Friday, May 7, 2021

Woman born to Muslim dad, Buddhist mum wins appeal to be declared non-Muslim

A nine-member Federal Court bench delivered its 7-2 majority ruling today.

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A woman who was born out of wedlock to a Muslim father and a Buddhist mother won her appeal in the Federal Court today to be declared a non-Muslim.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, chairing a nine-member bench, delivered the 7-2 majority decision allowing Rosliza Ibrahim’s appeal and granting the declarations sought.

She held that Rosliza was not a person professing the religion of Islam as there was no proof that she was a Muslim by original faith.

She also said that both Rosliza and her mother were never Muslims.

Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusuf and Federal Court judges Nallini Pathmanathan, Abdul Rahman Sebli, Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Rhodzariah Bujang concurred with Maimun.

Chief Judge of Malaya Azahar Mohamed and Federal Court judge Hasnah Mohammed Hashim agreed with Maimun on the answers to the two legal questions but departed on the reliefs to be granted to Rosliza.

In her originating summons filed in 2015, Rosliza sought a declaration that she was not a Muslim and that the shariah court had no jurisdiction over her as she claimed that she was born out of wedlock to a Muslim father but raised as a Buddhist by her late mother.

Rosliza, 38, lost her case in the Shah Alam High Court as it was dismissed on June 22, 2017. Her appeal at the Court of Appeal was also dismissed on April 25, 2018.

On Jan 20 last year, the Federal Court granted Rosliza’s application for leave to appeal on the two legal questions for determination by the apex court.

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