KUALA LUMPUR: The government has filed an appeal against the High Court ruling that Christians nationwide can use the word “Allah” and three other Arabic words in their religious publications for educational purposes.
The other three words are Baitullah, Kaabah and solat.
The notice of appeal was filed at the High Court registrar’s office. Copies of the notice were given to the Court of Appeal registrar and the law firm representing a Sarawak Melanau Christian, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun confirmed the filing of the appeal.
The notice, signed by Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan on behalf of appellants the Home Minister and the government, said the appeal was made as they were dissatisfied with the decision of High Court Judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin on March 10 this year.
“The appellants are appealing to the Court of Appeal against the whole of the ruling,” said the notice.
Justice Nor Bee had heard the case when she was still a High Court Judge. She is now a judge in the Court of Appeal.
In her judgement, Justice Nor Bee allowed three orders including a declaration that Jill Ireland has a constitutional right under Articles 3, 8, 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution to import publications in the exercise of her rights to practise her religion and right to education.
The other two declarations allowed by the judge are under Article 8, that Jill Ireland is guaranteed equality of all persons before the law and is protected from discrimination against citizens on the grounds of religion in the administration of the law — specifically the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) and Customs Act 1967 — and the declaration that the government directive issued by the Home Ministry’s publication control division via the circular dated Dec 5, 1986 was unlawful and unconstitutional. – Bernama