Clerk fails to convince court to remove ‘Islam’ from identity card


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014

PUTRAJAYA: A clerk has failed to convince the Court of Appeal to compel the National Registration Department (NRD) to remove the word ‘Islam’ from her identity card (IC).

Noraini Soon Mohamed Ivan Soon, 39, has claimed that she has never professed the religion of Islam.

Court of Appeal judge Justice Linton Albert, who chaired a three-man panel, dismissed her appeal but did not make any order as to the costs in view of public interest.

"There is no doubt the appellant is a Muslim.

“We are stuck with Lina Joy (landmark judgment)," he said in delivering unanimous decision Wednesday.

In Lina Joy's landmark ruling in 2007, the Federal Court rejected her appeal for the removal of the word "Islam" from her identity card, saying the issue of conversion should be dealt with by the Syariah court.

In the coram Wednesday, are Court of Appeal judge Justice Rohana Yusof and High Court judge Justice Vernon Ong Lam Kiat.

Earlier, her counsel Wong Poh Leng urged the court to exercise its supervisory power against the refusal of the NRD to amend the word ‘Islam’ from her client's identity card.

Wong said that her client's mother Yap Kui Chun @ Yap Kui Cheen who applied for her identity card in 1987 can not understand Malay or English.

However, Senior Federal Counsel Khairul Fazly Kamarudin argued that the appellant had renewed her IC when she was 19 years old in 1994 by stating her religion as Islam and her father's race as "Cina Islam" (Chinese Muslim).

He also said that Noraini's first IC application by Yap has stated her race as Cina Islam.

SFC Khairul Fazly said that her birth certificate dated Jan 3,1975, also contained her contract manager father's race as Cina Islam.

Noraini Soon had on Nov 23, 2012 filed a judicial review application to compel NRD to remove the word ‘Islam’ from her IC.

She said she is a Buddhist.

She wants the High Court to quash NRD's decision dated Aug 15, 2012, which rejected her application to delete the word ‘Islam’ from her IC.

The KL High Court had on July 24; last year dismissed her application on grounds that the civil court has no jurisdiction to determine her religion.

The trial judge ruled that the court was satisfied that Noraini is a Muslim based on NRD's contemporaneous documents such as her birth certificate issued in 1975, her mother's first application for IC in 1987 and her application for renewal of IC in 1994.

In her affidavit dated Nov 22, 2012 filed to support her application, Noraini said that her religion has been wrongly stated as Islam and that she have never profess the religion of Islam.

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