KOTA KINABALU, Feb 23 ― A full-time housewife was fined RM8,000 by a Magistrate’s Court here yesterday for submitting a fake Shariah High Court order for her application to change her religion from Islam to Christianity.

Magistrate Lovely Natasha Charles ordered Nur Sarimah Subuka to be jailed for 18 months if she failed to furnish her fine.

It was learnt that the 23-year-old woman had paid her fine yesterday.

Advertisement

When Nur Sarimah’s plea for a charge under Regulation 25 (1) (b) of the National Registration Regulations 1990 (amendment 2007) was about to be recorded, she said that she only submitted the letter to the National Registration Department (NRD).

“But the letter was from someone,” she further said.

The magistrate then asked her whether she pleaded guilty to the charge, Nur Sarimah answered “Yes”.

Advertisement

“There is no ‘but’ if you want to admit to this offence, if you want to admit, you have to admit as per what the charge against you, so are you admitting to this offence?” the magistrate asked Nur Sarimah.

Nur Sarimah then answered again “Yes”.

The court heard that Nur Sarimah went to the Identity Card Division of the NRD Kota Kinabalu to make an amendment to her religion status and to change her name.

Nur Sarimah had submitted supported documents for his application to be processed namely her MyKad, her birth certificate, a NRD form whom she already filled up and the said order to change her Islam faith.

Putrajaya NRD found that Nur Sarimah had submitted a fake document which was the said fake order letter.

A police report was then lodged by the complainant and an investigation had been carried out for this case.

Nur Sarimah admitted to committing the offence at a counter of the NRD on September 12, 2022.

In mitigation, National Legal Aid Foundation counsel Lim Ming Zoong @ Lawrence, who represented Nur Sarimah, prayed for a non-custodial sentence be imposed on his client and requested for a lower amount of fine punishment.

The counsel submitted that Nur Sarimah is married, has two kids and her husband is working.

Lim explained that Nur Sarimah told her that she was informed by a runner that the application would get through as long as there was payment in exchange for changing her faith.

Lim submitted that Nur Sarimah was involved in this case two years ago but she still came to court and had pleaded guilty to her charge which had saved court’s time.

“She wanted to change her religion to Christianity because she was raised in a broken family. She claimed her father had abandoned them and she was solely raised by her mother, who is a single mom with Christian background,” the counsel explained.

In reply, the prosecution urged the court to impose an appropriate sentence against the accused.

The prosecution argued that even though Nur Sarimah had pleaded guilty to the charge, it was still important to remember that her action had serious implications for integrity of the legal system and public trust.

The prosecution further submitted that failure to impose an appropriate punishment would send the wrong signal to the public and could encourage would-be offenders to engage in a similar activity. ― Borneo Post pic