Ezra Zaid to stand Shariah trial after failing to nullify Selangor law on un-Islamic books charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

ZI Publications Sdn Bhd director Ezra Zaid, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and lawyer Pavendeep Singh are seen at the Federal Court, Putrajaya, September 28, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 28 — Publisher Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid will have to face trial in the Shariah Court after failing to persuade the country’s highest court to nullify a Selangor law that makes it an offence for Muslims to publish books the state religious authority deems un-Islamic.

Earlier today, the Federal Court dismissed Ezra and his publishing firm ZI Publications Sdn Bhd’s bid to have Section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 declared invalid, with the country’s supreme court ruling that the Selangor state assembly had acted within its powers under the Federal Constitution when making the law.

In the unanimous decision, a five-judge panel in the Federal Court noted that the Federal Constitution allows states to make laws on offences against the precepts of Islam and showed the intention of the Constitution’s framers to allow Muslims here to also be governed by Islamic personal law.

“In conclusion, we would like to highlight that a Muslim in Malaysia is not only subject to laws enacted by Parliament, but also state laws of religious nature enacted by legislature of a state,” the Federal Court panel chaired by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said in a 16-page judgement. Read more

Court says not empowered to review Sabah ban on Ambiga

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan was scheduled to attend the event along with the group’s co-patron Tan Sri Simon Sipaun and prominent Sabah politician Datuk Dr Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 28 — Sabah’s prohibition against entry by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan will remain after the High Court here ruled that it cannot review the powers of the state’s Immigration Department.

Ambiga’s lawyer, James Tsai said that Judicial Commissioner Gabriel Gumis decided in chambers against hearing her application for a judicial review of the state’s decision to refuse her entry.

“In a brief oral judgment, he said that the matter of immigration was not reviewable based on the Sugumar case, which is the only time the law has been tested in court,” said Tsai, referring to Pihak Berkuasa Negeri Sabah v. Sugumar Balakrishnan case in 2002.

In the particular case, a High Court held that the ouster clause in the Immigration Act 1959/63 ‘s Section 59(a) meant the courts had no grounds for judicial review of the Sabah government’s decision.

Ambiga, in an immediate response to Malay Mail Online, said she will appeal the decision. Read more