the previous two cases, Indira Gandhi fought for the custody of her daughter, whom her husband unilaterally converted. The legal saga began in 2009 and lasted for years, from the High Court to the Federal Court. It was a miracle when the Ipoh High Court granted Indira the custody of her children in 2010 and declared their conversion “unlawful and unconstitutional” in 2013. Nevertheless, hopelessness started to resurface once again when the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the High Court in 2015.
During the wait for the Federal Court’s judgment on Indira’s appeal, the Parliament included Section 88A in the 2016 Bill. Such a move had raised hopes for an end to her plight, until the announcement on the removal of Section 88A, which left Indira disheartened as she learnt that her efforts did not bear any fruit. This has caused great injustice to her and also the other single mothers. Is the Parliament’s uncalled move wise, or is it all doom and gloom?
A) What Is Section 88A?
Under this section, where a party to a marriage has converted to Islam, no child shall be converted unless both parties agree to it, subject to the child’s wishes if he or she has attained the age of eighteen years. If the parties professed different religions before one of them converted to Islam, the child may remain in either one of the prior religions.
B) The Rationale Behind Removal of Section 88A
If Section 88A is crucial in putting an end to the ongoing interfaith custody conflicts in Malaysia, why did the Parliament withdraw it? The clause is said to be unconstitutional on a few grounds. First, it contravenes Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution, which provides that the religion of a person below the age of eighteen shall be decided by his parent or guardian. Interpreting the provision in its natural and ordinary meaning, the Federal Court in Subashini ruled that “parent” refers to a single parent. Based on the doctrine of stare decisis, the apex court’s decision is binding. Hence, unilateral conversion of a minor by either parent is somewhat constitutional.
Next, the former Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad opined that the provision under Section 88A is in favour of the non-converting party, as the child is prohibited from becoming a Muslim and it is impossible for the converting party to obtain the custody of the child. This is said to be unconstitutional under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees every person the freedom to practice his or her religion.
Prior to the omission of Section 88A, a politician raised his concern over how the clause may be dropped with the existence of Article 121(1A) of the Constitution, which disallows the interference of civil courts in matters within the jurisdiction of the Syariah court; Section 46(2) of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984, which prohibits the dissolution of marriage by conversion unless confirmed by the Syariah court; and Section 95(b) of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993, which expressly allows the unilateral conversion. It is undeniable that more complications will emerge from the conflict between these laws and Section 88A. So as long as these laws are not amended, the efforts taken to resolve the longstanding issue will be futile.
C) Should Section 88A Be Withdrawn?
It is respectfully submitted that the Parliament should pounce on any opportunity in resolving interfaith custody issues, instead of giving unconvincing reasons as to why such opportunity has to be missed. The doctrine of stare decisis is only applicable to courts, not the legislative body. Therefore, it is understandable for lower courts to be bound by decisions of the higher courts. Nonetheless, it is absurd to say that the Parliament is prevented by court decisions from enacting or amending laws. Article 66 of the Constitution affirms the legislative power of the Parliament. With the authority entrusted in the Parliament, it is feasible to amend the laws that clash with Section 88A. Besides, the word “parent” under Article 12(4) should not be read as a singular noun. According to Article 160(1), which in turn refers to the Eleventh Schedule, words in the singular include the plural and vice versa. The word “parent” can be construed as “parents”, so it is interpreted that a minor’s religion shall be decided by both parents.
With due respect to Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad’s argument, Article 11 should be read together with Article 12(4). The right to the freedom of religion is for everyone, except those who are below the age of eighteen. If Article 11 is read in a separate context, would it not render Article 12(4) redundant? It is inaccurate to claim that Section 88A forbids a child from embracing Islam because in line with Article 12(4), the child will remain in any religion of the non-Muslim marriage unless his or her parents give consent to the conversion. By virtue of Article 11, the child has a say in his or her religion of choice after attaining the age of majority. Thus, no contravention of Article 11 has taken place.
Section 88A is, in fact, lawful and constitutional. Had the lawmakers carried out a more extensive research on the issue and taken proactive steps to amend the existing laws, the authors believe that there would be no obstruction to the enactment of Section 88A. Therefore, Section 88A should be retained. The government can decide later on what measures to adopt in resolving matters following its enactment.
IV. The Amendment of Section 95
Albeit the omission of Section 88A, the Bill is not a total loss with the amendment of Section 95. This section holds a great significance as it affects the entitlement of children beyond the age of eighteen years to maintenance upon their parents’ divorce.
Before the amendment, there was a dispute on the issue of whether “physical or mental disability” in Section 95 covers the financial dependence of a child who is pursuing his or her tertiary education. In the case of Ching Seng Woah v Lim Shook Lin, the Court of Appeal ruled that the involuntary financial dependence of a child of a marriage, for the purpose of furthering his or her studies on a higher level, comes within the exception of physical or mental disability under Section 95.
