Moorthy A/L Maniam, a national hero, died at a young age of 36 on December 20th 2005. He was a member of the Malaysian team that successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 23 1997. The Malaysian flag was planted at 2.15PM on the 8,848M peak. With this symbolic act, Malaysia became the first South East Asian country to reach the peak of Mount Everest.
The late Moorthy Maniam married Kaliammal on November 25, 1995. They have a child, age 9.
In life, Moorthy brought Glories to Malaysia. In death, they brought agonies to his loved ones. It this how we honoured our fallen heroes ? As far as I know, the late Moorthy was a Hindu. He sought blessings of the Hindu Gods and protected by the faith of his religion to conduct a successful expedition to Mount Everest.
The Islamic authorities in Malaysia has muscled its way by invoking the the Syariah's law to claim his body and buried him as a Muslim despite the protests of his widow and family member. Would the same Islamic Authorities now care to annouce their verdicts on whether Kaliammal and her child are also Muslim ?
Was Moorthy a converted Muslim ? Only Moorthy knows ! But again, how can you expect a dead man to speak ? Was there any documentary proof that he did converted to Islam ? Why all the secrecy ? If Moorthy did infact converted to Muslim, was he in sane mind ? Why was the sensitivity and emotional needs of this Hindu family being disregarded. Was the rights of the Moorthy's family protected. Is this what we call justice ?
A dangerous trend of dictatorial insensitivities has been initiated in this incident. I, as a non Muslim now lives in insecurity and fear of what will happen if, in my death, the same Islamic authorities come knocking at my door using the power of the Syariah court to declare me as Muslim, buried me as Muslim, and denied my loved ones of my assets because they are not Muslims. Would my loved ones has any legal recourse to challenge the unilateral verdicts of the Syariah court ? Taking Moorthy's case as a reference, NO ! I was made to understand that Malaysia's constitution does not allowed non muslims to challenge the Syariah court's verdict. Is this Islam Hadhari ?
To this fallen national hero, Moorthy A/L Maniam, majority of the people in Malaysia remembered your contributions and sacrifices to the country as a Hindu. We believed your wife that you are a Hindu. We acknowledged you as a Hindu. In all fairness, maybe the Islamic authorities should inscribed the followings words in Moorthy's tombstone “His widow said he is a Hindu, but, we buried him a a Muslim”
May you rest in PEACE !!!