The five-member Federal Court bench today dismissed the application by the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church to review the ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia publication of the Herald.
Federal Court judge Abdull Hamid Embong ruled that no procedural unfairness occurred in the previous seven-member panel's decision.
"Hence, we dismiss the review application," he said. Justice Abdull Hamid made no order as to costs.
The other Federal Court judges hearing the review were justices Ahmad Ma'arop, Hasan Lah, Ramly Ali and Azahar Mohamed.
The unanimous decision was made after a one-hour break.
This decision ends the Roman Catholic Church's appeal against the ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims following a cabinet directive in 1986.
The decision today will not help alleviate the concern of the Christian community in using the word, especially by those in Sabah and Sarawak who have been using the word ‘Allah’ for God.
Besides this case, there are other similar cases pending, including one by clerk Jill Ireland, who is challenging the seizure of religious CDs bearing the word ‘Allah’.
There is also the matter where Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) has filed an action against the Home Ministry following the seizure of Christian religious books brought in from Indonesia.