November 10, 2006 17:42 PM
KUANTAN, Nov 10 (Bernama) — The remains of a man of Indian descent that became the object of a tussle between his Hindu family and the Pahang Islamic Religious Department (Jaip), have finally been buried according to Muslim rites in his hometown in Gopeng, Perak.
Kuantan Islamic religious officer Syarifuddin Aisa Osman said the remains of 28-year-old Mohamad Arfan Chandran, who died at 2.55 am on Wednesday, were taken to Gopeng at 10.30pm Thursday under police escort.
He said Chandran Dharma Dass converted to Islam and assumed the name Mohamad Arfan on Feb 25, 2001 at the Kemaman Islamic Religious Office, Terengganu and did not embrace any other religion after that.
"Based on this, clearly the deceased was a Muslim and should be buried according to Islam and this cannot be disputed by his family or other parties.
"However, on his family's request to see the remains for the last time, we agreed to take the remains to Gopeng for burial at a Muslim cemetery there," he told reporters here Friday.
Mohamad Arfan was believed to have died of heart ailment at a friend's house in Taman Anika Jaya. Thursday, JAIP and his family tried to claim his remains.
Syarifauddin Aisa said the burial preparations were done at the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital here before the remains were taken to Gopeng.
He also advised those who had converted into Islam to immediately apply for new MyKad for verification and inform their family to avoid confusion after their death.
"We don't have a law or specific provisions that require Muslim converts to tell their families that they have embraced Islam.
"In fact, we ourselves cannot tell anyone of their conversion if they want to keep it secret," he said.
He also said that from 2004, there were only three cases of a tussle between the families of the deceased and the state's Islamic religious department including Thursday's incident.