Shariah High Court rules RM100 million ‘mutaah’ excessive, reduces claim to RM30 million

The multi million Ringgit ‘mutaah’ claim filed by the former wife of Sarawak business entrepreneur Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib was today reduced to RM30 million after taking into consideration that the original application for RM100 million was excessive.


Kuala Lumpur Shariah High Court Judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab ruled that former wife Shahnaz Abdul Majid was entitled in accordance to the capability of her former husband, the lifestyle that they once had together and for an amount to help her begin a new chapter in life after the divorce.

Lawyers Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar and Saadiah Din appeared for Datuk Seri Mahmud. They expressed their disappointment at the ruling and have received instructions from Datuk Seri Mahmud to immediately file an appeal with the Shariah Court of Appeal, the highest court in the Shariah judicial system against the whole order today.

“We will also apply for a stay order on the three staggered payments ruled by the court,” said Datuk Zainul Rijal.

“At the onset, it must be emphasised that the objective of ‘mutaah’ or conciliatory gift is to provide for a former wife the ability to begin a new life.

The excessive claim for ‘mutaah’ was challenged when it was argued if Shahnaz was credible and deserving of such quantum under Shariah laws and provisions, and if the measure of a former husband’s wealth in the determination of ‘mutaah’ was within the parameters for adjudication.

Further this is a ‘mutaah’ claim, not a matrimonial assets division claim.

Mutaah claims under Shariah in other Islamic nations of the world prescribe a minimum of 30 Dirhams as the conciliatory gift. Translated into gold, this would amount to 100.8 grams or a Ringgit value equivalent of RM14,112.00.

Section 56 of the Mutaah Act prescribes that a husband should pay a fair amount.

Citations had been presented to underscore that the measure of a husband’s wealth could not be applied in the determination of ‘mutaah’ under Shariah law and principles.

A 151-page written submission supported by 76 legal authorities on Shariah was filed earlier by Datuk Seri Mahmud for the adjudication.

According to e-Shariah filings, there have been a total of 39 applications and cases between Shahnaz and Datuk Seri Mahmud.

Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib had on 14 July 2015 successfully obtained an order from the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Appeals Court which ruled unanimously in his favour that his only son Raden Murya Abdul Taib Mahmud was matured and capable enough to apply for child maintenance on his own accord.

Shahnaz had claimed in excess of RM121 million for child maintenance for Raden to include a terrace house in London (RM60 million), a residence in Bukit Tunku (RM10 million), two Aston Martins (RM5.5 million), medical insurance (RM5 million) and a private trust fund (RM40 million) to be held and managed by her.

The Appellate Court ruled that the application by Shahnaz on behalf of her son was against the law and hukum syarak. The provisions of the Age of Majority Act, 1971, stipulates that a person having attained the age of 18, had the capacity to be an independent litigant as a major.