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

Catholic Priest Among 21 Charged In PJ Court

The parish priest of the Catholic church in Shah Alam was among 21 people charged in the Sessions Court this morning with taking part in an illegal assembly in Petaling Jaya and failing to obey a police order to disperse on Oct 9 last year.

Rev Father Paulino Miranda, who appeared in court dressed in the white robe and high collar of a priest, was made to stand outside the dock in the public galley, alongside 14 others, while the charges were read out to him. Read more »

Catholic Priest To Be Charged For Taking Part In Bersih Rally

A Catholic priest from Shah Alam will be charged at the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court tomorrow for taking part in an illegal assembly organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, better known by its Malay acronym Bersih.

Rev Father Paulino Miranda was among 24 people who were arrested at the PJ Civic Centre in November last year, allegedly for taking part in an illegal rally, organised by Bersih in conjunction with its first anniversary. Read more »

Herald Language Ban Unconstitutional, Say Catholic Lawyers

The Catholic Lawyer’s Society of Kuala Lumpur claimed today that the Home Ministry’s decision to ban the Bahasa Melayu edition of the Herald is unconstitutional.

Society President Mabel Sebastian said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s decision to bar the Malay edition inside the weekly paper contravened Article 3(1), 10(1)(a), 11(1) and (3) of the constitution which “grants the right to freely practise one’s religion, the general freedom of speech and expression and the right of every person and religious group to propagate and manage its own religious affairs”. Read more »

CLS Press Statement: Unconstitutional Restrictions Imposed On Herald

The Catholic Lawyers' Society, Kuala Lumpur read with great disappointment the restrictions imposed by the Minister of Home Affairs in granting the printing and publishing permit of the Herald with the prohibition of the printing & publication of the Bahasa Malaysia segment in the Herald.

The Society is dismayed that the Minister prohibits the printing and publication of the Bahasa Malaysia segment of the Herald pending the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court on the use of the word `Allah' when the two are unrelated. Read more »

CLS Press Statement: Warning And “Show Cause” Letters Issued To Herald

A series of warning letters culminating in a “show cause” letter have been issued by the Home Ministry to the HERALD-The Catholic Weekly in respect of articles carried by the paper which, according to an official from the Home Ministry, were allegedly “politically inclined and touched on Islamic issues”.

The Herald is a weekly publication printed by the Catholic Church in Malaysia. It carries news of current affairs and religious and educational articles with a view to propagating the Catholic faith. Read more »

Human Rights And The Law: Time For The Truth On May 13

An article entitled “It need not remain a black day” which appeared in the Sunday Star (May 11) called for the establishment of a truth commission on May 13.

There should only be a rational acceptance of the events of May 13, 1969 upon full and frank disclosure of every detail of what had happened on that tragic day. We are living to remember and not to forget. The blood of the defenceless; the bitterness of the survivors are unforgettable. Read more »

Malaysia Hindu Sangam's Statement: Majlis Agama Islam Perak Should Respect Federal Constitution And Federal Court

We refer to the report in the Malaysia Nanban on Tuesday, 24th June 2008 (page 3) regarding the turmoil faced by the family of the late Elangesvaran.

We understand that the late Elangesvaran allegedly converted to Islam at some point. He has now committed suicide, and his body is at the hospital. The Islamic authorities say he died a Muslim, but his family members and friends say that Elangesvaran continued to profess and practise Hinduism all the way through until his untimely death. Read more »

Archbishop Pakiam Now A Tan Sri

Archbishop Murphy Pakiam was bestowed the Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM), which carries the Tan Sri title, in conjunction with the birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin on June 7.

Archbishop Pakiam was among 30 persons bestowed with this honour.

Congratulations Archbishop Murphy Pakiam! Read more »

Conversion Issues And Legal Rights

SHAMALA, Subashini, Nyonya Tahir, Lina Joy, Moorthy, Revathi. These are names recognisable to Malaysians.

The issues which emerge upon the conversion of a family member are multi-fold and have great implications on our most fundamental human rights. They are the subject of reform proposals today. We cannot afford to be left out of this debate. Some of these issues are discussed below. Read more »

DPM: We Are Of One Bangsa, Bangsa Malaysia

DEPUTY Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made an interesting statement on Sunday. He said that Bangsa Malaysia will become a reality when all the people in this country regard each other as Malaysian rather than members of the various ethnic groups with their own separate culture, language and religion.

For one thing the statement affirms that Bangsa Malaysia is a national aspiration as well as an objective. For another it is in the interest of all Malaysians to work hard to make Bangsa Malaysia a reality. Read more »

Vatican Reaffirms Ban On Homosexual Seminarians

The Vatican has affirmed that a policy barring homosexuals from admission to seminaries applies to all Catholic dioceses and religious orders.

In a brief letter to the world's bishops, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, underlined that a November 2005 policy statement from the Congregation for Catholic Education is "valid for all formation houses for the priesthood," including those administered by religious orders, the Eastern Catholic churches, and missionary territories. Read more »

Malaysian Bar HRC: Lenggeng Incident Not What It Seems

ROUNDED UP: Malaysian police keeping a close eye on detainees from Myanmar at the holding camp in Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan. Some 60 illegals rioted and set fire to a building on Monday.

The Committee refers to The Star's online report on 21 April 2008 "Myanmar riot at detention camp, building torched". It was reported that 60 Myanmar nationals were involved in a riot at the Lenggeng detention camp “apparently after they were told that their application to move to a third country was unsuccessful”. Read more »

The 91st Anniversary of Fatima

On May 13, 1917, on a hillside outside Fatima, Portugal, three shepherd children saw a lady "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun."

For the next six months, on the 13th day of the month, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Read more »

CLS Announcement: Committee Members for 2008/09 Elected

Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur is pleased to announce that the following members were elected as office-bearers of the Committee 2008/09 at the 14h Annual General Meeting held on Mar 2008. Read more »

Annou Xavier's Commentary: Moral Duty For Catholic Voters

The General Elections are here. It is a time for debate and decisions. Catholics have the same rights and duties to vote as any other citizens, but are called to carry them out in light of the truth, faith and justice as taught by the Catholic Church.

We are called to respect human authority and obey those who govern society for God's sake and to live as free people without using that freedom to cover any wrongdoings (1 Peter 2:13-17). Read more »

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