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01/28/2020 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – According to the Malaysian Insight, State Education and Innovation Assistant Minister Jenifer Lasimbang is investigating an ethnic Iban woman’s claim that her daughter was offered money to convert to Islam.

The woman from Sibu, Sarawak, said her daughter, a student of University Pendidkan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim, Perak, was offered financial aid by the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) through a program if she agreed to it.

In response, YaPEIM, posted a statement on its Facebook page on January 22, denied the accusation, saying the program is meant to help students from B40 (income falls below bottom 40%) families.

Education institutions are not the place to spread religion, she said, “It has to stop. It’s alright to have religious classes and programs to build the character of Muslim students, but it should not go to the extreme by using these classes to mask their attempts at converting students.”

She has yet to speak to the Sibu mother, and is using social media platform to further investigate this woman’s claim.

“An Iban parishioner at Sacred Heart Cathedral told me her daughter is studying at UPSI TG MALIM, and she received an offer of RM 1,000 (USD 245) from YaPEIM, with the condition to convert to Islam. Another daughter of hers at St Elizabeth also received the same offer, but for RM 500.”

The assemblywoman also hopes to be able to soon meet Dr. Mahathir, who is acting education minister, to discuss the issue.

“I have parents coming to me and showing me forms asking them to sign in return for financial assistance,” she added. “It is not right to try and convert people to any religion by luring them with money, or converting minors without their parents’ consent,” said Lasimbang.

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