The creeping Islamisation programme is squeezing into the rights of non-Muslims and is getting alarming. With this sort of ruling, the Syariah Court can arbitrarily declare any Tom, Dick and Harry a muslim and there is nothing you can do about it. This is a direct consequence of leaving politics to the politicians to take care. That's right. They took care of us good and proper.

Only Syariah Court can decide

Fri 20.8.2010

PUTRAJAYA (Aug 20, 2010): The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Syariah Court has the sole jurisdiction to determine whether an individual is a Muslim or not.

A three-man panel comprising Datuk Zainun Ali, Datuk Abdul Wahab Patail and Datuk Clement Allan Skinner made the ruling when dismissing the appeal brought by Mount Everest climber M Moorthy's Hindu widow S. Kaliammal.

Kaliammal is appealing against a Dec 8, 2005, ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which refused to determine the religious status of her late husband on grounds that a matter of this nature was under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

Moorthy died on Dec 20, 2005 at the age of 36 and was buried at the Taman Ibukota Muslim cemetery in Gombak, Selangor on Dec 28 after the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council obtained an ex-parte order on Dec 22 from the Syariah Court stating that Moorthy had embraced Islam prior to his death.

The order, which cited Moorthy’s Muslim name as Mohamad Abdullah, gave the council permission to bury Moorthy according to Islamic rites.

Kaliammal had filed an originating summons on Dec 21, 2005, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which, among other things, sought a declaration that Moorthy was a Hindu and reclaim Moorthy's body from religious bodies .

In the decision read in open court today, Zainun said that it was the Syariah Court that has the competent jurisdiction to make such a declaration due to "obvious and practical reasons".

"The religious authority of a particular religion is better placed to consider and decide whether a person belongs and continues to adhere to that religion," said Zainun.

“With Islam in Malaysia, no matter how the question is drafted, it remains that such a question of whether a person is a Muslim is a question for the Syariah Court to determine,” she added.

Meanwhile outside the courtroom, Kaliammal’s lawyer M.Manoharan said that they would be applying to take the matter up to the Federal Court next week.

He added that there was a danger of a "clear-cut bias" against non-Muslims in the Syariah Court.

“We are not saying the existence of the Syariah Court is biased. But when they extend into areas of determining the religious status of non-Muslims, that is where we say there is bias,” said Manoharan.

“It is not fair to ask a non-Muslim to appear before the Syariah Court when it is vested with the jurisdiction to deal with matters pertaining to Islam only,” he added, calling the decision “shocking and appalling”.

This view was also supported by his co-counsel, Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran.

“Non-Muslims do not have a right to appear in the Syariah Court, so how can we be appearing before the Syariah Court. This ambiguity must be cleared by an amendment in Parliament,” he added.

Kulasegaran said that such an amendment is being sought in Parliament.
“The non-Malay rights must not only be protected; it must be made clear that judges must address these matters in the civil court,” he added. theSun.