PM: Only Sarawak Christians allowed to use the word ‘Allah’

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Only Christians in Sarawak are allowed to use the word “Allah”, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister said the use of the word would not be allowed in other states and this had been explained by the Home Ministry.

“We must understand that it is a Sarawak decision and Melaka, Penang and Selangor (in Peninsular Malaysia) can’t use the word.

Izzrafiq Alias/The Star

“The court had ruled (in favour of Sarawak) and we must understand that it is Sarawak’s prerogative,” he said when met by the media at a Hari Raya gathering organised by Prihatin Anak Melaka Association and the police at Tanjung Minyak in Melaka on Tuesday (May 16).

The event was also attended by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.

Earlier, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said his ministry withdrew its appeal against the High Court’s ruling allowing non-Muslims to use the word and three other words for educational purposes.

He said this was the ministry’s position and he had informed and presented the matter to the Cabinet.

The appeal was initially scheduled for case management on May 19 but will no longer be brought up in court as the government had dropped the entire appeal on April 18.

The move would put an end to the 15-year-long legal saga which began when the government seized a Sarawak Bumiputera individual’s eight educational compact discs (CDs), which contained the word.

On March 10, 2021, the High Court ruled in favour of the Sarawakian Christian from the Melanau tribe, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, by granting three of the court orders which she had sought.

This included the High Court’s declaration that a government directive issued by the Home Ministry’s publication control’s division via a circular dated Dec 5, 1986, was “unlawful and unconstitutional.”

On March 12, 2021, the Malaysian government and the Home Minister filed an appeal against the High Court’s decision. – The Star