Gerakan Youth lauds decision by Federal Court on interfaith custody fiasco Andy Yong: Civil and Syariah courts have their respective jurisdictions (29.4.16)

Andy Yong FB

Gerakan Deputy Youth Chief, Andy Yong Kim Seng has welcomed the decision by the Federal Court earlier today on instructing the inspector general of police to arrest Muslim convert, K Pathmanathan @ Mohd Ridhuan Abdullah over a longstanding interfaith custody case.

He said that such orders reaffirms that only civil courts have jurisdiction over custody cases in a civil marriage even if one party later converts to Islam.

If a Syariah court intends to pronounce a divorce on an Islamic nuptial, it has every right to do so without interfering in civil marriages as the Federal Constitution vividly stated that Syariah Court’s jurisdiction encompass only Muslims in the country.”

Andy expressed hope that the long standing chapter of interfaith custody can be closed with the interest of all parties being safeguarded and taken into account.

Touching on legal aspects, he opined Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution states does provide an ambiguous impression that both civil and syariah courts have equal but separate jurisdictions from the initial view is now settled.

He added that it resolves the issue that if a marriage was registered under the Civil Law, namely Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, only the civil court has the power to conclude any divorce or child arrangement order must be made pursuant to this act.

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