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Maria allowed to mount challenge against shariah court’s contempt order

Maria was represented by counsel Rosli Dahlan, along with Zeti Zulfah Hassan @ Zulkifli, Kong Xin Qing, Amiratu Al Amirat Saleh Garbaa and Khairul Izzat Azmi, while senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly appeared for the Attorney General's Chambers.

22 August 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has allowed Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah’s bid to commence a legal challenge against a show cause order issued by the shariah court for contempt over her statement that “insulted” the Islamic judicial system.

Judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh granted Maria leave to commence her judicial review during an online proceeding today.

“She has come to court, complaining that her rights under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution are at stake as the contempt procedure under the Syariah Court Civil Procedure (Federal Territories) Act is unconstitutional.

“It does not matter if she is an MP or hawker, the court will not stand idly blind.

“She has adduced enough material in arguing the contempt proceeding could be tainted with procedural impropriety,” the judge said.

The court also made an order for the proceedings before the shariah courts to be stayed pending disposal of her judicial review hearing.

In her bid to initiate a judicial review, Maria wants the High Court to quash a shariah court order on Oct 14, 2019 that allowed businessman SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin to initiate contempt proceedings against her.

She claimed the order was made in bad faith.

Maria had, on Sept 5, 2019, issued a press statement saying “Muslim women are still being discriminated (against) under Malaysia’s shariah legal system”.

She had said the shariah court’s decision to sentence Faisal’s former wife, Emilia Hanafi, to seven days in prison for rescheduling his visitation dates for her children was a “grave injustice” and a “total disgrace to the judicial system”.

Emilia completed her seven days sentence in June.

The Shariah High Court also sentenced Maria to seven days’ jail for contempt of court on April 25.

Maria was represented by lawyers Rosli Dahlan, Nurul Hafidzah Hassan and Zeti Zulfah Hassan @ Zulkifli, while senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly @ Arwi and Liyana Fuad appeared for the government.

Edited by Ho Kit Yen

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