Read here in Malaysiakini and Here
- Ivy Josiah, Women Aid Organisation.
-Benjamin Dawson (Lawyer)
- Ragunath Kesavan, Vice President of Malaysian Bar Council
- Tun Dr. Mahathir, President, Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organisation (Perkim)/former Prime Minister of Malaysia
-courtesy of malaysiakini
Read here full article by V. Anbalagan for more
Read here a 1979 article on the view of the late Lord President of the Federal Court, Tun Suffian:
"...(Tun Suffian) warned that the introduction of Islamic laws in their entirety would mean that "all non-Muslim and all women judges who have rendered distinguished public service could be dismissed, the word of a Muslim would always be preferred to that of a non-Muslim, non-Muslim lawyers would be disqualified; and outside the legal system, Muslim women would be denied education and the opportunity to secure economic independence." Read here for more
Read below related articles:
Her appeal is significant for one important reason. The Federal Court, as the apex court, is expected to decide on, among others:
- the religious freedom of Malaysians under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution and
- the position of the civil court and Syariah Court following amendments to Article 121(1A) of the Constitution in 1988.
Background of Azlina Jailani/Lina Joy's Case
Azlina Jailani, a muslim, embraced Christianity sometime in the 1990s. She changed her name to Lina Joy after she outed herself as a Christian.
Between 1998-2000, she applied to the courts to have the word "Islam" deleted from her identity card.
The National Registration Department REFUSED to change her religion, stating that it had NO jurisdiction to do so without clearance from the Kuala Lumpur SYARIAH Court or other Islamic religious authorities.
In April 23, 2001, Lina Joy's case went to the High Court to seek protection of her rights as a citizen of this country under the Federal Constitution.
Instead, the High Court washed its hands and dismissed her application. Lina Joy was asked to face the religious Syariah Court to obtain a decision on her application to remove the word "Islam" from her identity card.
Worst still for Lina Joy, the High Court, a secular court to boot, ruled that as a Malay and Muslim, she could NOT convert her religion.
Lina Joy then went to the Court Appeal. Again on Sept 19, 2005, Malaysia's secular Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 majority decision, rejected her appeal. Of the three judges who ruled in the Court Appeal, two are Muslim judges (Judges Datuk Arifin Zakaria and Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohamad, now elevated to the Federal Court) and the other is a non-Muslim judge (Datuk Gopal Sri Ram).
The two Muslim judges sitting in the Court of Appeal rejected Lina Joy's appeal and upheld the High Court's decision to ask Lina Joy to face the Islamic Syariah Court if she wants to remove the word "Islam" on her identity card despite the fact she is now, in every sense of the word, and for all intent and purpose, no more a Muslim in practice. She just wants to be legally recognised as a Christian and this is to be reflected in her identity card.
The non-Muslim judge (Datuk Gopal Sri Ram) in the Court of Appeal gave a dissenting opinion, held that Joy’s case was purely an ADMINISTRATIVE LAW issue, adding there was NO provision in LAW for the National Registration Department to require a Syariah Court order to remove the word "Islam" from her identity card.
The makeup of sitting judges of the Court Appeal with two Muslim judges and one non-Muslim judge did not help at all Lina Joy's case.
Between June and July 2006, Federal Court heard submissions from all parties for four days. Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judge Datuk Datuk Alauddin Sheriff heard her appeal.
On May 30, 2007, the whole country, in particular the non Muslim citizens will hear the Federal Court's judgment whether Lina Joy has the protection of the Federal Constitution.
Or that the Syariah Court, a religious body, essentially a creature of the Federal Constitution, by virtue of the decision of the secular court, will have an over-riding power to decide the fate of Muslim's citizens' rights to abandon Islam legally.
The decision of the Federal Court, the majority of the judges are Muslims, anyway, will send a signal whether THIS judiciary is able to take the hard decision and address the rights of citizens of this country or that personal/religious leanings of the judges (especially the Muslim judges in the Federal Court) will decide the fate of citizens of this country on religious issues.
The lower courts ie the High Court and the Court of Appeal took the easy way out and pushed the buck up to the Federal Court.
Lina Joy is now 43 years old, a former sales representative, and has been unemployed for the past year. She is still single.