GEORGE TOWN: The Syariah High Court here will decide today if the late Teoh Cheng Cheng was a Muslim at the time she died.
The court fixed the date after several witnesses gave their testimony before Syariah High Court Justice Zaim Md Yudin when the case was mentioned yesterday.
The press was not allowed during the proceeding in the courtroom, believed to be at the request of the family.
Cheng Cheng’s eldest daughter Medelyn Teoh was seen at the court sporting a pink baju kurung with a tudung, as women entering the Syariah Court have to cover their head.
The Penang Islamic Affairs Council (Maipp) had filed an application under Section 61 (3)(x) of the Penang Islamic Administrative Enactment 2004 for declaration on Cheng Cheng’s status at the time of her death.
The 38-year-old mother of four died at her apartment in Macallum Street on June 7.
On Monday, the police and Maipp officers stopped her family from proceeding with Cheng Cheng’s funeral on the grounds that she converted to Islam 17 years ago.
They produced documents that showed she had adopted the Muslim name Nora Teoh Abdullah after converting to Islam in 1997.
Lawyer Wan Faridulhadi Mohd Yusoff, representing the family, said the others who gave their testimony yesterday were Maipp officers, comprising a representative of the registrar of converts and parties involved in the handling of Cheng Cheng’s application to convert to Islam.
“Both sides have given testimony and presented documents as evidence in relation to her (Cheng Cheng’s) registration as a Muslim convert and whether the registration was completed,” said Wan Faridulhadi.
He said the witnesses from the family spoke about how Teoh had led her life since 1997, till the day she died.
They spoke also of her religious practices, added Wan Faridulhadi.
Wan Faridulhadi said Medelyn was told her mother never completed her conversion as she did not proclaim the syahadah (proclamation of faith).
The lawyer said Medelyn was also informed that it was her mother’s boyfriend who made the application for Cheng Cheng’s conversion but she never received the conversion certificate.
Asked by reporters if Cheng Cheng’s boyfriend was present in court, Wan Faridulhadi said: “It’s not an issue.”
Meanwhile, at the High Court, Cheng Cheng’s mother Tan Mah Suan decided to postpone filing a suit against Maipp over the aborted funeral.
She had intended to file the suit in the afternoon but family lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said it would instead be filed today.
“When you file something, you have to be certain of the facts.
“We were made to understand there are certain developments we need to verify before proceeding with the suit,” Gobind told reporters at the court.
Exco member apologises to Teoh’s family