This decision was followed by the High Court and the Court of Appeal in the case of Karunairajah a/l Rasiah v Punithambigai v Ponniah. Nonetheless, this decision was overruled by the Federal Court, whereby it was held that the law must be taken as it is and the onus was on the legislative body to resolve this matter. Consequently, many children are robbed of the opportunity to complete their tertiary education as they are financially dependent on their divorced parents. It was only hoped that the Parliament would amend the law or another Federal Court decision would overrule the decision of this case.
To discuss this issue, let us take a step back and examine the other laws that provide for the duration of maintenance order. Section 79 of the IFLA stipulates that although the order for maintenance expires on the attainment of the age of eighteen years, the Court may extend the duration of the order in enabling the child to pursue further or higher education or training.
On the other hand, Section 3(1) of the Married Women and Children (Maintenance) Act 1950 is silent on the definition of “child” and only provides that the father must maintain his legitimate child as long as he is ‘unable to maintain himself’. The term seems to suggest that a child under this Act is anyone who is unable to maintain itself regardless of age. In contrast, the court in Kulasingam v Rasammah referred to the Age of Majority Act 1971 and ruled that only a person who has not attained the age of majority is entitled to maintenance. With regards to this matter, there should be a harmonisation between LRA and the 1950 Act. The lack of uniformity in the laws would lead to more confusion as courts may not know which Act to refer to.
Besides Malaysian laws, Section 69(5)(c) of the Singapore’s Women Charter expressly states that a child below the age of twenty-one years is entitled to maintenance if he or she is still receiving education. This section was added after the case of PQR(mw) v STR, in which the court examined the former Section 125, which was in pari materia with Section 95 of the LRA. Although the defendant’s daughter was still pursuing her degree in Australia, it was held that order of maintenance had ceased upon her attainment of the age of twenty-one years.
In comparison with the scenario in Malaysia, the Parliament in Singapore took swift action to amend the Women’s Charter. As elaborated in the Karunairajah case, no amendment was made to Section 95, and if the court made a judgment that deviates from the scope of the section, the doctrine of separation of powers would be defeated. However, the court should have regarded that the children involved are from broken families, and the cost of tertiary education is not within the means of any eighteen-year-old child. Drafted in the 1970s, Section 95 is somewhat obsolete for assuming that all children, except those who are disabled, can fend for themselves without maintenance. Therefore, the law should provide the support for children by requiring either parent to provide maintenance.
The wait is finally over when the new Section 95 includes higher education or training as one of the exceptions to the provision of maintenance for children above the age of eighteen years. Now, every child in the nation has the privilege of receiving education up to tertiary level, regardless of the family background.
V. Other Deficiencies in the LRA
Putting Section 88A aside, it is an undeniable fact that the Bill does address matrimonial matters that arise from the conflict between civil law and Islamic law. Nevertheless, the authors are of the view that the Bill has yet to close the loopholes in the LRA.
First, the opportunity to ban child marriages is not addressed. Sections 10 and 21(2) of the LRA allow 16 and 17-year-old girls to marry with a license from the Chief Minister, even though the minimum age for marriage is eighteen. Next, the wording in the provision under Section 16(1)(b)(i) is construed vaguely. Parties who wish to marry must be twenty-one years of age and above; if it is not the case, they have to prove that they are widowers or widows. However, this section fails to include divorcees who wish to remarry after the dissolution of their marriages.
Based on the above examples, the authors are of the opinion that lawmakers should never stop scrutinising the minor errors that can be found in the LRA. In order to have a more comprehensive LRA, the Parliament should examine the loopholes and come up with amendments from time to time. Moreover, other laws that address similar issues as the provisions under the LRA should also be amended to ensure the uniformity of laws in Malaysia. As we all know, Rome was not built in a day. If necessary, the Parliament should consider amending the Federal Constitution although it involves a long and tedious process. This is vital in preventing the omission of important provisions, which might be claimed as “unconstitutional”.
While the Bill is controversial, it nevertheless brings progressive changes to the LRA. Not only is there assurance for the legal rights of both Muslim and non-Muslim parties to a marriage, non- Muslim children, whose parents have divorced, can further their studies without having to fret over supporting themselves. Nonetheless, the core issue of unilateral conversion of children remains and continues to affect the lives and future of many children. Hopefully, an effective resolution would be proposed soon.
This article was written by Dr Sridevi Thambapillay, a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, and Jean Lee Jia Ying, a student of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya.
Edited by Hanan Khaleeda.
 Subashini Rajasingam v Saravanan Thangathoray  2 CLJ 1.
 Viran Nagapan v Deepa Subramaniam  3 CLJ 505.
