‘Allah’ appeal inconsistent with government’s 10-point solution, Archbishop says

  • Hijacked plane forced to land at Bali airport, says report

    A hijacked Virgin Blue flight has landed at Indonesia's Bali airport, according to Reuters quoting Indonesia's Metro TV. MORE TO COME]]> …

  • Obama to meet Bersih, Islamic Front leaders
    Obama to meet Bersih, Islamic Front leaders

    United States President Barack Obama will meet with leaders of Malaysian civil society movements, including those from the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih), Islamic Renaissance Front and the Bar Council during his visit to Kuala Lumpur this weekend. …

  • Two criminal systems already exist, Gerakan told

    PAS legal bureau chairperson Mohamed Hanipa Maidin was responding to Gerakan's legal notice yesterday to challenge the former's intention to submit a Bill in Parliament to implement hudud law in Kelantan. "Gerakan's allegation outlined in the notice to PAS, that implementing hudud would result in the existence of two systems of criminal justice in the country is, with due respect, an allegation that is rash and baseless. Hanipa ( right ) said "for Gerakan's information", two criminal justice …

  • Selangor set to end water rationing next week

    The Selangor menteri besar expects to lift water rationing for the state and Kuala Lumpur by next week if current efforts to pump fresh water from mining ponds continue to prove successful. "We can declare the rationing discontinued next week if these conditions prevail," MB Abdul Khalid Ibrahim told a press conference in Klang today. He said as of today, eight pumps were drawing 400 million litres per day (MLD) of fresh water from alternative sources to help fill the drying Sungai Selangor …

  • 'Court decision on PAA a victory for all Malaysians'

    Human rights defenders welcomed the Court of Appeal's landmark decision which ruled Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA), punishing citizens who do not give 10 days' notice before they hold an assembly, to be unconstitutional, but cautioned that there were still some more kinks to be ironed out. Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said that given the Court of Appeal's decision, those previously charged in lower courts over the Black505 rally and other …

  • Water price to go up 20% in Penang
    Water price to go up 20% in Penang

    Penangites can expect to pay 20% more for water under new tariff rates proposed by the state’s water operator. However, PBA Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Jaseni Maidinsa said despite the 20% increase for domestic consumers and 18.8% for trade consumers, the rates remain the lowest in the country. He said the proposed average domestic... …

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — Putrajaya's appeal against the 2009 High Court ruling giving the Catholic Church the right to use the word “Allah” is inconsistent with the Najib administration's 10-point solution in April 2011, said Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam.

Pakiam noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had issued the 10-point deal despite knowing of the Home Ministry’s appeal in 2010, saying that the 2011 solution amounted to Putrajaya’s nod over the High Court’s landmark decision.

“I am advised by my solicitors and I verily believe that in light of the letter dated 11.4.2011, the Government of Malaysia (the 1st and 2nd Appellants) logically ought to have discontinued their appeal,” Pakiam said in an affidavit that was made available to The Malay Mail Online today, referring to the Home Ministry and the government.

In the affidavit filed in July together with an application to strike out the case, Pakiam laid down the arguments on why he considered the 10-point deal as rendering the government's appeal as being an “academic” case.

Pakiam said the April 11, 2011 letter could be seen as a recognition and acceptance by the government of the Christians' rights to use the word “Allah”, after the community was told it was free to print Bibles here in languages using the word.

“The letter dated 11.4.2011 demonstrates that the Government of Malaysia (the 1st and 2nd Appellants) recognises and accepts the rights of Christians to use the word 'Allah' by virtue of Christians being allowed to freely import and locally print Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and in the indigenous languages of Sabah and Sarawak.”

Pakiam also argued that the letter acknowledged that the Christians' use of the word would not threaten national security and public peace.

He went on to say that it purportedly shows the government's acceptance of the Catholic Church's right to use the Arabic word in Christian publications, including its weekly publication Herald.

“By extension, the letter dated 11.4.2011 is also therefore clear and unequivocal evidence of the 1st and 2nd Appellant’s recognition and acceptance of the Respondent’s right to use the word 'Allah' in Christian publications such as Herald-The Catholic Weekly which makes frequent references to these Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.

“Finally, the letter dated 11.4.2011 amounts to an acceptance of the decision of the High Court dated 31.12.2009 which quashed the 1st and 2nd Appellants’ decision.

“In light of the unequivocal representation made to the Christian community permitting the use of the word Allah, there is no longer any legitimacy in the appeal,” said Pakiam, the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.

The Court of Appeal is set to hear the Catholic Church's striking-out application on August 22.  If it fails in its bid to strike out the case, the appeal will be heard on September 10.

Ahead of the heated Sarawak state polls in 2011, Putrajaya had issued the 10-point solution to the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) - an umbrella body of churches nationwide - which allowed the Christian community to publish and distribute Malay-language bibles.

The letter was seen as a move to quell the Christian community's unhappiness over the government's impounding shipments of the bibles, due to the presence of the word “Allah” in its reference to the Christian God.

Last month, the CFM had urged the Najib administration to honour its 10-point solution, following reignited debate over the non-Muslims' right to use the word “Allah”.

The “Allah” row erupted in 2008 when the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the Herald’s newspaper permit, prompting the Catholic Church to sue the government for violating its constitutional rights.

In 2009, the High Court made a landmark ruling in favour of the Catholic Church, when it said the Middle Eastern word was not the exclusive right of Muslims and the Herald could publish it in its Bahasa Malaysia section, which caters to its Bumiputera congregation.

In January 2010, the Home Ministry filed an appeal, but there was a three-year hiatus before the dates were fixed for the case at the Court of Appeal.

Christians are Malaysia’s third-largest religious population at 2.6 million people, according to statistics from the 2010 census, behind Muslims and Buddhists.

Bumiputera Christians form about 64 per cent, or close to two-thirds of that figure, and have prayed in the national language and their native tongues for centuries.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • 'Smaller' size keeps women loyal to men: Study IANS

    A team of researchers from the US and Kenya found that there was a strange link between the size of the penis and infidelity in a marriage. Contrary to what many men may assume, they found that men with bigger penises are more likely to have wives who cheat on them. …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …