Federal Court green lights Negri Sembilan's appeal over cross-dressing ruling

Transgender Nisha Ayub speaks during the interview with ‘Justice for Sisters’. Yesterday, the Federal Court granted leave to the Negri Sembilan Government and four others to appeal against a Court of Appeal landmark decision declaring invalid the state Shariah enactment that criminalises cross-dressing by Muslim men. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Transgender Nisha Ayub speaks during the interview with ‘Justice for Sisters’. Yesterday, the Federal Court granted leave to the Negri Sembilan Government and four others to appeal against a Court of Appeal landmark decision declaring invalid the state Shariah enactment that criminalises cross-dressing by Muslim men. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

SEREMBAN, Jan 28 — The Negri Sembilan government is satisfied with the Federal Court’s decision to give the state government and four others the green light to appeal against a Court of Appeal’s landmark decision declaring invalid the state Shariah enactment that criminalises cross-dressing by Muslim men.

“It’s good because it also means that the case has merit. If not, it must’ve been rejected already,” Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Mohamad said not all cases could be taken to the Federal Court.

“In fact, the Federal Court must first decide whether the case has merit or not. This differs from the Court of Appeal where we any appeal against High Court’s decision can be made,” he told reporters after chairing the state executive council meeting here today.

On November 7 last year, the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal brought by Muhamad Juzaili, 26, Syukor, 28 and Wan Fairol, 30, and declared section 66 of the Negri Sembilan Syariah Criminal (Negri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 as invalid and unconstitutional.

The Court of Appeal also overturned a High Court dismissal of the trio’s judicial review application which rejected their request to declare section 66 unconstitutional.

Yesterday, the Federal Court granted leave to the Negri Sembilan Government and four others to appeal against a Court of Appeal landmark decision declaring invalid the state Shariah enactment that criminalises cross-dressing by Muslim men.

A five-member panel led by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Raus Md Sharif allowed the application for leave to appeal against that decision on one legal question which would be deliberated and determined by the Federal Court at the hearing of the appeal.

Meanwhile, when asked about Johor Corporation’s keen interest to acquire all National Feedlot Centre’s (NFC) satellite farms, including the one in Gemas, the mentri besar immediately rejected the idea.

“The land belongs to the state government because we took it back from the NFC after they fail to pay lease fees.

“We will run it (satellite farm) ourselves with cooperation from a company we believe capable of doing so,” he said. — Bernama

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