NRD’s application to stay ‘bin Abdullah’ ruling dismissed

K-Shanmuga-jpnPETALING JAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed the National Registration Department’s (NRD) application to stay the court’s ruling that allowed a Muslim father the right to replace his illegitimate child’s “bin Abdullah” patronym with his own name.

Lawyer K Shanmuga, who represented the child’s father, said his client would not be enforcing the court’s ruling pending the Federal Court’s hearing of the Department’s application for leave to appeal the decision.

“We are going to wait and see what the Federal Court says,” the Malay Mail Online quoted Shanmuga as saying.

On July 25, the Court of Appeal said the NRD had acted outside its powers when it used the surname “Abdullah” to register a Muslim child born out of wedlock, against the mother’s wish to use the father’s name.

In a written judgment, delivered two months after the court ruled in favour of the parents of the child, it also questioned the practice of adding the surname “bin Abdullah” to the names of such children.

“We believe Islam does not condone such open and public humiliation of an innocent child,” wrote Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli, one of the three members of the bench.

He also said the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957 (BDRA) made no distinction between a Muslim child and a non-Muslim child.

On July 28, however, NRD director-general Yazid Ramli said the department would continue adding the surname “bin Abdullah” when registering such children.

Yazid said the NRD had filed an appeal with the Federal Court through the Attorney-General’s Chambers and that any change to the practice would depend on the Federal Court’s ruling on the matter.