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Saturday, April 25, 2009

> Court grants leave to review word 'Allah' in Herald

The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur was given leave by the High Court today to quash the Home Ministry's decision prohibiting the use of the word "Allah" in the Herald Catholic Weekly.
 
Archbishop Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam was also granted leave to apply for nine declarations, including to declare that the decision of Home Ministry and the government of Malaysia was illegal and ultra vires the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. 

According to Bernama, his counsel, S Selvarajah, told reporters that Justice Lau Bee Lan granted the leave under Order 53 of the Rules of the High Court in chambers.
 
Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, for the ministry and government, did not object to the application.

Lau also fixed May 28 to hear the application for a stay of the Home Ministry's decision.
                                     
On Feb 16, this year, Murphy, as publisher of the Herald, filed for a judicial review to quash the decision of the respondents dated Jan 7, 2009 that the applicant's publication permit for the period Jan 1, 2009 until Dec 31, 2009, is subject to the condition that he be prohibited from using the word "Allah" in the Herald. 

Seven declarations

The other seven declarations sought are:

1. That the applicant has the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" in the Herald in the exercise of his right that other religions other than Islam may be practised in peace.
 
2. That Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution does not empower the respondents to prohibit the applicant from using the word "Allah" in the Herald.

3. That the applicant has the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" in the weekly in the exercise of his right to freedom of speech and expression. 

4. That the applicant has the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" in the Herald in the exercise of his freedom of religion which includes the right to manage its own religious affairs.
 
5. That the applicant has the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" in the Herald in the exercise his right in respect of education of the Catholic congregation in the Christian religion.
 
6. That the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 does not authorise the respondents to prohibit the applicant from using the word "Allah" in the Herald and

7. That the word "Allah" is not exclusive to the religion of Islam - Malaysiakini.