Home News Civil courts have no jurisdiction over religious renunciation cases, Malaysia’s high court...

Civil courts have no jurisdiction over religious renunciation cases, Malaysia’s high court rules

Malaysia, which is officially a secular country but has a majority-Muslim population, has shariah courts that hear and decide on matters pertaining to Islam

Malaysia’s high court has ruled that a civil court has no jurisdiction over matters involving persons seeking to renounce Islam, saying it comes under the Shariah court.

Malaysia, which is officially a secular country but has a majority-Muslim population, has shariah courts that hear and decide on matters pertaining to Islam.

Judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid said the Federal Constitution has given power under Article 121(1A) to the shariah courts to determine renunciation cases.



The woman, who was born a Muslim, sought to renounce Islam at the Shariah High Court in 2018, saying that she wanted to practice Buddhism.

The court denied her application to renounce Islam in 2020, after ordering her to attend 12 counseling sessions.

She appealed the ruling, and the Shariah Appeals Court upheld the ruling.

The woman then turned to the civil courts to nullify the decisions of the shariah courts. She claimed the decision to reject her “conversion out” application violated Article 11, which guaranteed a person’s freedom of religion.

- Newsletter -

Judge Ahmad Kamal said the shariah courts did nothing wrong in rejecting the woman’s bid to renounce Islam. He cited Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution, which gives power to the shariah courts to determine renunciation cases.

“To me, it does matter what the decision was, but the most important issue is that the civil courts have no jurisdiction to hear matters within the jurisdiction of the Shariah Courts, nor has it the power to review the Shariah Court’s decision in cases involving the renunciation of Islam,” said the judge.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.

Latest