Appeal against 'Allah' decision is on

Appeal against 'Allah' decision is on
The counsel for 'Herald' waiting for the verdict outside the Palace of Justice court complex in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA - The Government's appeal against a High Court ruling to allow Catholic weekly Herald to use the word "Allah" will go ahead on Sept 10.

The three-member panel of the Court of Appeal yesterday unanimously denied an application by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to strike out the Government's appeal.

Justice Abu Samah Nordin, who chaired the Bench, ruled that the subject of the appeal was still a live issue and that the controversy had yet to be resolved.

The panel, which included Justices Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim and Rohana Yusuf, was of the view that the subject was not rendered academic as the usage of the word "Allah" had yet to be decided.

"It is a drastic action to strike out an appeal that has been properly filed before this court and to deny the appellants' right to appeal," said Abu Samah.

Counsel for the church Porries Royan earlier submitted that in the 10-point solution signed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on April 11, 2011, the Government allowed the importation and publication of Bibles in all languages including Bahasa Malaysia with the word Allah without restriction.

He argued that by extension, the Herald which quotes the Bible, too, should be allowed to use the word.

Senior federal counsel Suzanna Atan, who acted for the Government, replied that the application was frivolous as there were many live and comprehensive issues to be tried.

Lawyer for the Terengganu Islamic religious council, Mubashir Mansor, submitted that it was premature to strike out the appeal, as the Cabinet's decision to allow the Bible to be distributed in Malay had nothing to do with this appeal.

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