Political & judicial authority

Issues concerning democracy, citizenship, law, politics, media, religion / Church and society, ...

Path To Leave Islam Simple But Far From Easy

An Indian woman whose Hindu wedding was recently disrupted by Selangor Islamic officials insisting she is Muslim despite her efforts to leave Islam has again put the spotlight on the difficulties in exiting the religion.

Like many Malaysians who dispute their official identities as Muslims, she was told to go to the Shariah courts in order to remove the status from her official documents. Read more »

Archbiship John Ha: Federal Government Has Competence To Rescind Ban On Use Of The Word “Allah”

Like all Heads of Churches – and for that matter, like most, if not all Christians – I am very disappointed by and deeply concerned over the implications of the Federal Court’s decision not to grant leave to the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to bring the “Herald case” (the ban of the use of the term “Allah” by the Herald) to the Federal Court.

Nonetheless, there is the consolation that the decision was not unanimous. Three of the seven judges on the panel gave a dissenting decision. Read more »

Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957

Lord William Reid
Creation date: 
1957 Jan 1

Viewpoint: ‘Allah’ Controversy Resurfaces In Another Court – By Bob Teoh

Far from putting the issue to rest, the Federal Court 4-3 majority judgment last Monday favouring the government over the Herald case now seems to be stirring the hornet's nest in the Jill Ireland case at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning.

Senior counsel Philip Koh, who is keeping a watching brief for the Majlis or council of non-Muslims religions, pointed the case is not confined to Christians as Sikhs and others also use the word 'Allah' to refer to God in their Holy Scriptures. Read more »

Viewpoint: What’s in a word – By Karim Raslam

The Government’s refusal to allow Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ presents a number of challenges.

The dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims first erupted in 2008 when the Home Ministry banned the Herald, the Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia’s weekly newspaper from using it in its Malay-language section.

Seven years on – after numerous court rulings, rhetoric and demonstrations, it remains a painfully divisive issue. In 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled that the use of the word was not an integral part of the Christian faith. Read more »

Fearing Loss Of Malay Rights, Ex-Chief Justice Declines Spot In Unity Council

Former Chief Justice of Malaysia has said he did not want to join the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) as he feared being used by certain parties, who wanted to cast aside Malay rights and the position of Islam in the country.

Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad said he had made up his mind not to join the NUCC even before its composition was unveiled. Read more »

Even The Quran Says ‘Allah’ Used By Christians And Jews, High Court Told

A lawyer, representing a Sarawakian Christian challenging the home ministry's seizure of her religious compact discs for containing the word "Allah", has questioned the ministry's justification that the term was exclusive to Islam and Muslims.

Nizam Bashir told the High Court today that an officer from the ministry had clearly acted on an incorrect basis of fact.

Nizam quoted from affidavits of experts submitted in the case, stressing that the Quran contains references to Christians and Jews using the word “Allah” as a reference to God in affirmative and in encouraging terms. Read more »

History And Constitution Prove We Are Secular State, Says Interfaith Council

The national interfaith council has weighed in on the debate on whether Malaysia is a secular state and if hudud should be implemented in the country, pointing to historical evidence and provisions in the Constitution which dispel any doubts that the nation’s founding fathers had intended the nation to be a secular, not an Islamic state.

Citing historical documents such as the Alliance Memorandum submitted to the Reid Commission in 1956 and the white paper issued by the British government in June 1957, the council pointed out there was no historical document to contradict the fact that Malaysia was intended to be a secular state. Read more »

I Will Not Permit Such A Law As Long As I Am Chief Minister - Adenan Rejects Putrajaya's Allah Ban

Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem told Christians here there was no law in Sarawak that prevents them from using the term ‘Allah’ to refer to God.

“There is no law in Sarawak that says you cannot use the word ‘Allah’, and I will not permit such a law in Sarawak as long as I am the Chief Minister,” he said during a meeting with the people at the Catholic Centre here yesterday. Read more »

Lift The Ban On ‘Allah’, Sarawak Christian Leader Urges Putrajaya

The fact that three out of a seven-man Federal Court bench gave dissenting judgments on the recent "Allah" case is an indication there are cogent grounds for the decision to be reviewed by another panel of the apex court, said a Christian leader from Sarawak.

Archbishop John Ha of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kuching also said given Putrajaya's immediate statement to assure Christians that the ban was limited to the Catholic weekly, Herald, and that the 10-point solution still stood, shows that the Federal government had the power to lift the ban on the use of the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia section of Herald. Read more »

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