Masing: Ridicuous for “Allah” case to be referred to Appellate Court

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

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KUCHING, Mar 11: It is most ridiculous for any political party to call for the “Allah” case to be referred to the Court of Appeal when any other decision by any court would mean a violation of the Federal Constitution.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said he was stunned by the reaction of the Muafakat Nasional (MN) leaders who voiced out that the Allah case should be brought to the Appellate Court.

“If indeed UMNO and PAS want ruling on the use of the word ‘Allah’ to be referred to Appellate Court, then it is analogous to them seeking the review of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which allows the freedom of religion,” he said in a statement today.

“It is the most ridiculous demand by any political party or religious group in a multi-religious nation like Malaysia,” said Masing in response to the latest development where the MN Consultative Committee met last night had decided to call for the review of the decision made by Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Kuala Lumpur High Court had yesterday ruled that the non-Muslim community may use the word “Allah” in their preaching and publications.

The High Court said the community can also use the words “Baitullah”, “Kaabah” and “solat” for teaching purposes which the Malaysian government has banned for 35 years.

The landmark decision was made by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, who sat as a High Court judge.

The High Court decision was applauded by Sarawakians and their leaders whose enthusiasm, however, was squashed by the latest statement of MN saying that the coalition viewed seriously the High Court’s decision in allowing non-Muslim to use these words in their publications.

MN urged the federal government to take the initiative to expedite the implementation of a more harmonised legal system within the Federal Constitution framework.

To such a development, Masing who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president reiterated that religious issues should continue to stay within the four walls of worship houses instead of being listed as an item on the agenda of a political coalition.

“It is my hope that we should allow men of religion to decide on religious issues and not politicians,” said Masing. — DayakDaily