‘Cabinet cannot amend and interpret court judgement’
Posted on October 18, 2013, Friday
KUCHING: The federal cabinet has no authority to interpret or alter any court judgement.
This includes the decision of the Court of Appeal (CA) to bar the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Catholic weekly publication The Herald.
Therefore, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said for the cabinet to say that the ban is only confined to The Herald is a fallacy because the decision of the CA did not specify such limitation.
“Conversely, the ‘ratio decidendi’ (the reasons for a judicial decision) of the judgement has a wide, sweeping and far reaching impact on religious freedom in Malaysia.
“In interpreting the constitutional provisions, the ruling of the Court of Appeal affects all Malaysians,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
See, who is a practising lawyer, said the most the government could do is to amend the provisions in the federal constitution and laws to annul or invalidate the decision.
“Is it naivety and unrealistic to self-comfort ourselves and to feel relieved with the assurance of the federal cabinet and the few BN ministers and politicians that the prohibition in the use of the word ‘Allah’ has no application in Sarawak and Sabah?”
He also questioned whether Sarawakians could turn a blind eye to the injustice and prejudice suffered by their fellow Malaysians living in Peninsular Malaysia considering that “they are no lesser Christians from everybody else”.
See, who is also state PKR vice chairman said the controversy had highlighted the most significant role of Sarawakians and Sarawak in Malaysia which is to halt racist and religious extremism in Malaysia.
“The racial and religious tolerance and harmony in Sarawak is the hallmark of a thriving multi-racial society.
“In the context of Malaysia, our multi-ethnicity with no dominant race, our electoral substance and weight in the nation’s political setting is an inherent check and balance to the racial politics propogated by UMNO.”
See said Sarawakians, in sharing the same destiny as all the citizens in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, should speak up on this injustice and leverage on the state’s position as the “kingmaker” in the country to stop prejudice against Christians in Malaysia.
“We should all stand together with our Christian brothers and sisters in Peninsular Malaysia so that the ban on the word ‘Allah’ in The Herald can come to an end soon with the Federal Court making a decision.”
See also hoped that Christians in the state would donate generously in the event that fund raising activities were organised by churches in support of The Herald’s editorial’s appeal in the Federal Court.