Zahid told to respect judicial process on naming out-of-wedlock children

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been told to respect the country’s judicial process instead of making critical remarks against the Court of Appeal’s decision on the naming of Muslim children born out of wedlock.

PKR central committee member Latheefa Koya said the courts should be allowed to decide on the matter impartially on the basis of the law and the Federal Constitution, without unnecessary positions being taken by government leaders on the issue.

“I have never come across a case of an instance of a deputy PM showing such gross disrespect to the judicial process,” she said.

“It is clear Zahid is trying to make political capital out of this case, with the general elections around the corner. It is most unfair as this involves the lives and future of innocent children,” she said in a statement today. Read more

DPM supports NRD’s move to file appeal against ‘bin Abdullah’ decision

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi agrees with the move taken by the National Registration Department (NRD) to file an appeal against the case of illegitimate Muslim children to the Federal Court.

He said at the moment, the NRD was carrying out its tasks according to the Fatwa Committee of the National Council for Islamic Affairs’ ruling which did not allow children conceived out of wedlock to take the name of the father.

“We know a law is a law. The Home Ministry, especially the NRD, should adhere to the decision of the National Fatwa Council and as such, we are appealing to a higher court so that the decision (of the Court of Appeal) is cancelled as only legitimate children could be named after the father,” he said when speaking at an Aidilfitri celebration with the Malabari community in Selayang near here yesterday night. Read more

Jakim awaits apex court’s decision on ‘bin Abdullah’ ruling

Source: FMT News 

PUTRAJAYA: Jakim, like the national registration department (NRD), will continue with its current practice on the genealogy of illegitimate Muslim children until the Federal Court decides on the matter, says its director-general Othman Mustapha.

National Registration Department director-general Datuk Yazid Ramli (left) said children conceived out of wedlock would not get to bear their father’s name, despite the Court of Appeal’s landmark decision. — Bernama pic

In a statement here today, the Jakim DG advised Muslims in the country to remain calm about the decision of the Court of Appeal on Thursday that any child conceived out-of-wedlock could use the name of the man who admits to be the father.

“Hopefully, the NRD’s efforts through the Attorney-General’s Chambers to bring the case to the Federal Court goes smoothly,” he said.

Yesterday, NRD director-general Mohd Yazid Ramli was reported as saying any change to the current practice would only be considered after the decision by the Federal Court.

He said the present practice by the department was in line with the decision of the National Fatwa Council. Read more

Art Harun: NRD’s ‘bin Abdullah’ move is contempt of court

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: The National Registration Department’s (NRD) decision to continue the practice of adding the surname “bin/binti Abdullah” to a Muslim child born out of wedlock or within six months of his/her parent’s marriage, constitutes a contempt of court, says a lawyer.

Azhar Harun, better known as Art Harun, claimed the decision showed an utter contempt towards the judiciary, with the NRD director-general Yazid Ramli insisting on continuing the practice which had been outlawed through a ruling made by the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

“We have a government which does not respect the laws enacted by the Parliament, and then it goes on to ignore the judgment by the Judiciary.

“The rule of law, which is supposed to be executed by the court and practised by all, especially government institutions, will be nothing but an accessory,” Art wrote in a strongly-worded statement posted on his Facebook page today.

He added that such contempt only weakened the status of the judiciary and the rule of law in the country. Read more

AG to seek shariah experts’ view on out-of-wedlock Muslim kids

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

THE Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) will study the Court of Appeal’s decision to allow a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock to carry the father’s name before deciding its next course of action.

The New Straits Times reported AGC Civil Division head Amarjeet Singh as saying that A-G Mohamed Apandi Ali would get input from various parties, including shariah experts, before appealing the ruling.

A notice to appeal the ruling at the Federal Court has been filed and the AGC will decide during the case management hearing on September 18.

“He (Apandi) said we (AGC) would discuss with the chambers’ shariah section on their views as they are the experts on this matter.  Read more

When civil courts and fatwa committees collide: The ‘bin Abdullah’ case

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Lawyer Latheefa Koya says that the Court of Appeal was right to say the NRD cannot be bound by such fatwas. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 ― The Court of Appeal’s landmark ruling this week allowing a Muslim child the right to bear his father’s name though he was conceived before his parents married has once again exposed the conflict between civil and Muslim laws in Malaysia.

Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria was reportedly outraged by the appellate court decision, claiming it had gone against the Federal Constitution which recognises Islam as the religion of the federation and should have followed a 2003 National Fatwa Committee’s decision on Muslim children conceived out of wedlock.

Harussani went on record to say that Muslims are obliged to obey Islamic laws even if “worldly laws have rejected them”.

This throws up two questions: Are civil courts legally bound to obey fatwas? Secondly, can or should civil laws be amended to be Shariah-compliant, failing which Muslims should be exempted from them? Read more

No dad’s name for ‘out-of-wedlock’ kids till top court rules, NRD says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

National Registration Department director-general Datuk Yazid Ramli (left) said children conceived out of wedlock would not get to bear their father’s name, despite the Court of Appeal’s landmark decision. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The National Registration Department (NRD) said today children conceived out of wedlock will not get to bear their father’s name, despite a landmark decision allowing so by the Court of Appeal.

The department’s director-general Datuk Yazid Ramli said it maintain the status quo with regards to Muslim children conceived such a way as has applied to challenge the appellate court ruling with the Federal Court.

“The current implementation at the NRD in regards to a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock to bear the father’s name will continue as usual.

“Any amendment to the implementation will only be considered after the Federal Court decision,” he said in a statement.

He explained that the decision to keep to the status quo was based on the previous High Court decision that under Islamic laws, Muslim children are not allowed to bear the name of their purported father as they were born less than six months into their parents’ marriage. Read more

Lawyer group wants Muslims exempt from civil laws on child legitimacy

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 ― The Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association has called for Muslims to be exempt from certain parts of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957 (BDRA) that are said to clash with Shariah provisions.

The group has also demanded Putrajaya to amend the Act to “respect Islam”, questioning its constitutionality by claiming that issues regarding child legitimacy and inheritance to be under the purview of state governments instead.

“I urge the Federal Government to amend this Act to respect Islam as the religion of federation … and exempt Muslims from parts of the Act that are against Shariah laws,” its president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said in a statement. Read more

Perak Mufti outraged over CoA decision on out-of-wedlock name

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 ― Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria was outraged that the Court of Appeal had yesterday rejected a fatwa, and ruled that a child conceived out of wedlock may bear the father’s name.

The Perak mufti also cautioned Muslims, saying that Islamic laws still apply and must be obeyed by adherents although they have been rejected by “worldly” laws.

“Islamic laws remain Islamic laws, it is obligatory for all Muslims to obey, although worldly laws have rejected them,” Harussani was quoted saying by Islamist portal Ismaweb. Read more

Sisters in Islam hails judgment against NRD as Islamic

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Vocal Muslim women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS) today hailed the Court of Appeal’s judgment against the National Registration Department (NRD) in allowing a child born out of wedlock to take up the father’s name, saying it was a just decision conforming to the Quranic spirit.

SIS quoted a verse from the Quran, “Call them by (the names of) their fathers: that is more just in the eyes of God” (33:5), adding that the judgment by Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli and two other members of the bench was fulfilling one of the shariah’s goals, the protection of life.

“While this (verse) is understood to refer to adopted children, it is not impossible to extend the spirit of the verse to recognise the biological fathers of children conceived or born out of wedlock,” the group said in a statement. Read more