Church argues illogical to bar ‘Allah’ with Cabinet’s 10-point solution

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 22 — The Catholic Church argued in the Court of Appeal here today that it is illogical to prohibit its newspaper from using the word “Allah” when Putrajaya had allowed shipments of Malay-language bibles containing the Arabic word in 2011.

Lawyer Porres Royan said the Cabinet issued a 10-point solution in April 2011 that allowed bibles in Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and in indigenous languages to be imported for the use of the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak.

“If the Cabinet allowed the use of the word by Christian communities in bibles, it must follow that the word can be used in a newspaper,” Porres told the court.

“You cannot have the word used in a Bible, but not a publication,” he added.

Porres also stressed that the Cabinet, under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had stated that its 10-point solution was to resolve the blockade of Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia bibles, as well as “other religious issues... and Christian materials”.

“For that reason, there’s no controversy between the parties. The appeal, therefore, we ask to be struck out,” said Porres.

Putrajaya is appealing the 2009 landmark High Court judgment that allowed the Catholic Church’s weekly paper, Herald, to use the word “Allah” in reference to God, ruling that the Arabic word was not exclusive to Muslims.

The Catholic Church, however, is applying to strike out the federal government’s appeal.

About 200 protesters from Muslim groups, including Malay rights lobby Perkasa, rallied outside the courthouse today from as early as 8am while the courtroom inside was packed.

Suzanna Atan, senior federal counsel for the government, insisted today that the “appeal is not academic”.

“The 10-point solution is on the Bible issue,” she argued.

“The case before this court is on the exercise of the minister’s discretion on the Printing and Presses Publications Act (PPPA),” she said.

Mubashir Mansor, lawyer for the Terengganu Islamic Council which is an intervenor in the appeal, argued that the Catholic Church was relying on “inadmissible” facts as the 10-point solution was only issued in 2011, two years after the Home Ministry subjected the Herald’s publication permit to the condition that the word “Allah” was prohibited.

“Any subsequent fact to the decision of the Home Ministry on 7 January 2009 is irrelevant for the purposes of the judicial review,” said Mubashir.

“The prime minister’s letter did not say that the Herald, which was subject to the High Court judicial review, could use the sacred word ‘Allah’,” he added.

Haniff Khatri, lawyer for the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association, another intervenor, argued that then-Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had submitted an affidavit, saying that the “word ‘Allah’ was not considered at all” in the Cabinet’s 10-point solution.

“It’s very clear that the Cabinet, for its intent of the issuance of the directive, was in regards to the movement of bibles from outside to inside of the country, and vice-versa,” he said.

“There is nowhere in this resolution on any directives made on the contents of the bible,” added Haniff.

The Najib administration issued the 10-point solution in April 2011, ahead of the Sarawak state election, for east Malaysia to end a Home Ministry blockade of shipments of Christian holy scripture in the Malay language.

The Cabinet, through Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala, stated in the resolution that the large Bumiputera Christian population in Sabah and Sarawak could use their holy books in the Malay and indigenous languages.

The three-man Court of Appeal Bench led by Justice Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin is set to make a decision on the Catholic Church’s bid to strike out Putrajaya’s appeal later this afternoon.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 42 minutes ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 7 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report 8 hours ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Body found of boy who made first call from Korea ferry: report

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them.

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.