KUALA LUMPUR, 11 Nov 2009: Eight parties including seven Islamic religious councils are no longer intervenors in the Kuala Lumpur Roman Catholic Church’s application for a judicial review over the usage of the word “Allah“.
High Court judge Lau Bee Lan said based on the Federal Court ruling on 3 Sept in the case of Majlis Agama Islam Selangor vs Bong Boon Chuen and 150 others, the High Court had no jurisdiction to allow intervention in judicial review proceedings under Order 15 Rule 6(2)(b) of the Rules of the High Court 1980.
She then set aside her own order on 3 Aug, which allowed the eight parties to intervene in the new application by Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam for a judicial review over the usage of the word “Allah” in the church’s weekly publications of Herald magazine.
The eight parties are the Islamic religious councils of Perak, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor, Kedah, Johor and Melaka, and the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association.
The decision was made in chambers.
The church’s counsel, S Selvarajah, told the media that the court fixed 14 Dec to hear the merits of the case.
Selvarajah said the court should hear the case before 31 Dec as the 2009 publication permit for Herald would expire then.
On 16 Feb this year, Pakiam, as the publisher of the Herald, filed a new application for a judicial review after a similar application in 2008 was deemed academic following the expiry of the publication permit for 1 Jan to 31 Dec 2008.
In the application, naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents, he is seeking, among others, a declaration that the decision by the respondents on 7 Jan 2009 prohibiting him from using the word “Allah” in Herald – The Catholic Weekly is illegal, and that the word “Allah” is not exclusive to the religion of Islam. — Bernama