Mahmud wins preliminary battle in child maintenance saga

In the heavily contentious multi-million Ringgit child maintenance demands filed by Shahnaz Abdul Majid against her former husband Sarawak business entrepreneur Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Appeals Court, today unanimously ruled in Mahmud’s favour that their only son was matured enough to apply for maintenance on his own.

Zainul2The highest court in the Shariah judicial system dismissed Shahnaz’s application to strike out Mahmud’s application to review a High Court order of 2013 which ruled that she may act on her son’s behalf to claim for her son’s maintenance. This led Mahmud to apply to review the order at the Shariah Appellate Court today.

The appeals court heard that the couple’s son had under the provisions of the Age of Majority Act, 1971, reached the age of 18 and therefore, in full capacity to be an independent litigant as a major.

Raden, born on 11 December 1993, would today be 21 years 6 months old. Their son, it was contended, is a full grown adult and no longer to be cared under his mother’s watch.

The apex Shariah court ruled that they had the power to hear the review and there was no irregularity in Mahmud’s application. Shahnaz’s argument that the proper procedure to commence by appeal and not by review, was deemed without merit.

The Appeals Court had also deemed that Rules of Procedure were not irregular and with no defects. The points raised in Mahmud’s application were of merit.

Shahnaz in her application, had claimed in excess of RM121 million for child maintenance for Raden Murya Abdul Taib Mahmud 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.

Lawyers acting for Datuk Seri Mahmud would now apply for a stay of execution of the Shariah High Court ruling that had earlier granted Shahnaz child maintenance and to apply to strike out the ruling.

The presiding appeal judges today were Chief Shariah High Court Judge of Wilayah Persekutuan Datuk Mahammad bin Ibrahim; Chief Shariah High Court Judge of Perak Datuk Muhamad Asri bin Abdullah and Shariah High Court Appeals Judge Datuk Yusof bin Musa.

Mahmud, the son of Sarawak Governor Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, was represented by his legal counsels Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar and Saadiah Din.

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