Herald's Permit Renewed With No Language Restrictions

Herald has been given the green light to publish the weekly next year without any language restrictions.

The local Catholic weekly, which was earlier instructed by the Internal Security Ministry to stop its Bahasa Malaysia segment, was granted its printing permit for 2008 yesterday.

"We were pleasantly surprised to receive a letter of approval dated Dec 28 which was hand-delivered to us yesterday (Dec 30) at about 10am," said Herald's editor Father Lawrence Andrew today.

"This letter places no restrictions whatsoever and includes the permit for all the languages, including the Bahasa Malaysia segment. It is as it was before."

On Dec 17, Herald received a letter from the Internal Security Ministry stating that the Bahasa Malaysia segment of the weekly was to be abolished, with effect from the renewed permit for 2008.

The publication in return wrote a letter to the ministry, requesting it to reconsider its decision.

Even before the permit issue came up, Herald had filed a suit on Dec 5 against the government for prohibiting it from using the word "Allah".

The Internal Security Ministry had issued a series of directives for the publication to cease the use of the word, failing which the publication's permit could either be suspended or revoked.

Lawrence declined to comment on the suit.

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