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Syariah Appeal Court rejects bid for verification of beneficiaries
Published on: Friday, November 17, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The Syariah Appeal Court here dismissed an application by Pangiran Ag. Damit bin Pangiran Awang Tengah for an order of verification of beneficiaries over a piece of land in Karambunai, following the death of the owners.

The decision was meted out Wednesday by a panel of two appeal judges namely the new Chief Syariah Malaysia cum Syariah Judiciary Malaysia Director-General Dato' Mukhyuddin bin Ibrahim and Datuk Aidi bin Moktar after submissions by the appellant and two respondents who are twin brothers, Ak. Ahmad Shah bin Pg Yusof and Ak. Othman Shah bin Pg. Yusof.

Ag Damit filed an appeal on Dec 18, 2015 over his application to obtain an order that verified him as the beneficiaries of the land in Karambunai after the death of the main owner, Pg Siti Fatimah Pg Jalaludin, and inherited by her two deceased daughters, Pg. Siti Hafsah Pg Mohd Salleh and Pg Siti Hamidah Pg Mohd Salleh via a Native Court order then.

He filed the notice following a decision by the Kota Kinabalu Syariah High Court on Dec. 17, 2015 that rejected his (Ag Damit) application to seek an order of verification of beneficiary over the said land in Karambunai.

Based on the facts of case, each daughter received half of the said land and Siti Hafsah made a will and gave all her share to her two sons, Ak Ahmad Shah and Ak Othman Shah, who are respondents in this case while Siti Hamidah who did not marry and passed away had rendered her share to Pg Siti Alimah binti Datu Hussein, who was the mother to the two respondents. Upon her death, the twin brothers inherited the share.

The Syariah Appeal Court said the panel has decided verification of beneficiary in the case cannot stand by itself as the appellant needed to state particulars of the estate involved or property of the deceased including its value.

The panel also affirmed decision of the Syariah High Court over the case which, among others, upheld a suggestion by the Syariah High Court that the verification of beneficiaries over the said land should be raised and heard in the High Court together with application for Faraid (Islamic method in distribution of inheritance) distribution of the property and other estate matters of the deceased.

Prior to the decision in 2015, the Syariah High Court in 2011 had allowed the application by the twin brothers for a judicial review of the decision by a Syariah Lower Court over the issuance of a letter of administration to Pangiran Ag Damit Ag Tengah.

Judge Ahmad Din OKK Othman then set aside the order issued by the Kota Kinabalu West Coast Lower Syariah Court on Feb. 14, 2007 pertaining to the letter of administration to Ag Damit as administrator and heir of the said land in Karambunai as well as to the savings in the Amanah Raya Bank Berhad belonging to Siti Fatimah, Siti Hafsah and Pg Jalaludin Pg Rauf.

The Syariah High Court also set aside the execution of the order that was issued on Feb. 11, 2008.

When met outside the court, Ak Ahmad Shah told Daily Express he was pleased with the decision of the Court over the application made by the appellant Pg. Awang Damit as he (Ahmad Shah) believed that justice will prevail.

He said he is contemplating filing a civil suit against Awang Damit for RM50 million for allegedly saying that he (Ahmad Shah) and his twin brother Othman Shah were "foster children" of their mother Siti Alimah and having no family ties with the Siti Fatimah family tree.

Ahmad Shah also said the piece of land in Karambunai inherited by him and his twin brother is estimated to be over 3,000 acres and includes the Nexus Karambunai Hotel but not the Sepangar naval base. - Hayati Dzulkifli

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