Shariah Court to rule whether to cite Maria Chin for contempt

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Shariah High Court here will rule on Oct 14 whether Naza Group chairman SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin can begin contempt proceedings against Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah over her criticism of the religious court’s decision to jail his ex-wife.

Shariah High Court judge Mohamed Fouzi Mokhtar fixed the date after hearing yesterday the businessman’s ex-parte application against Maria for showing disrespect to the court.

Faisal filed the application last week following Maria’s press statement titled “Emilia Faisal Hanifi’s sentencing proves injustice against Muslim women still exists in the legal system”.

In the statement on Sept 5, Maria referred to the seven-day jail sentence on Emilia and alleged that the shariah legal system was still discriminatory against Muslim women.

Faisal’s lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader argued that Maria’s comments could cast aspersion on the shariah judicial system since she holds public office.

“The respondent (Maria) is an MP and she should know the laws (of this country).

“She should not come out with lopsided comments without first making further investigation on the case,” said Akberdin.

The lawyer also said Maria, a former chairman of election watchdog Bersih, had not expressed regret over her statement or retracted her comments.

Lawyers Sulaiman Abdullah and Rafie Mohd Shafie are appearing for Faisal.

On Sept 4, the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Court sentenced Emilia to seven days’ jail for unilaterally rescheduling visitation dates for her children to be with their father.

She is on RM5,000 bail pending an appeal to the Shariah appeals court.

The couple divorced in 2016, with Emilia maintaining full custody of their three children, Fawwaz, Faiz and Farhan, and Faisal given visitation rights.