Sadly, as I read on, I felt disturbed and sickened by the whole judgement. Yes, no doubt Subashini, as a non-Muslim, received a small token where her civil union is recognised by the High Court even if it is not recognised by the Syariah High Court by virtue of his husband's conversion to Islam. But the same court also ruled she can't stop her husband (which of course in Syariah it is ex-husband) from taking his custody and divorce proceeding case to Syariah courts. To add salt to injury, the husband can go about converting their only unconverted child as neither party can refrain the other from doing so.
I feel very sorry for her. I don't think she is worried about the money issue. It is more of her children. Afterall, if her husband can convert their second son to embrace Islam at 2 years old, it is definitely within the ambit of Syariah to require the child be removed from Subashini's custody. Even if Subashini protests, she has no relief since her husband has converted the child. Despite one of the judge mentioned she should have the right to protest, the other two obviously thought that was inappropriate. This is the most tragic part of the entire judgement. On one hand, the judges ruled the civil courts has exclusive jurisdiction because the civil union came about under the civil law. Yet within the same context it ruled that it cannot stop the husband from seeking redress from Syariah courts which obviously sides the husband because incidentally he is a Muslim. Ultimately, where is the much deserved justice? Is the court basically saying being a Muslim means you have more rights eventhough it is clearly an act of injustice to the aggrieved party which in this case it is clearly Subashini?
I read here that Malaysians should see Saravanan a.k.a. the estranged husband as an opportunist. The same also said he is not fit to be a father. But who is to blame him for taking advantage of the loopholes? Afterall, it is clearly provided in the laws of this land. The drafters must have known this would happen and implicitly allowed for it. The same legislators must also have known it and approved it. So now, what can the courts do? I honestly believe they could rule that these laws are contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. If they have already ruled they have exclusive jurisdiction since all these came about via a civil marriage and another landmark ruling in July (which clearly identified the jurisdiction of civil courts when it concerns a dispute between a Muslim and a non-Muslim), why can't they lead on from there and bar Saravanan from doing any conversion hanky panky until the whole legal custody of the child by the civil court be sorted out? Instead, Subashini has to now live in fear that anytime soon the Syariah court may take her only unconverted son away because somewhere out there, Saravanan may have converted their son by making a statutory declaration with a gleeful smile on his face knowing no one can stop him.
It is very disappointing to see that our courts, the last bastion of hope for the rakyat to seek legal redress, fail them time and time again. To me, it is a basic declaration that we, the non-Muslim, are now legally certified as 2nd class citizens because our only crime is we are not Muslims. I wonder what Lassie will do when confronted with helping the helpless and downtrodden. Somehow, I have an urging to pack my bags and leave this country for good. Must I come to that stage? Sigh...