Archive for May, 2007

It’s About Time…

May 31, 2007

For an unabashed technophile I’m arriving to the blogging scene pretty late. However, recent events have propelled me to start this blog. In case you haven’t heard, yesterday the highest court in Malaysia, the Federal Court decided on the Lina Joy case.

For the uninitiated, Lina Joy is a Malay woman who converted from Islam to Christianity approximately 17 years ago. While she was able to legally change her name from Azalina Jailani to Lina Joy, she has had considerably more trouble in trying to change her religion in the eyes of the law. You see, she wants to get married to a Christian man and start a family but such a marriage would not be recognised under Malaysian law unless a) he becomes a Muslim or b) she is no longer considered a Muslim.

The authorities at the National Registration Department in Malaysia refused her request and she has been engaged in court battles with them for a number of years now. Each time she has been told to seek redress in Malaysia’s Shariah Courts and each time she appealed the decision. After all, she was no longer a Muslim and the Shariah courts only have jurisdiction over those who profess the faith of Islam, which she clearly does not.

Yesterday the highest court in our land told Lina that they cannot help her and that she must go to the Shariah courts. The decision is nothing short of disastrous. Disastrous for Lina Joy. Disastrous for Malaysia. Disastrous for Muslims and Islam in general.

Why do I place such an emphasis on the outcome of this case? I will explain tomorrow.

I do my best to remain optimistic when considering the future of my country. However, after yesterday’s decision I can’t quite seem to find my optimism. There is no silver lining in this cloud. I feel how I imagine those Anti-War protesters must have felt when the invasion of Iraq began: disheartened, jaded and helpless.

I can’t quite shake the feeling. I pray things don’t get too much worse before they start to improve.

About this space, I’ll be using it as a repository both for my thoughts and some of my published writing. Writing is often a draining and solitary job devoid of interaction. And interaction is what I crave. Through this medium I’m hoping to interact with those whose opinions matter most: you, the reader.

Look for updates soon.