Tuesday, May 06, 2008

'Allah' case: Court grants leave for judicial review

Source : MalaysianInsider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 – The preliminary round is over. After 2 hearings held over the past 10 days, the Catholic Church can now proceed to the next level and properly seek a judicial review of the Internal Security Ministry's decision to ban The Herald from using the word “Allah” in its publication.

This morning, Justice Lau Bee Lan from the appellate and special powers division of the Kuala Lumpur High Court announced before a full courtroom that the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Murphy Pakiam, as publisher of The Herald, has been granted:

• Leave to apply that the Internal Security Ministry's decision under the “Garis Panduan Penerbitan” (Publishing Guidelines) dated March 1, 2007, which prohibits The Herald from using the word “Allah” is illegal, null and void; that the paper is entitled to use the word “Allah” and that the word “Allah” is not exclusive to the religion of Islam.
• Leave to quash the Ministry's decision to disallow The Herald from publishing the word “Allah”.
• And an order to stay the Ministry's order until the court decides on the matter.

Later, outside the courtroom, Derek Fernandez, one of the 5 church counsel, explained to the waiting reporters that Justice Lau had basically agreed that the church's application “is not a frivolous application ... not a waste of the court's time”.

The next move, he added, would be for the church to file a substantive application, which they will do so within the next 2 weeks. “Hopefully, (the court hearing for the judicial review) will be fixed within 6 months,” said Fernandez.