Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Interesting Problem

Leave aside the mix up (this does happen, even in our own dear NHS, although thankfully rarely) and ponder on larger question.

A Malaysian Muslim man switched at birth in a hospital mix-up wants to change his name after being reunited with his ethnic-Chinese biological family and become a Buddhist.

In multiracial Malaysia, ethnic Malays, who are mostly Muslim, form a majority of the population of roughly 26 million, while ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indians account for about 25 percent and 8 percent respectively.

Sales executive Zulhaidi Omar, 29, was raised in an ethnic Malay family, and discovered his true origins only after a Chinese woman at a supermarket where he worked noticed his features were similar to those of her father, newspapers said.

"The girl who was always looking at me was actually my elder sister who suspected that I was her brother because of my striking resemblance to our father," the Star newspaper quoted Zulhaidi as telling reporters.

You see, having professed faith in Islam, is he now converts, he will be an apostate. And we're aware of what happens to apostates aren't we?

Now Zulhaidi wants to renounce Islam and take a Chinese name.

Whether Muslims can convert to another faith is a tricky legal question in Malaysia, where Islam is the official religion, although freedom of worship is a constitutional right.

Ethnic Malays are deemed to be Muslim from birth, but the country's highest civil court has yet to rule on whether they have the right to convert to another religion.

It's not so much the law he has to worry about, it's some more radical interpreter of the religious laws: apostates are often condemned to death.

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