The government will call upon Illi Najwa Saddique, the Malaysian Muslim who married Indian hockey athlete, Manpreet Singh Pawar, to clarify on their religion status.
This apparently came after a clip of Illi and Manpreet’s Punjabi wedding ceremony circulated online, sparking a heated debate among netizens.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said authorities were still waiting for a complete report on the case from the Johor Islamic Religious Department. According to him, “From the information we have received so far, the woman is still a Muslim and there has been no application from her to change her religious status.”
“We did not receive any application from her to marry overseas. From my readings on social media, I understand that the woman is still a Muslim and the bridegroom (Manpreet) had converted to Islam last year. We will only know the full story after we hear it from the woman herself,” Ahmad Marzuk spoke to the press.
Not long after the issue came to light, Illi later came forth to apologise over the unexpected controversy. The Johor-born clarified that the mistakes that had happened were due to her and her husband’s ignorance. Illi also confirmed that Manpreet has converted to Islam since the end of last year.
Additionally, Illi revealed that the couple tied the knot on 16th December in a private ceremony. Their marriage certificate will be obtained this Wednesday (23rd December). She clarified, “My name will always be Illi Najwa Saddique. His family has been calling me Navpreet since 2012, as it’s difficult for them to call me by my real name.”
In shedding light on the viral video, Illi made it clear that they never asked for their wedding to be recorded, as they were already aware on the consequences that they would face. However, things went “out of control” after the Indian media shared the clip online.
“We didn’t say that what we did was right, but we had no choice. I’m not happy about the whole process and he (Manpreet) had not agreed to it. After he found out about the news, he requested for everything to be withdrawn,” Illi was quoted as saying.