Advocates Association Of Sarawak: To Hold Watching Brief If Herald Appeals Allah Case

The Advocates' Association of Sarawak is deeply concerned with the impact of the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on 14/10/2013 in the Herald case on the constitutional rights of Christians in Sarawak to practice their faith freely and in harmony in any part of the Federation.

Despite the public assurances given by the Federal Government and the State Government of Sarawak, that the decision of the Court of Appeal does not apply to Sabah and Sarawak, the Advocates' Association of Sarawak remain unconvinced that this is the actual legal position.

The common finding of the Court of Appeal that the name "Allah" is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity and that such usage if allowed will inevitably cause confusion within the community, is not stated to be confined to the Christian community in West Malaysia only and the Association is of the view that it may be interpreted to apply throughout Malaysia.

That being the case, the Association is particularly concerned that the provisions relating to religious freedom required by the Borneo States contained in the Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee 1962 appear not to have been brought to the attention of the Court of Appeal for consideration.

The Central Committee of the Association in line with its object to protect and assist the public in Sarawak in all matters touching or ancillary or incidental to the law, may decide to hold a watching brief or act as amicus curae during the hearing of the Herald case, if it goes on appeal to the Federal Court.

Khairil Azmi bin Mohd Hasbie
President
Advocates Association of Sarawak

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