By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |
The wedding of Indian hockey captain with his Malaysian fiancee is snowballing in Malaysia.
After being splashed on the front pages of a number of local Malay dailies today (Dec 21), the issue has invited statements from at least a state ruler, a federal minister and a state mufti after questions flared up on supposed interfaith nature of the marriage in Panjab last week.
On Wednesday (16 Dec 2020), Indian halfback player Manpreet Singh married Illi Najwa Saddique in a Sikh wedding ceremony at a Jalandhar gurdwara, ending an eight year courtship. Video clips and photographs of the ceremony – with both couples decked in Panjabi costumes – were widely shared on the social media.
Manpreet may be a celebrity in India, but the keen interest on the wedding in Malaysia is probably due to the interfaith nature of the marriage as well as that Illi Najwa is the niece of Halimah Mohamed Sadique, a prominent Umno politician who is the the unity minister in the current federal government coalition.
The news was on the on the front pages today of Sinar Harian, Harian Metro and Utusan Malaysia.
Yesterday, a deputy minister said that Illi Najwa, 27, will be questioned about the marriage when she returns home.
Today, a federal government minister released a three-page statement in which he urged the public to await for an explanation from the state religious authority. In Malaysia, religion is a state matter.
Religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Badri said the Islamic Family Law (State of Johor) Enactment 2003 does not allow the marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, with the latter required to first convert to Islam before marriage.
Weighing in on the issue, Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar had also released a three-page statement advising all parties not to draw any conclusions or act prematurely in dealing with this issue.
“The woman is undergoing trial by media even though she has not yet declared that she wants to leave Islam. If we are in a hurry in our actions to punish her, then we will build a huge barrier for her to return to our country and widen the gap between her family in Malaysia and her life in India,” he said.
The state monarch also said Islam was a religion based on advise and not one that punishes or penalises its followers. (Islam adalah agama nasihat dan bukan semata-mata menghukum umatnya).
Long-time sweethearts tie the knot (Asia Samachar, 18 Dec 2020)