KUALA LUMPUR: A woman from Sarawak failed to obtain leave from the High Court to initiate a judicial review to compel the Federal Territory Registrar of Converts to remove her name from the Register of Converts on Thursday (Sept 21).
Federal counsel Mohammad Sallehuddin Md Ali said Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid made the decision to allow a preliminary objection by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) to the application filed by the 26-year-old woman.
"The court dismissed the (woman’s) application on the grounds that the matter was not subject to judicial review based on Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution.
"Only the Syariah Court has jurisdiction to hear the application. The court dismisses the woman’s application with costs of RM3,000,” said Mohammad Sallehudin after the case proceedings were conducted online on Thursday.
Lawyer Iqbal Harith Liang, representing the woman, also joined the online proceeding.
The woman filed the leave application last April 20, naming the Federal Territory Registrar of Converts, the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council and the Malaysian Government as respondents.
The woman, who was born on July 9, 1997, to a Christian mother and father, was seeking a declaration that the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 (Act 505) gives jurisdiction to the Registrar of Converts to declare a person no longer a Muslim.
She was also seeking the registrar to consider cancelling her name from the Register of Converts immediately and also seeking a declaration that the refusal or delay by the registrar in making the decision as requested in her letters dated Jan 30, Feb 20 and March 17, 2023, was irrational and unreasonable.
In her supporting affidavit, the woman said that in early 2017, she met a Muslim Malay man who then proposed to her marriage and to facilitate the marriage, she converted to Islam on Aug 18, 2017, and was registered as a convert by the Federal Territory Registrar of Converts.
However, on Jan 27 last year, the woman, in an affidavit, pledged that she wanted to leave Islam and return to Christianity.
Following that, through her lawyer, the woman sent letters dated Jan 30, Feb 20 and March 17 this year to the Registrar of Converts requesting that her name be cancelled from the Register of Converts.
She claimed that until she filed the leave application, there was no response from the Registrar of Converts.- Bernama