 Pathmanathan Krishnan v Indira Gandhi Mutho  1 CLJ 911.
 Act 164. Hereinafter referred to as “LRA”.
 Haikal Jalil, “Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2016 tabled in Dewan Rakyat”, The Sun Daily, 22 Nov 2016 <http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2068525>.
 Rahmah Ghazali and Calvaho, Martin, “Azalina: Article 88A covering child conversion not included in fresh Bill”, The Star, 8 Aug 2017 <http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/08/08/contentious-clause-dropped-azalina-article-88a-covering-child-conversion-not-included-in-fresh-bill/>.
 Achariam, Timothy, “SUHAKAM dismayed over Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill”, The Sun Daily, 11 Aug 2017, <http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2017/08/11/suhakam-dismayed-over-law-reform-marriage-and-divorce-amendment-bill>.
 Hereinafter referred to as “The Bill”.
 S51 of the LRA provides:
 S53 of the LRA provides:
 S52 of the LRA provides:
If husband and wife mutually agree that their marriage should be dissolved they may after the expiration of two years from the date of their marriage present a joint petition accordingly and the court may, if it thinks fit, make a decree of divorce on being satisfied that both parties freely consent, and that proper provision is made for the wife and for the support, care and custody of the children, if any, of the marriage, and may attach such conditions to the decree of divorce as it thinks fit.
 S12(1)(a) and (c) of the LRA.
 S12(1)(b) and (c) of the LRA.
 S12(1)(d) of the LRA.
 Re CHS  3 MLJ 152.
 Zaleha Kamaruddin, “Insights into The Inter-Relationship and The Associated Tension between Shariah and Civil Family Law in Malaysia”,  6 MLJ lxxvi.
 S51(1) of the LRA.
 S51(2) of the LRA.
 S51(3) of the LRA provides that S50 does not apply to any petition for divorce under S51. S50 stipulates that no petition for divorce shall be presented to the court within two years of marriage.
 Ahmad Ibrahim, “The Need to Amend Section 51 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976”,  2 MLJ lviii.
 Shamala a/p Sathyaseelan v Dr Jeyaganesh a/l C.Mogarajah  6 MLJ 515.
  10 MLJ 51.
  3 MLJ 694.
 Joseph, A L R, “Jurisdictional conflict between Islamic law and civil laws in Malaysia”, The Malaysian Bar, 6 Aug 2007, accessed at <http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/constitutional_law/jurisdictional_conflict_between_islamic_law_and_civil_laws_in_malaysia.html> on 30 Sep 2017.
 S76(1) of the LRA.
 S76(3) of the LRA.
 S76(2) of the LRA.
 S76(4) of the LRA.
 Refer to footnotes 1 and 2 above.
 Refer to footnote 3 above.
 Refer to footnote 5 above.
 Arukesamy, Karen, “Clause 88A removed”, The Sun, <https://www.pressreader.com/malaysia/the-sun-malaysia/20170808/281479276506701>
 Refer to footnote 1 above.
 Abdul Hamid Mohamad, “Section 88A unconstitutional”, New Straits Times, <https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/2017/04/233099/section-88a-unconstitutional>
 Shurentheran, Vanesha, “LRA amendments failed to address unilateral child conversion – Gerakan”, The Malaysian Times, <http://www.themalaysiantimes.com.my/bill-to-reform-unilateral-conversion-needs-to-be-amended-gerakan/>
 Act 303. Hereinafter referred to as “IFLA”.
 Act 505.
 Federal Constitution art 121(1A); Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984, s46(2); Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993, s95(b).
  1 MLJ 109.
  2 MLJ 401.
 Thambapillay, Sridevi, “Karunairajah a/l Rasiah v Punithambigai a/p Ponniah: The Need to Amend Section 95 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976?”, (2005) 32 Journal of Malaysian and Comparative Law
 Refer to footnote 39 above.
 Act 263 Rev. 1981. Hereinafter referred to as “the 1950 Act”.
 Mimi Kamariah Majid, Family Law in Malaysia, (Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Law Journal,1999).
  1 LNS 225.
 Act 21. S2 of the Age of Majority Act 1971 provides:
Subject to section 4, the minority of all males and females shall cease and determine within Malaysia at the age of eighteen years and every such male and female attaining that age shall be of the age of majority.
 Nora Abdul Hak, Roslina Che Soh and Noraini Hashim, “Right of a Child to Maintenance: Harmonising the Laws in Malaysia”, accessed at <http://irep.iium.edu.my/3648/1/9._Article_for_harmonization_-_Right_of_a_Child_to_Maintenance_2009.pdf> on 3 Oct 2017.
 Chapter 353.
  1 SLR 574.
 Refer to footnote 41 above.
 Refer to footnote 45 above.