Woman born to Muslim father and Buddhist mother wins appeal to be declared non-Muslim

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A woman who was born out of wedlock to a Muslim father and a Buddhist mother today won her appeal in the Federal Court to be declared a non-Muslim.


Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, chairing a nine-member bench, delivered the 7-2 majority decision in allowing Rosliza Ibrahim’s appeal and granted the declarations sought by her.

She held that Rosliza is not a person professing the religion of Islam because there is no proof that she is a Muslim by original faith.

Justice Tengku Maimun also said that both Rosliza and her mother were never Muslims.

Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf and Federal Court judges Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang concurred with Justice Tengku Maimun.

Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed and Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Hasnah Mohammed Hashim agreed with Justice Tengku Maimun on the answers to the two legal questions, but departed on the reliefs to be granted to Rosliza.

In her originating summons filed in 2015, Rosliza sought for a declaration that she was not a Muslim and therefore the Syariah Court had no jurisdiction over her as she claimed that she was born out of wedlock to a Muslim father but raised as a Buddhist by her late Buddhist mother.

Rosliza, 38, lost her case in the Shah Alam High Court as it was dismissed on June 22, 2017 and her appeal at the Court of Appeal was also dismissed on April 25, 2018.

On Jan 20 last year, the Federal Court granted Rosliza’s application for leave to appeal on the two legal questions for determination by the Federal Court.