Mujahid: No plans to amend Births and Deaths Registration Act in light of 'bin Abdullah' ruling

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 15 Feb 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: There are no plans to amend the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957 (BDRA) at the moment following the Federal Court's recent decision on the "bin Abdullah" case, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa (pic).

Speaking in response to a question asking if the government would amend the BDRA following the decision, Mujahid said there is "nothing solid" at the moment.

"The government respects the court's decision as it was decided by the judiciary and not an individual decision.

"The court's decision was guided by existing fatwas (edicts) on the matter although some edicts may have not been gazetted," he told reporters at a press conference following the working visit of Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland on Saturday (Feb 15).

He acknowledged that the decision had since sparked public debate.

"The debate will definitely continue as there are some other issues on the case.

At the end of the day, the religious authorities must come to a consensus on the matter which will be a guidance and reference for the courts in the future," said the Minister in charge of religious affairs.

Mujahid, however, added that any public debate on the issue must not be done with narrow religious or racial views.

On Thursday (Feb 13), the Federal Court issued a ruling that allowed the removal of "bin Abdullah" from a Johor-born Muslim child's birth certificate.

However, the court maintained that a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock cannot bear their father's name.

The decision has since met with mixed responses, with Penang mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor, Sisters In Islam calling for a review of a previous edict banning Muslim children born out of wedlock from carrying their father's name.

Additionally, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) had called on the Government to review the laws following the Court's decision.

In 2016, the parents of a Muslim child applied to the National Registration Department (NRD) to register the father's name on the birth certificate under Section 13 of the BDRA but it carried "bin Abdullah" instead.

The NRD refused to substitute it with the father's name on the grounds that the child was illegitimate.

The couple lost their case in the High Court but the Court of Appeal in 2017 reversed the decision.

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