Can the illegitimate child of a Muslim and Buddhist parents be a non-Muslim?
ROSLIZA IBRAHIM V KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR & ANOR  1 LNS 92
- According to Rosliza Ibrahim (‘Rosliza”)’s birth certificate, she was born on 19 November 1981 at the Chinese Maternity Hospital Kuala Lumpur to one Yap Ah Mooi (“Yap”) and Ibrahim bin Hassan (“Ibrahim”).
- Both Yap and Ibrahim’s residential address in their IC were the same.
- On 13 January 1994, Ibrahim as the father of Rosliza, submitted an application for an IC for Rosliza where Rosliza’s religion is declared as “Islam”.
- On 14 January 1995, Ibrahim submitted his own application for an IC wherein he declared that his religion is “Islam” and marital status as “Married”.
- On 14 February 1995, Yap in her application for her IC declared the same residential address with Ibrahim and her marital status as “Married.”
- On 8 October 2008, Yap affirmed a statutory declaration declaring that Rosliza is her daughter, she and Ibrahim are the parents of Rosliza, she and Ibrahim were not married and lastly that Rosliza was not brought up a Muslim.
- Yap passed away on 7 February 2009.
- Rosliza filed an originating summons at the High Court, seeking a declaration that, amongst others, that Rosliza is not a person professing the religion of Islam and as such, the Syariah courts do not have jurisdiction over her.
- The High Court decided that the question of whether Rosliza is a Muslim is dependent on whether Ibrahim and Yap were married. After considering the evidence, the Court found that Ibrahim and Yap were married and that Rosliza was a child of the marriage and was a Muslim at birth. As such, the Syariah Court had the jurisdiction to decide on the question of whether Rosliza was no longer a Muslim.
- Rosliza appealed to the Court of Appeal.
COURT OF APPEAL DECISION – APPEAL DISMISSED!
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on the following basis:
- Section 2 of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 (“Enactment”) clearly provides that a “Muslim” means “a person either or both of whose parents were at the time of the person’s birth, a Muslim”. It is an undisputed fact that Rosliza’s father is Malay and a Muslim and therefore, Rosliza is a Muslim at birth.
- Given the findings that Rosliza is a Muslim, the effect of the declaration sought is to enable Rosliza to renounce Islam as her religion and the jurisdiction to determine this issue is vested in the Syariah Court pursuant to section 61(3)(b)(x) of the Enactment.