Woman succeeds in legal bid to be declared non-Muslim
Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid
Published 5 Feb 2021, 10:48 am
A woman, born to a Muslim father and a non-Muslim mother, has succeeded in obtaining a Federal Court ruling that she was never a Muslim.
This followed on the heels of the nine-person Federal Court bench today allowing Rosliza Ibrahim’s appeal.
The bench chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat ruled that the appellant was never a Muslim since her birth.
The top judge ruled that there is no evidence on record to indicate that the woman had ever professed Muslim as she was raised as a Buddhist by her non-Muslim mother since birth.
She said the current appeal is distinguishable from the case of Lina Joy, where the appellant in that earlier case was a person born into Islam but had gone to court to renounce the religion.
On May 30, 2007, the Federal Court dismissed Joy’s appeal, ruling that the Islam religious status remains on her identification card and that only the Syariah Court has jurisdiction to hear the issue of a Muslim seeking to leave the faith.
Previously, Federal Court panel reserved its judgment on the appeal by Rosliza, who was born to a Muslim father but contended to have been raised as a Buddhist by her Buddhist mother.
She was appealing against the 2017 Shah Alam High Court ruling that disallowed her originating summons to be declared a non-Muslim.
On April 25, 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court ruling, the appeal.
Rosliza, 38, wanted a declaration that she was born as the illegitimate child of a Chinese mother and a Chinese Muslim father, and thus was never a Muslim from birth.
The first respondent to today’s appeal is the Selangor state government, and the second respondent is the Selangor Islamic Religious Council.
[More to follow]