Naza group chairperson SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin succeeds in citing Maria Chin for contempt.
Petaling Jaya member of parliament Maria Chin Abdullah was today sentenced to seven days in prison for contempt of court.
Syariah High Court judge Mohamed Fouzi Mokhtar meted out the sentence against the politician over her criticism of the Syariah High Court’s decision to jail an ex-wife of a businessman.
Maria, however, did not attend the court proceedings as she earlier tested positive for Covid-19 and has been admitted to the hospital.
The committal proceeding was applied for by businessman Datuk SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin following Maria’s comment which criticised a jail sentence against his ex-wife Emilia Hanafi.
Fouzi in her judgement said Maria’s statement was unfair and done without checking the facts.
“As an MP, she should not question the Syariah courts in performing their duties.
“The respondent came to a simple conclusion on Emilia and Faisal’s divorce case without proof to back her statement.
“The case was about Emilia violating the children’s visitation rights and not about alimony payment from Faisal,” he said.
“The respondent (Maria) used an ‘irrelevant’ fact by pointing out that the social welfare department (JKM) did not take action against the father (Faisal) for not paying alimony,” he added.
The court said Maria did not show any remorse and blamed the syariah system for allegedly discriminating against women.
In the court’s ruling today, Fouzi said Maria had failed to justify, through her defence on Feb 21, 2020, that her media statement did not scandalise the Islamic judicial system.
“She used an irrelevant fact to highlight that the social welfare department failed to reprimand Faisal for not paying alimony,” he added.
Maria who was represented by lawyer Rosli Dahlan applied for stay of execution as they would be appealing the court’s decision.
The court allowed a stay of execution pending Maria’s appeal at the Syariah Court of Appeal.
On Sept 4, 2020, Emilia was sentenced to seven days’ jail by the Syariah High Court when she unilaterally rescheduled visitation dates for her children to be with their father (SM Faisal).
However, she was out on RM5,000 bail pending her appeal.
It was reported that Maria, on the next day, issued a statement which reportedly said the syariah legal system was still discriminatory against Muslim women.
She had said the shariah court’s decision to sentence Emilia was a “grave injustice” and a “total disgrace to the judicial system”.
Earlier today, Rosli told the court that Maria had last year filed a judicial review before the civil High Court, seeking to quash the shariah court order that allowed Faisal to initiate contempt proceedings against her.
She claimed the order was made in bad faith.
“We urge the court to halt the decision today pending the judicial review outcome,” Rosli said.
However, Faisal’s lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah objected to the request to suspend the decision, saying that there was no stay order from the civil courts on the proceedings.
The High Court will only hear Maria’s bid to commence a legal challenge against the contempt order on May 26.