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It is just beginning. There is a long road ahead to convince the authorities that the word Allah is not exclusive to any religion. Another point of interest is the use of Jawi calligraphy in Johore. Lets face it, the calligraphy must have been there for a long time. What brought about the complaint, and why must the religious authorities be so in-sensitive. Read about it here.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has granted leave to review a government order which disallowed Catholic weekly Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia articles.

herald court case 050508Justice Lau Bee Lan, from the appellate and special powers division, read her decision aloud in a packed courtroom today.

She also held that senior federal counsel Azizah Haji Nawawi’s argument that the declarations sought for by the Herald should be raised in a civil suit and not through a judicial review which was only limited to orders made by the ministry.

Archbishop Murphy Pakiam on behalf of Herald is seeking from the court:

  • leave to apply for the ministry to declare that its decision to prohibit Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ in its publication is null and void; and that Herald is entitled to use the word ‘Allah’ in the publication and that the word ‘Allah’ is not exclusive to the religion of Islam.
  • leave to quash the ministry’s decision in prohibiting Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ in its publication
  • an order for Herald to continue using ‘Allah’ in its publication until the court decides on the matter.

Herald‘s editor Father Lawrence Andrew who was seen smiling after the judgment was delivered said: “We are waiting for justice. We will wait and see what happens at the next stage.”

herald the catholic weekly online 241207On March 19, applicant Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of KL filed for a judicial review against the internal security minister and government over the order that disallowed Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the publication.

The ministry at that time led by Johari Baharum initially held back the weekly’s publishing licence last year over this matter but later granted a permit with no conditions attached after a stern outcry from the Catholic community.

Court okays review of ministry order against Herald


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