KUALA LUMPUR, 7 July 2009: The High Court here today fixed 17 July to hear the applications by nine religious councils to intervene in the Roman Catholic Church’s fresh application for a judicial review over the usage of the word “Allah” in its weekly publication.
Justice Lau Bee Lan also set the same date in chambers for mention of the judicial review application, which was to have been heard today.
The intervenors are seven state religious councils from Perak, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor, Kedah, Johor and Malacca, the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council, and the Malaysia Chinese Muslim Association.
On 16 Feb, the titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, filed a fresh application for a judicial review after the 2008 judicial review application had become academic, as the permit for the Herald publication for the period 1 Jan to 31 Dec 2008 had expired.
In the application, Pakiam, as publisher of the Herald, named the Home Ministry and government of Malaysia as respondents in his action for a declaration that the decision of the respondents dated 7 Jan 2009, prohibiting him from using the word “Allah” in the Herald – The Catholic Weekly, is illegal.
He also sought a declaration that he is entitled to use the word “Allah” and that the word “Allah” is not exclusive to the religion of Islam.
See also: The problem with the “Allah” ban