Malaysian court declines Hindu widow’s appeal


Kuala Lumpur : A Malaysian court Friday rejected the appeal of a Hindu widow to determine the religious status of her husband who was buried as a Muslim five years ago.

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The Court of Appeal ruled that the Civil High Court had no jurisdiction to determine the religious status of late Sgt M. Moorthy, whose conversion to Islam has been disputed by his wife S. Kaliammal, 35.

Moorthy, who was with the Projek Malaysia Everest 1997 expedition, died Dec 20, 2005. He was 36.

The former army lance corporal was said to have converted to Islam Oct 11, 2004, and adopted the name Mohammad Abdullah without informing his family, The Star newspaper said Friday.

Kaliammal appealed at the High Court for, among others, a declaration that her late husband was not a Muslim.

On Dec 29, 2005, the Appellate and Special Powers High Court ruled that it would not disturb the declaration that Moorthy was a Muslim because the matter was under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

The court made the ruling after the council produced a Syariah Court order that Moorthy died a Muslim.

Moorthy joined the armed forces in 1988 and was absorbed into the Commando Unit.

He was paralysed from the chest down after injuring his neck while attempting to somersault over a barrier at the Sungai Udang camp in Malacca Aug 14, 1998.

Multi-ethnic Malaysia has significant minorities of Chinese and Indians. Conversion to Islam without informing the spouse, and involving children, have caused many court disputes.