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: Memorandum On Sacrilegious Act By Al Islam Journalist

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society Kuala Lumpur (CLS) have today handed over to YB Datuk Abu Seman Yusof, The Honourable Deputy Minister(1), a Memorandum on the “Article in the May Issue of Al Islam entitled “Tinjuan Al Islam dalam gereja – mencari kesahihan remaja melayu murtad” (Impugned Article).

Also present at the meeting were Datuk Markiman, Special Assistant to the Minister, Datuk Micheal Chong, Advisor to the Minister cum Special Officer to the Ministry. Representatives from CLS were Mabel Sabastian, President, Joy Appukutan, Vice President, Francis Pereira, Past President and Rev. Fr. O C Lim SJ, Spiritual Advisor of the Society. Read more »

AG Yet To Decide On Al Islam Reporters

More than a month after police concluded their investigations, the Attorney General's Chambers has yet to decide on whether to charge or not to proceed with a complaint against two reporters of an Islamic magazine who allegedly wrote an article offensive to Christians.

Police said they had submitted investigation papers on the article in Al Islam to the AG's Chambers about a month ago and were awaiting instructions. Read more »

Court Allows Religious Councils To Be Interveners In Herald Case

The High Court today allowed Islamic religious councils from seven states and the Federal Territory, together with the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association, to be interveners in a judicial review case on the use of the word "Allah" in the Catholic newsletter Herald.

However, High Court judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan, who made the decision in her chambers today, did not allow Majlis Gurdwara Malaysia to be an intervener. Read more »

CLS Press Statement: Sacrilegious Act By Journalist

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society Kuala Lumpur expresses dismay over the recent article appearing in the May issue of Al-Islam entitled ‘Tinjauan Al Islam Dalam Gereja – Mencari Kesahihan remaja Melayu Murtad’.

The article written by Muhd. Ridhwan Abdul Jalil @ Erwanz, displays utmost disrespect to the Catholic community when he admitted consuming Holy Communion and photographing the sacred specie. Although a police report has been lodged, no charges have yet been brought against the writer, the editor or even the publishers of the magazine. Read more »

A Catholic’s Perspective On The Al Islam Issue — Gregory Chan

For too long, the sensitivities of Catholics have been brushed aside by misinformed Muslims acting on the excuse of ferreting out "murtad" cases.

In 2007, the Holy Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Silibin, Ipoh, was disrupted when a group of Muslims received a controversial SMS that we were "converting" Muslims en masse. This was proved to be unequivocally false. Read more »

Nine Detained Over Alleged Conversion at UPM

Two Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) students and seven friends, including six from Hong Kong, were detained by police for almost 20 hours following police reports alleging they had attempted to spread Christianity to Muslim undergraduates at the campus in Serdang.

It is learnt that the UPM students were visited by the foreigners and a local woman late on Wednesday at the university grounds and later proceeded to the canteen near their hostel at about 9pm. Read more »

CIJ: Al Islam Breached Code Of Ethics

Al Islam magazine clearly violated journalistic ethics when it went undercover at a Catholic mass and partook of the holy communion, the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) said today.

"I don't question the subject matter of the story, which was about finding out about alleged conversions of Muslims to Christianity. It is a valid subject as it is the concern of a particular community. Read more »

Two Malaysian Muslims Stir Anger Over Church Article

Malaysian authorities are investigating two Muslims who sparked complaints after they pretended to be Christians at a church service to write a magazine article, officials said Tuesday.

The investigation poses a fresh challenge for the government in its efforts to reduce religious friction in this ethnic Malay Muslim-majority country, where religious minorities have complained that their rights are being sidelined in favor of Islam. Read more »

Fr Jean Claude Questioned By Police

On May 22, Fr Jean-Claude Lourdes, the administrator for the Chapel of St John Triang was called in for questioning at the Triang Police Station. The Triang Chapel is an 83 year old chapel, that the Pahang Government is threatening to demolish.

This instruction allegedly came from the Inspector General of Police (IGP). When he reported at the Police Station at 2.30pm, he was made to wait until 4.00pm before he was questioned by a female officer in plainclothes whom he believes is a member of the Special Branch. Read more »

Court Dismisses Herald's Application For Stay Of Decision

The High Court today dismissed an application by the Herald Catholic Weekly for an order to stay a Home Ministry decision prohibiting the use of the word "Allah" in its publication.

High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) judge Lau Bee Lan made the decision in her chambers after hearing submissions from counsel S. Selvarajah and Porres Royan for the applicant, Archbishop Datuk Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam, and Senior Federal Counsel Munahyza Mustaffa and Andi Razalijaya A Dadi for the Home Ministry, as the respondent. Read more »

Viewpoint: Religion And Human Rights

On Tuesday, 28 April 2009, The Star published an article by Dr Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad under the column IKIM's Views on the question of religion and human rights in Malaysia.

We the undersigned wrote a rebuttal. The Star has chosen not to publish our rebuttal.

We would appreciate the opportunity of presenting a different perspective to that expressed by Wan Azhar in respect of religion and human rights in Malaysia. Read more »

Government Rules Out Children’s Conversions

The government moved today to soothe uneasiness over Islamic conversion of minors when it decided that children should be raised in the faith of their parents while they were married even if one spouse becomes a Muslim.

The Cabinet decided this yesterday amid simmering tension over a case of three Indian children converted to Islam by their father without the mother’s consent. Read more »

Herald: No Hidden Agenda To Confuse Muslims

A Malay- Arabic word has been politicized and it has become the bone of contention for some people.

The Kuala Terengganu UMNO delegate Datuk Zubir mbong at their recently concluded UMNO General Assembly said that he was “very suspicious why Christians want to translate the word God into ‘Allah’. I think they want to confuse young Muslims.” Read more »

CLS Announcement: Committee Members for 2009/10 Elected

Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur is pleased to announce that the following were elected as office-bearers of the Committee 2009/10 at the 15th Annual General Meeting held on Mar 2009. Read more »

CLS Press Statement: Stop The Discussions On Herald Case!

Recently there has been a spate of reports and discussions reported in the media with respect to the Herald Case.

As recent as 17 February 2009, TV-1 (RTM-1) aired a program entitled ISU@1 where a panel consisting of a “selective group” discussed the issue concerning the use of the term “Allah” with reference to the Herald Case.

The views of the panellists in the program were biased. The views expressed in the program are attempts to interfere with the proceedings in the Herald Case even before the Kuala Lumpur High Court could adjudicate on the matter. Read more »

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