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Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the DAP Kepayang dinner in Ipoh Barat on Sunday, 27th January 2008 at 10 pm:

Why are the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other non-Muslim Ministers silent on another body-snatching case after the divisive Moorthy incident?

Why are the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other non-Muslim Ministers silent on another body-snatching case after the divisive Moorthy case two years ago where S. Kaliammal, the widow of Everest mountaineer L/Kpl M. Moorthy, found only grief and injustice when she had no remedy in any court in the dispute as to whether her husband was a Hindu or a Muslim?

At the time, Malaysians were given the assurance that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Barisan Nasional cabinet ministers would ensure that Malaysian inter-racial and inter-religious unity and harmony as well as Malaysia’s international reputation as a model of multi-religious nation would not again be marred by more body-snatching incidents.

However, the body-snatching incidents have not stopped, with the latest case involving the police seizing the body of Gan Eng Gor, who died a week ago aged 74, and after his eldest son – himself a Muslim convert – said he had converted to Islam last year. This claim had been challenged by Gan’s wife and his seven other children.

The aggrieved family over Gan’s body-snatching has put up a website,, to plead for “justice and fair play”, giving a heart-rending account of the deep pain and suffering caused by the “body-snatching.

I am going to do something I have never done before. I am now reading from the website of the Gan family from the Internet accessed through my mobile phone, as it is important that Malaysians understand the grief and injustice felt by the Gan family:

This is the background provided by the Gan family on their website:

Justice and Fair play for the family of Gan Eng Gor (deceased)

1. Our father was seventy four (74) years old. He suffered a severe stroke in 2006. He was as immobilized,bedridden, mentally unsound, cannot speak, partially deaf and has very poor vision.

2. We transferred him to stay with one of our brothers in Klang. Our aged mother looked after, bathed andfed him. She also helped to look after our nephews and nieces.

3. Our father died on 20th Jan 2008. As Gan Hock Seng (the eldest son) is a member of the family, we informed him of our father’s death. He was then told us that our father is a muslim, we were shocked and did not believed him. So we continue to perform the wake service as our father have never led a muslim life. The Majlis Agama officers came and attempted to snatch the dead body, all our family members more shocked and angry, we resisted and strongly protested against the removal of our father’s body.

4. We obtained his alleged conversion papers from Majlis Agama the second day.

5. We were advised by our solicitors that there are serious irregularities in the said conversion papers especially the Declaration of Conversion into Islam.

a). The declaration was before a Pegawai Ukhuwah. His rubber stamp was on the paper but that officer did not sign.

b). Further there was no signatory at the certification column.

c). There was an illegal alteration on the date to 3rd July 2007.

d). The thumb print was questionable as we are certain that our deceased father was in Klang and not at the address No. 451, Taman Megaway, 70400 Sikamat, Seremban as stated in the application form.

e). His address stated in the Borang Perakuan Memeluk Islam is No: 1272, Jalan TBK 6/2, Taman Bkt Kepayang, 70200 Seremban, the residence of the eldest son. We wish to state that our father has never resided at this address.

f). The Majlis Agama Authorities claimed that our deceased father made an oral declaration in Arabic accepting the Muslim faith. Our family has medical confirmations from three doctors that our father was unable to speak.

g). We were asked to appear before the Syariah Court Seremban, we believe the Syariah Court is for Muslims only.

h). We refused to attend at the Syariah Court on a matter of principle as non-Muslims. We refused to submit to the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

i). The Syariah Court made a unilateral declaration that our father is a Muslim and is to be buried in accordance to Muslim rites.

j). We filed an application at the High Court Seremban to adjudicate on the validity, authenticity, veracity and legality of the conversion paper especially the declaration of acceptance into Islam.

k). The High Court Seremban dismissed our application on the ground that he has no jurisdiction to hear this matter as the subject matter falls within the purview of the Syariah Court. We beg to differ.

l). We were indeed shocked and aggrieved at the simplistic way the High Court disposed off this matter. We only seek justice, fair play and to find out the truth on his alleged conversion.

10. The eldest son Gan Hock Seng converted to Islam years ago. Our father and mother had strenuously opposed his conversion.

11. This eldest son had allegedly converted our father without the knowledge of our other and all other seven siblings.

12. Further, the eldest son had NEVER taken care of him physically and financially. He hardly visited him too.

13. Even if the eldest son had converted our father, we like to ask :

i). Why is it that he did not take care of him and brought him to stay in his house to lead a Muslim life?

ii). Why did he allow our father to continue living in a non‐muslim home in Klang ? Our father had never prayed and continued eating pork and other non‐halal food. He never revealed to anyone that he has converted to Islam.

iii). Why he as a Muslim, did not ensure that our father (if he had been indeed converted) led a Muslim life ?

iv). Why is it that the Agama Islam authorities did not visit and follow up with our father – the alleged new convert, after his conversion?

14. We believe we have been unfairly treated by our eldest brother and the Agama Islam authorities in this alleged conversion of our father. If there had been a conversion, we firmly believe that the Agama Islam authorities should have informed all members of the family. There should not be a fight over the body of dead person. There should be dignity and respect on the dead person.

15. We hope the PM and the higher ups in the Islamic Authorities review this case and to ensure that the truth is unraveled. We hope that all conversions to Islam is fair and transparent and made known to all the next of kin of the convert.

We Seek Justice, Fair play and Truth in this matter.

Let Gan Eng Gor be the last body-snatching case in Malaysia. The Cabinet Ministers should stop shirking their responsibilities to the people and nation and should place the Gan Eng Gor case on the top of Cabinet agenda on Wednesday to put an immediate end to all “body-snatchings” in Malaysia.

* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman


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