It was a controversial case, the Lina Joy way. The world media carried Rayappan's story amid a religious row in Malaysia. The Cabinet chaired by PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi discussed the case yesterday and passed it to the Attorney General to decide.
Today, it was decided. It was decided that A. Rayappan was not Muhammad Rayappan Abdullah when he died. He was a Christian again, not a Muslim. [Read the full story here]
SHAH ALAM, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) has decided not to claim the body of A. Rayappan for burial according to Islamic rites.The decision will leave many questions that need to be answered. Does this mean a Muslim in Malaysia can leave Islam? If Rayappan was a Muslim in 1990, he should be considered a Muslim till the day he died. No? Why should Mais worry if people would think of it negatively?
Mais chairman Datuk Mohamed Adzib Mohd Isa said all the information gathered before showed that Rayappan was a Muslim, but the evidence pointing that he was not a Muslim was overwhelming.
"So, I hope the matter is solved and we don't think the people will view us negatively because we make the decision based on the existing facts and not emotion," he told a press conference here Thursday.
Mais has to answer all the questions. The A-G has to answer all the questions. I know of Muslims out there who said they have left Islam who want to do it publicly. Can they now, since Rayappan could.
Me, I had no doubt that Rayappan died a Catholic after reading the Sun's front page report here yesterday.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok told theSun in a telephone interview: "The Cabinet is very sympathetic towards the family. The sentiment of the Cabinet was that he should be recognised as a Christian."