CFM: Christians Extremely Disappointed With Refusal To Grant Leave To Appeal To Federal Court

The Christian Federation of Malaysia is naturally extremely disappointed that the Federal Court has refused leave for The Roman Catholic Church to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in The Herald case.

We continue to maintain that the decision of the Court of Appeal, and its reasoning in arriving at their decision, were so critically flawed in so many respects. Simple justice would have mandated an appeal, to rectify the many incorrect and inaccurate statements and observations of the Court of Appeal that led to its decision.

Serious negative repercussions for the freedom of religion for the Christian community in Malaysia as a whole emanate from those statements and observations, but sadly The Roman Catholic Church has been denied the opportunity of challenging them before our apex court.

The Attorney General had previously publicly pointed out in his statement issued on 20th October 2013 that this decision is only with respect to the use of the word “Allah” in The Herald newspaper. As legal advisor to the Government of Malaysia, we will hold him and the Government of Malaysia to that position.

Given the refusal to grant The Roman Catholic Church leave to appeal, we will in proceeding with our actions and activities therefore treat the decision of the Court of Appeal as being confined to the specific facts of that particular case, and otherwise maintain that the Christian community continues to have the right to use the word “Allah” in our Bibles, church services and Christian gatherings in our on-going ministry to our Bahasa Malaysia-speaking congregations, as we have done all this while.

There are several pending cases before our courts that involve this issue. We will have to see whether these will provide alternative avenues to uphold and defend freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression in Malaysia.

In the meantime, we call on the Christian community in Malaysia to remain steadfast in their faith and courageous in the face of much prolonged adversity.

Yours sincerely,
Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng,
Chairman and the Executive Committee,
The Christian Federation of Malaysia

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