Appeal against ruling on naming of illegitimate kids

KUALA LUMPUR • The National Registration Department (NRD) in Malaysia has said it is keeping its system of disallowing a Muslim child born out of wedlock to take the father's name or surname, despite a new ruling by the Court of Appeal that it must change this practice.

NRD director-general Mohd Yazid Ramli said it has filed an appeal against the appellate court's decision to the Federal Court, the country's highest court.

The issue has divided Malaysian Muslims, with conservatives saying the NRD must continue to follow a 2003 fatwa (Islamic edict) on the matter. Others say the government department must abide by the court's ruling as the fatwa has no force of law.

The Court of Appeal ruling came about after a Muslim couple in Johor who had a child five months into their marriage applied to have the child's name reflect that of her father. Following the edict means the child would instead be named "bin/binte Abdullah" - son/daughter of a servant of Allah.

Datuk Mohd Yazid said he will await the Federal Court's ruling before deciding on the next step.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 30, 2017, with the headline 'Appeal against ruling on naming of illegitimate kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe