Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Tun Abdul Taib, the son of the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sarawak, today succeeded in his bid for an interim stay on paying “mutaah” (alimony) of RM30 million to his former wife Shahnaz Abdul Majid.
Syariah High Court Judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab made the decision after allowing an application by Mahmud Abu Bekir for the interim stay through his lawyer Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar.
In his judgement, Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab said the court made the decision after considering all the evidence and arguments submitted, to avoid loss to both sides.
Muhamad Abdul Karim said the court took into account the difficulties of Mahmud Abu Bekir as applicant to pay such a large amount of “mutaah” in a short time, namely via instalments every three months from March 31.
“The court also took into account the amount to be paid is large and forces the applicant to apply for loan, which will cause irreversible losses or loss of property which cannot be evaluated in terms of ringgit and sen.
“After being satisfied with all the evidence submitted, the court allows the applicant an interim stay pending appeal to the Syariah Appeals Court,” said the judge.
On March 10, Muhamad Abdul Karim had ordered Mahmud Abu Bekir to pay the amount after deciding that Shahnaz, 53, had the right to receive the money (RM30 million) taking into account her sadness after being neglected for more than 10 years by Mahmud Abu Bekir.
On June 9, 2011, Shahnaz, sister to singer, Shiela Majid, represented by lawyer Dr Mohd Rafie Shafie had filed a “mutaah” claim for RM100 million.
The couple, who were married on Jan 9, 1992, have a son, Raden Murya, 23, but were divorced (first pronouncement) on May 11, 2011.
Earlier, during the proceedings, Muhamad Abdul Karim said the court was of the opinion that news portal reports on a statement by Shahnaz of her aspiration to donate one third of the “mutaah” amount to the less fortunate, other than paying legal fees, was seen as subjudice and mocking the court’s decision.
“In addition, the statement is seen as capable of raising prejudice to Mahmud Abu Bekir if Shahnaz’ appeal was allowed because the ownership of the amount had shifted to Shahnaz,” he said.
The judge also ticked off the lawyers who used many civil cases rather than syariah cases as their guidance and references in handling the case.
“It does not mean that the lawyers cannot use civil cases as references, but as this case in being heard in this court, it is appropriate to prioritise syariah cases as references,” he added.