KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court has granted the right for Christians in Malaysia to use the word ‘Allah’ in religious publications.
However, it must be come with a disclaimer of ‘only for Christians’ and the symbol of the cross on the front cover of the books.
High Court Judge Datuk Nor Bee Abdullah who is now the Court of Appeals Judge also decided that the Christians in the country can use Kaabah, Baitullah and solat in their publications.
Nor Bee Abdullah made the ruling after a Melanau woman from Sarawak, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill seek a judicial review on the matter 13 years ago. The ruling also quashed a three-decade government ban on Christians using the word “Allah” in their religious publications.
On 11 May 2008, compact discs (CDs) titled ‘Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah’, ‘Hidup Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah’ and ‘Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah’ were seized from Jill upon her arrival at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang from Indonesia.
Following that, Jill filed a judicial review to reclaim her eight CDs which contained the word ‘Allah’. At the same time, she also seek a relief for her constitutional rights to practice her religion and the right to education.
On 2014, the High Court allowed Jill’s application and ordered all eight CDs to be returned to her. However, it did not make any judgement on the other reliefs filed by Jill.
The High Court also ruled that the government’s directive issued by the Ministry of Home via a circular dated 5 December 1986 on the total ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ in Christian publications is unlawful and unconstitutional. –MalaysiaGazette