MIRI - Two teachers accused of converting a 13-year-old schoolgirl to Islam lodged police reports claiming it was the girl who "asked to be converted," said Sarawak Minister for Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.
Fatimah said she had spoken to the teachers and the girl to find out what really happened.
"The teachers told me the pupil had approached them with some friends and said they were keen to embrace Islam.
"That was why the teachers took steps to guide the child in Islamic teachings.
"However, the teachers made the mistake of not consulting the parents of the pupil.
"They should have told the parents that their daughter wanted to become a Muslim. They have to ask the parents for consent before proceeding further.
"The consent of parents must be given for conversion cases involving minors below 18," she said.
Fatimah said in this case, there should not be any move to convert the girl without consent of the parents.
"The child in this case is still considered a Christian. In the eyes of Jabatan Islam she is not a Muslim because the proper procedures were not followed," she added.
Fatimah said the issue became full blown due to the social media that spread all sorts of stories about the case.
She also hit out at the opposition in Miri for using the case for political mileage.
Fatimah also cautioned teachers that they should not be taking part in conversion matters and to refer cases to the authorities.
It was reported that a scrap-metal worker and his wife claimed that certain teachers from peninsular Malaysia are luring local teenage Christian students with cash and then converting them to Islam without their parents' consent.
The couple alleged that their 13-year-old daughter, a Form One student here, was taken to a house by two teachers and several individuals and given RM250 (S$92.75) in cash.