- On 18.12.2004, the respondent was married to the late Mr Wong Thien Teck (‘the deceased’) by way of a Chinese customary marriage (‘the marriage’). The marriage was not registered under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (‘the LRA’).
- The deceased collapsed and died due to non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke.
- As a widow of the deceased, the respondent claimed for a survivor’s pension (‘the claim’) from the Social Security Organization (‘SOCSO’) under s 20A(1)(a) of the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (‘the ESSA’). SOCSO dismissed the claim on the sole ground that the marriage was not registered under LRA (‘SOCSO’s decision’).
- As such, the respondent appealed to the Social Security Appellate Board (‘the Board’) against SOCSO’s decision. The respondent’s appeal was allowed by the Board.
- The present appeal was against the Board’s decision pursuant to s 91(1) of the ESSA. The present appeal raised the sole issue of whether the wife of an insured person as defined in s 2(11) of the ESSA was a dependant of the insured person within the meaning of s 2(3) of the ESSA when their marriage was not registered under the LRA.
- The others issues were: (a) whether ss 5(4), 22(4) and 27 LRA had any effect on the interpretation of the term dependant in s 2(3) ESSA; and (b) from the view point of the stare decisis doctrine, what was the effect of a decision of the Federal Court which reversed the Court of Appeal’s judgment but there was no written judgment of the Federal Court.
Held, dismissing appeal with costs and affirming the Board’s decision:
- A literal interpretation of the definition of ‘dependant’ in s 2(3) of the ESSA did not support the mandatory registration (non-Muslim marriages). This literal construction of the meaning of ‘dependant’ in s 2(3) of the ESSA was clear. Parliament had amended the definition of dependant in s 2(3) ESSA as in Act A450, Act A675, Act A814 and Act A1232. If Parliament had intended to insert the mandatory registration for non-Muslim marriages in the definition of dependant in s 2(3) of the ESSA, Parliament would have expressly done so by way of any one of the four amendments. Parliament however did not do so. The ESSA was a social piece of legislation with the purpose of providing social security in certain contingencies. A purposive interpretation of the definition of dependant in s 2(3) of the ESSA did not require the imposition of the mandatory registration for non-Muslim marriages.
- The court of the view that SOCSO’s reliance on ss 5(4), 22(4) and 27 of the LRA was misplaced. The LRA was only concerned with the matters of the requirement of monogamous non-Muslim marriages; the solemnisation of non-Muslim marriages; the mandatory registration of non-Muslim marriages; and the amendments and consolidation of the law relating to divorce among non-Muslims and there was no provision in LRA regarding social security. It was therefore clear that the LRA did not concern with social security which was provided by ESSA and cases decided regarding LRA were not applicable in the construction of the definition of ‘dependant’ in s 2(3) of the ESSA .
- When a court delivered a decision but there was no written judgment regarding the decision, the decision was not a binding precedent under the stare decisis doctrine as decided in Syahin Hafiy Danial bin Soh Ahmad Luptepi Amin v Mansur bin Yunus & Anor  MLJU 914 (see para 24).
Source: Ketua Pengarah Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial v Wong Ton Feng  12 MLJ 625. High Court Shah Alam. Wong Kian Kheong J.
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Family Law — Marriage — Customary marriage — Respondent’s marriage under Chinese customary marriage was not registered — Whether respondent entitled to survivor pension under Social Security Organization (‘SOCSO’) — Whether wife of insured person was a dependant of insured person within meaning of s 2(3) of Employee’s Social Security Act 1969 (‘ESSA’) — Whether provisions in Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 had any effect on interpretation of term dependant — Employee’s Social Security Act 1969 s 2(3) — Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 ss 5(4), 22(4) & 27 Civil Procedure — Judgment — Federal Court delivered decision without written judgment — Whether Federal Court’s decision without written judgment was binding precedent under stare decisis doctrine
#没有结婚注册 #不是合法太太 #不是合法妻子 #SOCSO