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In 1998, Azalina Jailani converted to Christianity and changed her name to Lina Joy. She went to court to force the National Registration Department to change her religious status from Islam to Christian so that she could be married in a civil ceremony to her Christian husband. Her request was rejected when the judge ruled, "As a Malay, the plaintiff exists under the tenets of Islam until her death" (for more details on Lina Joy's situation, follow the links on Malaysia's Country Report). According to reports received this week, Joy and her fiancé have gone into hiding after they received numerous death threats. Joy's lawyer, Benjamin Dawson, told the New York Times that the only chance of the two living together in peace may be for them to leave their country.

Country Information

Population
31,809,660 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Bumiputera (61.7 - Malays and indigenous peoples), Chinese (20.8), Indigenous (11.8), Indian (6.2), others (0.9), non-citizens (10.4)

Religion (%)
Muslim (61.3), Buddhist (19.8), Christian (9.2), Hindu (6.3), Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions (1.3), Other (0.4), Non-religious (0.8),

Leader
King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah

Government type
Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Legal system
Mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Court at request of supreme head of the federation

Source: CIA World Factbook

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