Convert seeks to end her marriage
Fri, Mar 06, 2009
New Straits Times
SEREMBAN, MALAYSIA: The estranged wife of a non-Muslim carpenter filed a petition at the Syariah High Court here yesterday seeking the dissolution of her marriage to a Buddhist.
Chew Yin No, 23, filed the petition after she converted to Islam on Jan 28 this year and adopted a Muslim name, Siti Zubaidah Chew Abdullah.
The clerk, who has been estranged from her husband, Hoo Ying Soon, for the past six months, also converted the couple's 15-month-old daughter whose name was changed from Hoo Joey, to Nurul Syuhada Chew Abdullah.
She filed an application for the dissolution of marriage under Section 46(2) of the Administration of Islamic Law (Negri Sembilan) before Syariah High Court judge Mohd Nadzri Abdul Rahman.
Siti Zubaidah and her 28-year-old husband, whom she married on Feb 14, 2007, have yet to finalise their divorce in the civil court.
During proceedings, Mohd Nadzri said the foundations of syariah law stated that both the petitioner and respondent should be Muslims.
"However in this case, the respondent is a non-Muslim and as such he is not allowed to be present during the proceedings.
"Thus, I suggest that he file an affidavit with supporting documents so that the court can decide whether he can appear as a respondent or be called as a witness," he said.
Meanwhile, Hoo's counsel, Hanif Hassan, said he was only appointed by his client on Wednesday and, therefore, needed more time to explain the law to Hoo.
"In the interest of fairness and due consideration, I believe there are matters of the syariah law that should be conveyed in depth to my client.
"This will also avoid any confusion over the court's decision later," Hanif said.
Syarie lawyer Mohd Kamarul Arifin Mohd Wafaa, who represented Siti Zubaidah, told the court that she had converted to Islam and registered her religious status at the Pusat Dakwah Islamiah in Paroi here, in January.
He said that she also had a declaration card which confirmed her status as a Muslim.
"The conversion was at her own free will and she had also filed a police report ascertaining to her conversion to Islam," he said, adding that her estranged husband was a Buddhist.
Mohd Nazri then fixed April 1 for mention of the case.