KUCHING, February 9 ― The Federal Court agreed today to a full hearing for three Sarawakian Muslim converts who face state-level challenges in their wish to revert to their original religion.
Jenry Peter alias Nur Mudzdhalifah Abdullah, Mohd Syafiq Abdullah alias Tiong Choo Ting and Selina Jau Abdullah had asked if the Sarawak Shariah Court has jurisdiction over apostasy matters or conversion out Islam when the Sarawak Syariah Court Ordinance 2001 has no provision concerning conversion into Islam.
Federal Court judge Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, who chaired a three-men panel, said the question of law posed by the three applicants required an answer as there have been similar cases nationwide.
“The Sarawak Syariah Court Ordinance is a serious matter and if the legislation does nothing, what about the ordinary people?” the judge said.
Sitting with Suriyadi were Federal Court judges Tan Sri Belia Yusof Wahi and Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
The three applicants, represented by lawyer Baru Bian, are suing the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department, the Islamic Affairs Council, the National Registration Department (NRD) and the state government to be allowed to revert to Christianity. Read more