KOTA KINABALU - The Sabah Islamic authority will study the case of an underage girl who allegedly converted to Islam at a school hostel.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department Datuk Arifin Mohd Arif said the Sabah Islamic and Religious Affairs Department would look at the issues at hand.
"We are studying it," he told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Syariah Court Complex next to the city mosque yesterday.
Earlier, police said that the student was still considered a Christian because she was underage and did not have supporting documents stating that she was officially a Muslim although the girl claimed that she had declared the kalimah shahada in front of a former warden.
State Education Director Datuk Jame Alip, however, said they were not sure of her religious status but would leave the matter to the state religious authorities to decide.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who was at the event, said Islamic laws and religious affairs in Sabah were expected to be elevated once the state Syariah Court Complex was completed.
The RM63million (S$23 million) building which is expected to be completed on July 9, 2018, will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities among others.
Musa said the Syariah Complex would house a court of appeal, two high courts, three lower courts, judge and officers' rooms, an information technology centre, a surau, a cafeteria and a library.
Musa also said this proved the government's commitment in upgrading the Syariah law and court on par with Civil courts.
Earlier in the event, minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the project was a step closer to ensuring that Islamic laws were looked upon as one important entity.
"We want to change the perception that Islamic or Syariah laws are not as important as civil laws in this country," he said in his speech which was delivered by Chief Syarie Judge for the Department of Syariah Judiciary Malaysia Tan Sri Dr Ibrahim Lembut.
Aid for flood victims amounting to RM300,000 and a RM980,000 assistance for religious matters were also handed over to the state government at the event.