PUTRAJAYA, April 25 — The Court of Appeal today dismissed the appeal made by of a woman, born out of wedlock to a Muslim-Buddhist couple, to get the declaration that she is a non-Muslim.
Justice Datuk Umi Kalthum Abd Majid, who chaired the three-judge panel, rejected the woman's appeal against a previous High Court decision that denied her court recognition as a non-Muslim.
“The Court dismissed the appeal and will issue no order to the appellant.
“We found that there is no error in the previous judgment made by the High Court Judicial Commissioner,” Umi Kalthum said at the Palace of Justice here today.
The three-man panel had delivered its decision after over an hour of hearing and backed by the previous conclusion made by High Court judicial commissioner Datuk Seri Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah.
In 2017, Tun Abd Majid said evidence produced by Rosliza Ibrahim, 37, only showed that her that no marriage registration was made, adding that the failure to register a marriage was not proof that there was no such marriage.
During today’s hearing, Rosliza’s lawyer, Aston Paiva, pointed out that no marriage could have taken place due to the difference in faiths of his client’s parents and the lack of record of her mother’s conversion.
“Under Muslim laws, a Buddhist and a Muslim cannot get married without the conversion of the non-Muslim spouse.
“Neither is there an evidence of her mother’s conversion especially when Malaysia has started keeping such records over the past 100 years.
“It’s hard to believe her conversion was unrecorded, if there is no record saying she ever did. There is no way a marriage could have taken place,” he argued.
This was also demonstrated with the appellant failed for present her MyKad during the previous trial, Aston noted.
The Selangor Islamic Religious Council’s lawyer, Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, argued that this was due to Rosliza’s absence from the trial.
“The plaintiff chose not to come. There was no opportunity for the Court (to review it). Even if the Judicial Commissioner wanted to see it as an exhibit, it was not possible,” he said.
Selangor legal adviser Datuk Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman stressed that the National Registration Department (NRD) should be brought in as it was the agency that issued Rosliza’s identity papers when she was 14.
In 2015, Rosliza filed for a court declaration that she is an illegitimate child born to a Buddhist mother.
Rosliza also sought a declaration that she is a non-Muslim and not subject to Shariah laws.
Aston said he will consult Rosliza, who was not present today, on whether to appeal.
Other judges on the panel were Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Suraya Othman.