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Published: Monday July 18, 2011 MYT 6:53:00 PM
Updated: Monday July 18, 2011 MYT 8:45:33 PM

Appelate court dismisses appeal of Ayah Pin follower

PUTRAJAYA: A follower of the Ayah Pin deviationist sect failed in her appeal here Monday to reinstate her application seeking for a declaration that she has the absolute right and freedom under the Federal Constitution to profess and practice any religion.

Justices Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin, Datuk Azhar Ma'ah and Datuk Clement Allan Skinner agreed with the decision of the then High Court judge Tan Sri Md Raus Shariff (now Federal Court judge) that the matter was within the sole domain of the Syariah Court by virtue of Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution.

Ayah Pin

Article 121 (1A) of the Constitution gives the exclusive jurisdiction to the Syariah Court to determine matters relating to Islam.

The panel unanimously dismissed Kamariah Ali's appeal against the Dec 30 2005 High Court's decision which threw out her originating summons and also her application to refer legal questions to the Federal Court.

Justice Azhar held that the subject matter before the High Court was apostasy and, therefore, was within the Syariah Court's jurisdiction and not the Civil Court.

Kamariah, who was represented by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, was ordered to pay legal costs of RM10,000 to respondents Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Terengganu and the state government, and another RM5,000 to the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Kamariah, 60, wanted the Federal Court to determine whether the right to profess a religion as enshrined under Article 11 (1), includes the right of Muslims who have reached adulthood, to leave the religion.

In her originating summons, she sought a declaration that the choice to profess a religion was determined by her and not by any declaration or confirmation of another party.

She also wanted the court to declare that she had the right to enforce her absolute right to profess any religion of her choice as enshrined under Article 11 by declaring herself no longer professing Islam and that any federal law and state enactment, with respect to Islamic religion did not apply to her.

On July 20 2005, officers of the Department of Religious Affairs, Terengganu (JHEAT), with the help of the police raided Kampung Ayah Pin, located in the Besut District, Terengganu and arrested many people, including Kamariah.

On Aug 4, 2005, Kamariah was charged at the Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court for allegedly committing offences against the Islamic law under Section 10 and Section 7 of the Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir) (Terengganu) 2001. - Bernama

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