PUTRAJAYA, April 27 — Woman’s rights group SIS Forum (Malaysia) has gone to the Federal Court in a final bid to quash a fatwa issued by the Selangor religious authorities labelling the group as deviants.

The organisation and one of its co-founders Zainah Mahfoozah Anwar had filed an application on April 14 this year, seeking to get leave from the Federal Court to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of its challenge against the fatwa.

In civil cases, litigants must obtain leave before they can proceed with appeals to the Federal Court.

On March 14, this year, the appellate court, in a 2-1 majority decision, dismissed SIS Forum’s appeal to quash the fatwa.


They had pursued an appeal to the Court of Appeal after their judicial review was dismissed by the High Court on August 27, 2019.

The fatwa, gazetted by the Selangor State government on July 31, 2014, had declared that SIS Forum, any individual, as well as groups that adopted the deviant ideologies of liberalism and pluralism, were deviating from the teachings of Islam.

The fatwa also directed that any publications containing liberal and plural views of Islam should be banned and confiscated and further directs the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to censor social websites which goes against Islamic teaching and syariah laws.


The Federal Court has fixed May 15 for case management for the leave application appeal.

In the notice of motion requesting for leave, the group has proposed 10 questions of law for the Federal Court to decide.

Among them, whether a fatwa, once published in the Gazette under sections 48(6), Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, is a form of subsidiary law and/or delegated legislation.

Another question is whether the civil court have jurisdiction to judicially review the making of a fatwa, or its publication in the Gazette under section 48(6) of the Enactment, once it is so gazetted on the grounds generally available for the review of subsidiary or delegated legislation. — Bernama