Friday, June 13, 2014

Mother may go on with civil suit

GEORGE TOWN: Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh Deo has not ruled out legal action against the Penang Islamic Religious Department (Jaipp) by the family of the late Teoh Cheng Cheng, who was declared a Buddhist by the Syariah High Court here on Thursday.

Ramkarpal said the family will seriously consider proceeding with the suit as retribution against Jaipp for causing so much agony to the family by its act of taking away Cheng Cheng’s body just minutes before a traditional Chinese funeral procession.

“For now, the family needs time to grieve and we shall proceed when everything has settled down,” he said at the funeral ceremony of Cheng Cheng at the Batu Gantong United Hokkien Cemetery, yesterday.
Jaipp officials had taken Cheng Cheng’s body from her family in Taman Pelangi Apartment, Lebuh Macallum, on Monday, claiming that the deceased has been a Muslim convert since 1997.
Yesterday, the Syariah High Court officially declared that Cheng Cheng was never a Muslim and that she was a Buddhist and ordered the Islamic authorities to return her body to her family.
“The whole fiasco could have been avoided if Jaipp officers had not acted rashly and ‘snatched’ the body without doing their homework first,” said Ramkarpal.
He indicated that Cheng Cheng’s mother Tan Mah Suan, 64, may however withdraw her High Court application to declare her daughter as a non-Muslim.
“The Syariah High Court decision has cleared Cheng Cheng’s religious status and the application would be redundant.”