News from Home, World and the Vatican

News selected by Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur (CLS) for Catholics in Malaysia concerned about social justice and peace.

Includes CLS Internal News | CLS in the News | CLS Press Statements

CLS Press Statement: Setting Up Of Inter-faith Committee

The Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur (CLS) welcomes the setting up of the special inter-faith committee. It is hope that through this committee efforts will be made to promote greater dialogue and understanding amongst the various religious communities in Malaysia.

The presence of such a committee is long overdue. The government’s effort in setting up such a committee is in the right direction towards promoting religious harmony in the country. Read more »

CLS Announcement: Committee Members for 2010/11 Elected

Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur is pleased to announce that the following members were elected as office-bearers of the Committee 2010/11 at the 16th Annual General Meeting held on Mar 27, 2010. Read more »

Malaysia Muslim Mag Sorry For Offending Christians

A Malaysian magazine apologized Saturday for upsetting Christians after it published an article researched by two Muslims who pretended to be Roman Catholics and took Communion in a church.

The apology is likely to soothe frustrations among religious minorities who feel that overzealous government authorities and clerics are trying too hard to champion the interests of Islam and ignoring the rights of non-Muslims. Read more »

Al-Islam Apologises To Christians Over Special Report

The Al-Islam magazine has apologised to the Roman Catholic Church and Christians for publishing a special report which involved the desecration of a religious rite.

The apology was posted on the website of its publisher, Utusan Karya. Read more »

Catholic Church Demands Apology From Al-Islam

 The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, today said the Catholic Church would not pursue legal action against Al-Islam magazine and its reporters who had desecrated a ritual sacred to the Catholic community if it was offered a public apology.

Speaking at a press conference on behalf of the church and the Catholic community at large, Pakiam said it would be enough for the magazine editor and the two reporters to apologise publicly for their acts. Read more »

AG Should Appreciate Severity Of Al-Islam Incident: Catholic Lawyers Society

The Attorney-General should "appreciate the severity" of the conduct of two reporters of a Malay-language periodical who had allegedly desecrated the holy eucharist of the Catholic church and not dismiss their actions off-hand, said Catholic Lawyers Society, Kuala Lumpur, president Mabel Sabastian.

"Ignorance of the law is no defence in the commission of a crime. The A-G as the guardian of our laws must foremost appreciate the severity of the acts and conducts of the offender, particularly bearing in mind the severity of the issues involved in a multiracial society like ours," she said. Read more »

AG Should Explain Why Journalists Not Prosecuted: Pakiam

The Attorney-General should explain why he decided not to prosecute two Al-Islam reporters for desecrating a Catholic rite, said Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam.

"I appeal to the Attorney-General to explain the decision not to take further action in the Al-Islam journalists' case. An explanation should be given to the complainants and clarification to the church authorities," said Pakiam, who referred to the incident last year. Read more »

AG Decides Not To Charge Al-Islam Reporters

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has decided not to press charges against the two reporters who wrote an article about the church and Islam in a magazine.

He said taking stern action would not be in the interest of justice, peace and harmony at this particular time.

"I have previously decided similarly in other cases where the circumstances were quite similar involving other religions, under those circumstances taking serious action would not be in the interest of justice at that particular time," he said in a statement, here today. Read more »

Nazri: Sabah, Sarawak, Penang, FT Can Now Use 'Allah'

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz, who commented last week that non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak should be allowed to use the word Allah, said today that those in Penang and the Federal Territories could also use the word as there is no state enactment to prohibit its usage.

The Constitution clearly says no religion, except for Islam, can be propagated among the Muslims, Mohd Nazri, who is the de facto law minister, told reporters after launching the public transport consumer rights awareness campaign here. Read more »

Two Arson Bids In Taiping, Black Paint Hurled At Malacca Church

Two cases of attempted arson were reported here involving a church and a school. And black paint was splashed on the outer wall of a Malacca church.

The locations affected on Sunday were the All Saints' Church at Jalan Taming Sari and SMK Convent along Jalan Convent. In Malacca, it was the Malacca Baptist Church in Durian Daun. Read more »

Stay granted on ‘Allah’ ruling

The High Court granted the Home Ministry a stay of execution on the recent ruling allowing the Herald weekly magazine to use the word “Allah” in its Malay-language edition, pending the hearing of an appeal.

The lawyers representing the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, as publisher of the Catholic weekly, agreed to the stay by the Home Ministry and Justice Lau Bee Lan granted the stay in chambers, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail. Read more »

Home Ministry Applies For Stay Of Court Order On Use Of "Allah"

The Home Ministry today filed an application to stay the execution of the High Court ruling that the word "Allah" can be used by the Catholic weekly magazine, Herald.

The application was filed at the High Court Registry here.

Yesterday, the ministry lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal against the ruling. Read more »

Malaysian Court Rules Non-Muslims May Call God Allah

A court in Malaysia has ruled that Christians have a constitutional right to use the word Allah to refer to God.

The High Court said a government ban on non-Muslims using the word was unconstitutional.

The court was ruling on a lawsuit filed by the Herald, a publication of the Catholic Church in Malaysia, in 2007. Read more »

Conversion Still A Problem

Despite cabinet announcements about conversions to Islam and proposed legal amendments to allow a Muslim convert to divorce in the civil court, other scenarios arising from conversions are not being addressed.

As a result, numerous conversion cases are not being resolved and beg the question of how effective the state’s response has been to the complex issue of conversion to Islam in Malaysia. Read more »

Jan 12 Hearing For Woman Over Seized Religious CDs

The High Court has fixed Jan 12 to hear the case of Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill who is challenging the Home Ministry’s decision to confiscate eight compact discs of Christian religious teachings containing the word “Allah”.

Justice Alizatul Khair Osman set the date in chambers after the case was called for mention yesterday. Read more »

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