KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court threw out a suit by two members of the Sky Kingdom sect seeking a declaration that they had the right to freedom of religion under the Constitution.
Justice Md Raus Sharif ruled that he, as a judge sitting in the civil court, did not have the power to decide on the issue raised by Kamariah Ali and Daud Mamat because it boiled down to the subject of apostasy, which was under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.
“The issue here is what is the effect of their declaration that they are no longer Muslims. They want this court to ascertain whether they had left Islam. To me, this is under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court,” said Justice Md Raus.
Named as respondents are the Terengganu Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council and Terengganu government.
In the originating summons, Kamariah, 54, and Daud, 63, sought several declarations. One was that Article 11 of the Constitution guaranteed their right to profess and practise any religion they choose and that syariah laws cannot be used against them.
They were among the followers of Ariffin Mohamad alias Ayah Pin who were detained and charged in the Terengganu Syariah Court earlier this year.
The Terengganu mufti issued a fatwa declaring Ayah Pin a deviant and a threat to Islam and public order. The fatwa says that any kind of involvement with him or his teaching is prohibited.