Political & judicial authority

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

Protect Rights Of Non-Muslims, Moderates Movement Head Tells Religious Authorities‎

State religious authorities must return to Islam's true teachings and ensure interfaith harmony is preserved in the country, the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) said, in light of the ongoing Bible tussle between Islamic bodies and Christians in Selangor.

GMMF chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said non-Muslims should feel safe living in a country governed by Muslims, as Islam was a religion‎ of peace. Read more »

Don’t Drag The Courts Into Bible Issue, Says Constitutional Lawyer

A constitutional lawyer has criticised the Selangor government for its stand in getting a court order before releasing the Bibles seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia, saying that it was "wrong and irresponsible".

Lawyer Tommy Thomas also said that the state government's refusal to act displayed a weak and indecisive leadership. He explained that since the seizure of the Bibles was an executive decision, the return of the holy books must be done by the executive itself, without having to drag in the courts. Read more »

Christian Paper Loses Battle To Use ‘Allah’

Malaysia’s highest court ruled today that the Catholic newspaper The Herald has no grounds to appeal a lower court’s decision preventing it from using the word “Allah” to refer to God.

The landmark decision on a divisive issue that has fuelled intense debate and heightened religious tensions in the country, brings to an end the Catholic Church’s challenge in the Malaysian court system. Read more »

Bar Council: MAIS and JAIS Should Adhere To Attorney General’s Decision And Abide By Federal Constitution

The Malaysian Bar supports the Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute the Bible Society of Malaysia (“BSM”) over the more than 300 copies of the Alkitab (Bahasa Malaysia bible) and Bup Kudus (Iban bible) that contained the word “Allah” and that were seized by Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (“JAIS”) on 2 January 2014.

The Malaysian Bar views with much concern reports of the refusal by Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (“MAIS”) and JAIS to abide by the findings of the Attorney General and to comply with his request that JAIS take consequential and appropriate action in accordance with the law. Read more »

Bible Society Malaysia: Return The Bibles

The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) welcomes the call by the Prime Minister on 17 June 2014 for the Majlis Agama lslam Selangor (MAIS) to abide by the decision of the Attorney General not to prefer any charges against the Society in relation to the raid on its premises by officers of the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) on 2 January 2014.

This is based on the statement by the Attorney General on 11 June 2014 that no offence had been committed by BSM. Read more »

Minister Cites Wrong Federal Court Ruling In Conversion Issue, Says Bar Council

Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom had cited the wrong Federal Court ruling when he said the unilateral religious conversion of a child by either one parent is allowed by the Federal Constitution, the Malaysian Bar said.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department had cited the Federal Court ruling in the case of Shamala Sathiyaseelan v Dr Jeyaganesh C. Mogarajah.

Bar Council president Christopher Leong, however, said the Federal Court in that case did not make any such ruling. Read more »

Asri: Selangor Is Wrong To Put JAIS Under MAIS

The failure of the Selangor government to resolve religious disputes stem from its own action to place the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) under the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS).

Former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said this situation led to the state government being unable to translate its policies because the religious enforcement agencies were outside the jurisdiction of Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. Read more »

Indonesian Christian To Be Retried For Khalwat In Shariah Court

The Shariah Court of Appeal has ordered an Indonesian Christian to be retried for khalwat, striking off an earlier conviction by Islamic courts here.

Counsel for the Indonesian woman said the retrial will allow him to prove to the court that his client is Christian and not subject to Islamic law. Halimah, 42, was charged and convicted for being in close proximity with a man not her husband or relative — an offence under Islamic law and enforceable exclusively on Muslims. Read more »

Selangor Sultan, MAIS Have No Right To Interfere In Non-Muslims’ Affairs, Says Constitutional Expert

Neither the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) nor the Sultan has any right to interfere in the affairs of non-Muslims, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari (pic) said today, following the uproar over the religious authority’s insistence that it retain the Bibles seized from The Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).

The constitutional expert said issues regarding non-Muslims' faith and religious practices were not under either MAIS's or the Sultan's jurisdiction‎, as the two institutions only had power over the affairs of Muslims. Read more »

Sedition Act Is An Unwanted Relic From Colonial Times, Says NUCC

The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) rebuffed criticism of its proposed replacements for the Sedition Act, pointing out that the existing law is a leftover from the British colonists who once ruled the country.

The council’s Working Committee on Law and Policy chairman Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and the committee’s member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah pointed out that the law which came the end of the Second World War in 1945, was aimed at cracking down on dissent and to suppress freedom movements. Read more »

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