Shariah Court to rule on Feb 25 if Maria Chin is guilty of contempt

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah reportedly said that the shariah legal system was still discriminatory against Muslim women.

KUALA LUMPUR: Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, who got into trouble for criticising the Shariah Court’s decision to jail the ex-wife of Naza Group chairman SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin, will know if she is in contempt on Feb 25.

The Shariah High Court today ordered her to file her defence in response to the businessman having obtained an ex-parte order that Maria’s statement last year had brought down the reputation of the religious court.

Judge Mohamed Fouzi Mokhtar then fixed Feb 25 to deliver his ruling.

Earlier today, Faisal’s lawyers Sulaiman Abdullah, Mohd Rafie Shafie and Akberdin Abdul Kader insisted that Fouzi deliver his verdict on whether Maria was in contempt.

They insisted that Maria should not be allowed to make any application until she purged her contempt charge.

In a Sept 5 statement, Maria had referred to Emilia Hanafi’s seven-day jail sentence and reportedly said that the shariah legal system was still discriminatory against Muslim women.

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan submitted today that the proceeding against his client was null and void as it was in breach of the Syariah Court Civil Procedure (Federal Territories) Act 1998 and the Rules of Court 2012.

Rosli, who was assisted by Nurul Hafidzah Hassan and Zeti Zulkifli, said the ex-parte order was defective and should be set aside.

An energetic exchange ensued between the judge and Rosli during submission. There was tension when the judge said he would cite Rosli for contempt. Rosli responded by saying he was merely defending his client from being unfairly treated.

Fouzi, however, dismissed Rosli’s application to set aside the contempt proceedings as he had no power to do so.

He also dismissed Rosli’s application to stay the proceedings pending appeal, saying he did not have the power to do so in this aspect too.

Fouzi then fixed the matter for decision on Feb 25 pending the filing of defence by Maria even though she said that the show cause order was improperly obtained.

On Oct 14, Fouzi had said Maria’s statement had brought down the reputation of the religious court.

Emilia was sentenced to seven days’jail on Sept 4 for unilaterally rescheduling visitation dates for her children to be with their father.

She is out on RM5,000 bail pending an appeal to the Shariah Court of Appeal.

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