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.

"Under Section 9 of the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions State Enactment, it is an offence for Muslims and non-Muslims to publish or broadcast the word "Allah" in association with non-Islamic religions.

"The judge held that if the stay was granted, this will tantamount to supporting the offence to be committed if the Herald publication was to be circulated to other states," Andi told reporters outside the chambers.

On April 24 this year, the applicant was given leave by the High Court to quash the Home Ministry's decision of Jan 7, 2009 that the applicant's publication permit for the period Jan 1, 2009 to Dec 31, 2009, was subject to the condition that he be prohibited from using the word "Allah" in the Herald.

He was also granted leave to apply for nine declarations, including to declare that the decision of the Home Ministry and the Government of Malaysia was illegal and ultra vires the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

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