Friday, July 4, 2014

Apex court fixes Oct 1 to hear SIB's appeal

4:33PM Jul 3, 2014By Hafiz Yatim
The Court of Appeal has fixed Oct 1 to hear Sidang Injil Borneo's appeal on leave (permission) not being granted for the court to review the home minister's decision to seize educational books using the word "Allah".

This is after the matter came up for case management today before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Nurul Izwan Ahmad Zubir.

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur had earlier this year refused to grant leave as it was then bound by the Court of Appeal decision in the case of the Catholic weekly, Herald, that "Allah" is not integral to the Christian faith.

"We are bound by the principle of stare decisis (precedent set) by the superior court and until then, we are bound by it and this court has to dismiss this application, without costs,” ruled Justice Zaleha Yusof.

However, Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, had in the Federal Court judgment, ruled that part of the Court of Appeal's decision is considered obiter dictum or side comments and not considered as part of the judgment.

This includes the Court of Appeal finding that 'Allah' is not integral to the Christian faith.

Sidang Injil Borneo and Reverend Jerry Dusing (left) had filed the judicial review application in 2007, following the seizure of the educational books from Indonesia by the Royal Customs Department at the Low-cost Carrier Terminal in Sepang.

This follows the use of the word 'Allah' in the books to denote God, with the word being one of a few banned or prohibited from use by non-Muslims as a result of a cabinet directive and fatwa in 1986.

However, the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak have been using that word in their Bible, which is also printed in the Malay and other local languages.

There was further uproar in January this year when the Selangor Islamic Department seized 321 copies of the Bible in the Malay and Iban languages from Bible Society of Malaysia in Petaling Jaya.
~ Malaysiakini

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