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“Allah” CDs seizure can be challenged

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 May 2009: A Melanau woman was given the green light by the High Court here today to challenge the Home Ministry’s decision to confiscate eight compact discs (CDs) of Christian religious teachings containing the word “Allah”.

Justice Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman granted leave to Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, 27, to initiate the judicial review proceedings to seek three reliefs from the court.

She wants an order of certiorari to quash the ministry’s decision to confiscate the CDs, an order of mandamus to direct the ministry to return the CDs to her and a declaration that she has the legitimate expectation to exercise her right to possess, use and import publications containing the word “Allah”.

Alizatul made the order in chambers after hearing submissions from her counsel, Annou Xavier and Henry Teh, and senior federal counsel Suzanna Atan, representing the ministry and the government who were named as respondents.

On 11 May last year, the ministry seized the CDs under Section 9 (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 when Jill Ireland, a clerk, disembarked at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang.

The CDs containing titles including “Cara Menggunakan Kunci Kerajaan Allah, Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah and Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah” were brought in from Indonesia.

Jill, a Sarawakian native of the Christian faith, claimed that she used the word “Allah” in her prayers, worship and religious education. She claimed that she used both Bahasa Malaysia and the Bahasa Indonesia ALKITAB which uses the word “Allah”.

She claimed that she received a letter dated 7 July last year from the ministry outlining the reasons for the confiscation including that it was a threat to security, that it used prohibited words and that it was a breach of Jakim guidelines. — Bernama

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