Woman loses appeal to be declared non-Muslim

PUTRAJAYA: A woman who claimed she was an illegitimate child born of a Muslim father and Buddhist mother, who has since passed away, lost her appeal to be declared a non-Muslim.

A Court of Appeal panel, comprising Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Suraya Othman, today struck out Rosliza Ibrahim’s bid to quash the Shah Alam High Court’s decision on June 22, 2017 to dismiss her originating summons for a declaration that she was Buddhist and not a Muslim.

Umi, who chaired the panel, said there was no appealable error in the High Court judge’s decision.

Rosliza, 36, filed an originating summons in 2015 for a declaration that she was an illegitimate child born to a Buddhist mother, that she was not a Muslim and therefore the shariah courts had no jurisdiction over her.

She claimed she was raised a Buddhist by her mother and continues to profess Buddhism to this day.

She named the Selangor state government as respondent in her originating summons. The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) was admitted as an intervener.

The High Court, in its ruling, held that Rosliza was born a Muslim and that only the shariah courts had the power to decide on her application for a declaration that she was no longer a Muslim.

In the proceedings today, her counsel, Aston Paiva, submitted his client was said to have been born a Muslim based on the assumption that her parents had a valid marriage and that her mother had converted to Islam, but records showed there was no marriage.

He said the shariah courts could only give a declaration when the person was no longer a Muslim but it could not make an order that the person was not a Muslim.

Selangor legal adviser Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman argued that Rosliza was considered a Muslim based on her identity card and that the best way for her to get the declaration was to go to the shariah courts.

Mais was represented by a team of lawyers led by Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar.

Court orders retrial of woman who claims she’s not Muslim