GEORGE TOWN: May 8, 2008
The Penang Syariah Court on Thursday allowed Muslim convert Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah (Tan Ean Hung) to return to Buddhism.
The court criticised the state religious council for not ensuring Siti Fatimah practised Islam.
April 25, 2008
PENANG: The Syariah High Court here has yet to deliver judgment on the position of a Muslim convert seeking to renounce Islam after her Iranian husband left her.
The parties were told that the court had yet to receive the written judgment of Perlis Syariah Court chief judge Othman Ibrahim who had originally heard the matter when they turned up at the court yesterday.
The court here postponed the case to May 8.
Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah, 39, whose Chinese name is Tan Ean Huang, had filed an application to renounce Islam at the Syariah High Court here in May 2006.
In her affidavit, Siti Fatimah claimed she converted to Islam in July 1998 for the sake of marrying an Iranian named Ferdoun Ashanian in 1999.
She claimed Ferdoun left her a few months after their marriage and she stopped practising Islam. She also said she has no knowledge of his whereabouts.
Siti Fatimah said she had maintained her Buddhist leanings and prayed to deities like Tua Pek Kong, Kuan Yin and Thi Kong.
She wanted the state Islamic Affairs Council to declare that she is no longer a Muslim, under Section 61 (3) of the Penang Islamic Administration Enactment.
She also wanted an order from the court to change the religious status on her identity card from Muslim to Buddhist.
Ahmad Jailani Abdul Ghani represented Siti Fatimah while Ahmad Munawir Abdul Aziz represented the council.