Putrajaya: Federal Court Decision On Allah Only For Herald, Says Putrajaya

Putrajaya said that today's Federal Court ruling on the Allah issue applied only to the Catholic weekly, Herald.

Malaysian Christians can still use the word Allah in church and the government remains committed to the 10-point solution, a statement from Putrajaya said.

"Malaysia is a multi-faith country and it is important that differences are managed peacefully in accordance with the rule of law and through dialogue, mutual respect and compromise," it said.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala had previously insisted that Putrajaya confirmed the validity of the 10-point solution, which was announced in April 2011. "The 10-Point solution was established by the Federal Government as a fair and amicable way to manage the polarity of views between the various religious groups, in particular Christians and Muslims, taking into account the laws of the country.

"As stated in the 10-Point Solution, for Sabah and Sarawak, there is no restriction on the import and local printing of Bibles in any language, including Bahasa Malaysia/Bahasa Indonesia and indigenous languages (referred to collectively as the “AlKitab”), as the Government recognises that there is a large Christian community of indigenous origin in these two states," he had said in a statement issued on February 24.

The Federal Court today dismissed the church's leave application to appeal the ban by the Court of Appeal on the use of the word Allah in the Herald. Four of the seven-member bench dismissed the church's application for leave to appeal, saying that the Court of Appeal was right in its decision to ban the word in the Catholic weekly.

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, who led the seven-man bench, said the President of Court of Appeal Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin and Federal court judge Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar agreed that leave should not be granted.

The Catholic church is now mulling its next course of action and is considering filing for a review of the Federal Court's decision, one of the church's lawyers said.

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