CLS Press Statement: CLS Welcomes New Archbishop Of Kuala Lumpur

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society, Kuala Lumpur congratulates and welcomes our new Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Archbishop Elect Most Rev. Julian Leow Beng Kim.

On 3 July, 2014 Pope Francis appointed Father Julian Leow Beng Kim, 50,  as the new archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.

His Excellency, Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia made the announcement at the archbishop’s residence in Kuala Lumpur. Read more »

Only One Way Out For Malaysians Seeking To Drop Muslim Status?

Do Malaysians who no longer identify as Muslims have any recourse beyond subjecting themselves to the Shariah system that only recognises adherents of Islam?

With the recent furore over the disruptions of a Taoist funeral and a Hindu wedding by state religious authorities claiming that Muslims were involved, renewed attention has been focused on non―Muslims wishing to dispute official records of their Muslim identity. Read more »

Path To Leave Islam Simple But Far From Easy

An Indian woman whose Hindu wedding was recently disrupted by Selangor Islamic officials insisting she is Muslim despite her efforts to leave Islam has again put the spotlight on the difficulties in exiting the religion.

Like many Malaysians who dispute their official identities as Muslims, she was told to go to the Shariah courts in order to remove the status from her official documents. Read more »

Archbiship John Ha: Federal Government Has Competence To Rescind Ban On Use Of The Word “Allah”

Like all Heads of Churches – and for that matter, like most, if not all Christians – I am very disappointed by and deeply concerned over the implications of the Federal Court’s decision not to grant leave to the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to bring the “Herald case” (the ban of the use of the term “Allah” by the Herald) to the Federal Court.

Nonetheless, there is the consolation that the decision was not unanimous. Three of the seven judges on the panel gave a dissenting decision. Read more »

Muslim Groups Fight For Church’s Right To Use Allah

Christians are not alone in their struggle to use the word "Allah" in Malaysia, as Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGO) have taken it upon themselves to educate fellow Malays that the word predates Islam. Islamic NGOs, such as Sisters in Islam (SIS) and the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), have taken to social media to spread awareness on the issue, bringing with them views that are a far cry from the threats and exclusivity espoused by groups such as Perkasa and Isma. Read more »

National Harmony Law Violates Rukunegara With Nod To Atheists, Muslim Ngos Say

The National Unity Consultative Council’s (NUCC) proposed anti-discrimination law contravenes the Rukunegara’s principle of belief in God by recognising atheism, a coalition of Muslim groups have said. In a column in Malay newspaper Mingguan Malaysia today, MuslimUPRo chief Azril Mohd Amin noted that the NUCC’s National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill 2014 defined “religion” as “any religion and includes any belief or lack of a religious belief”, which he said would include atheists and the freedom to renounce a faith. Read more »

Julian Leow Named New Archbishop Of Kuala Lumpur

The Vatican today named Reverend Father Julian Leow Beng Kim as the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, taking over from Archbishop Emeritus Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam who stepped down on December 6 upon turning 75.

Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph S. Marino announced the appointment at the archdiocesan office in Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur this evening.

Leow will take on the title of Archbishop-elect until such time he is officially installed as the new Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur. Read more »

Viewpoint: 1946, When It All Went Wrong For Us – By Wong Chin Huat

Where Malaysia is heading, with sensational news from Muslim-only Allah, Hudud for all, body-snatching, wedding gate-crashing, police defying the Common Law Courts, to now Muslims buying only from Muslims?

The common question asked by many Malaysians is either “what have gone wrong?” or “Where have we gone wrong?” The relevant question, to my mind, is neither of these but “when have we gone wrong?” Yes, not what and where, but when. And my answer is 1946. Read more »

Viewpoint: ‘Allah’ Controversy Resurfaces In Another Court – By Bob Teoh

Far from putting the issue to rest, the Federal Court 4-3 majority judgment last Monday favouring the government over the Herald case now seems to be stirring the hornet's nest in the Jill Ireland case at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning.

Senior counsel Philip Koh, who is keeping a watching brief for the Majlis or council of non-Muslims religions, pointed the case is not confined to Christians as Sikhs and others also use the word 'Allah' to refer to God in their Holy Scriptures. Read more »

Viewpoint: What’s in a word – By Karim Raslam

The Government’s refusal to allow Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ presents a number of challenges.

The dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims first erupted in 2008 when the Home Ministry banned the Herald, the Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia’s weekly newspaper from using it in its Malay-language section.

Seven years on – after numerous court rulings, rhetoric and demonstrations, it remains a painfully divisive issue. In 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled that the use of the word was not an integral part of the Christian faith. Read more »

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