The use of “Allah” is for all states and not just specifically for Sarawak, said Ba’ Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian.
He said this was based on the High Court’s 2021 decision allowing Sarawakian Christian Jill Ireland to use the word for “God” in her education materials, state assemblyman and lawyer Baru Bian said today.
“I am disappointed with the PM’s statement reported today on the withdrawal of the appeal in the ‘Allah’ case, if the reports are true.
“It must be noted that the source of all the problems which culminated in the filing of the case is the 1986 Administrative directive by the Home Ministry banning the use of certain words by non-Muslims,” he said in a statement.
He said the present case basically was a challenge to the legality of the directive at the time.
He said he had in a statement yesterday pointed out that Justice Datuk Nor Bee in her judgment had said the Home Ministry had exceeded its powers with the order, and that such a prohibition was against the constitution.
“She held that the directive banning the use of the words was invalid. There was no distinction made between Sarawak and the other states in West Malaysia in the judgment.
“By withdrawing the appeal, the Attorney-General and the government are effectively accepting the decision of the judge in its entirety, thereby acknowledging that the 1986 directive is invalid.”
Baru said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had no basis for saying that the decision only applies to Sarawak.
He said Anwar’s statement contradicted the statement made by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on the matter.
“In this instance, the Home Minister’s view is the legally correct position.
“This is why I had said earlier that the law should apply to all the states in Malaysia.
“If the prime minister goes on a case-by-case basis, then he is implying that each state law can prohibit non-Muslims from using certain words which means restricting religious freedom.
“When the judge wrote that “Religious freedom is absolutely protected even in times of threat to public order…”, she did not limit that statement to only Sarawak,” he added.
Baru said the Federal Constitution does not discriminate among the people of different races or states. – NST