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Laws override Cabinet’s 10-point deal on ‘Allah’, says Perkasa veep

Laws override Cabinet’s 10-point deal on ‘Allah’, says Perkasa veep

BY IDA LIMJanuary 9, 2014

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/laws-override-cabinets-10-point-deal-on-allah-says-perkasa-veep#sthash.x1UyUlNP.dpuf

Laws override Cabinet’s 10-point deal on ‘Allah’, says Perkasa veep

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — As Putrajaya is pressed to uphold its 10-point solution allowing Malaysian Christians the freedom to use “Allah” in their worship, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin pointed out the country’s laws override “government policy”.

The vice-president of Malay rights group Perkasa also claimed the country’s laws ban the import of any publication containing the word “Allah”.

“Anyone with a little basic understanding of law will realise that government policies cannot breach, contradict or go against any laws of the country,” Zulkifli, a lawyer, said his blog post on Tuesday.

He pointed out that the much-touted Najib administration’s “10-Point Resolution is merely the government’s policy”, and stressed that policies that ran counter to the country’s laws “cannot be enforced”.

A long-simmering religious row between Malaysia’s dominant Muslim community and sizeable non-Muslim minorities bubbled up again after Selangor’s Islamic religious enforcers raided a bible importer’s office in Petaling Jaya and carted off over 300 copies of the Christian holy book in the Malay and Iban languages last week.

In his blog post, the former one-term Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP said the federal government has a right to impose restrictions or give leeway to importers, but was duty-bound to obey the country’s laws.

“And the country’s laws ban the use of a few words and certain words in any publication, including the word ‘Allah’,” he said.

“So bringing in or importing any publication containing the words that are banned is prima facie a breach of laws that can see actions being taken including the seizure of the publication materials and the bringing of criminal charges in any criminal courts [of the civil legal system].”

Federal laws do not prohibit the word the Arabic word for God from any publication.

But several states, including Selangor, have passed laws that bar the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims under provisions that restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religions to Muslims.

Zulkifli also sought to defend the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), which has come under public scrutiny following its surprise raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) last Thursday, where it seized over 300 bibles in the Malay and Iban languages that contained the word “Allah”.

The Malay-Muslim rights activist argued that Jais was merely carrying out its duties to enforce the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.

He pointed out that Section 9 of the state law makes it a criminal offence for non-Muslims to use “Allah”, among a list of 35 other Arabic words.

“Therefore, the question that Jais should discuss or negotiate with anyone that is suspected of committing a crime does not arise,” he said.

Zulkifli’s comments preceded the Selangor mentri besar’s announcement that the state Islamic religious agency must receive the state executive council’s approval for future raids.

In a bid to sooth non-Muslim anxiety, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim told a news conference yesterday that though Jais had the legal authority to conduct raids, it must get the state’s nod before carrying out its duty.

Zulkifli said those charged with breaking the law have a legal right to defend themselves in court, and argued that “the question of the infringement of their basic rights and right to defend themselves does not arise”.

He questioned the Christian community’s “stubborn” insistence on using the “Allah” word to describe their God, asking if they have “hidden agenda”.

He also suggested that Malaysian Muslim concerns took a backseat to the rights of the country’s minority Christians.

“Why is this issue not looked at from the Muslims’ perspective at all?

“Do Muslims in Malaysia no longer have rights in protecting their faith and our basic rights to profess and practise our faith in peace and harmony as provided for by the Federal Constitution?” Zulkifli asked.

He claimed that Malaysian Muslims have never stopped Christians from professing and practising their faith, and expressed pride at their community’s high tolerance towards the followers of other religions.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/laws-override-cabinets-10-point-deal-on-allah-says-perkasa-veep#sthash.x1UyUlNP.dpuf

Members of Perkasa and other Muslim NGOs outside the Court of Appeal, September 10, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy MayMembers of Perkasa and other Muslim NGOs outside the Court of Appeal, September 10, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — As Putrajaya is pressed to uphold its 10-point solution allowing Malaysian Christians the freedom to use “Allah” in their worship, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin pointed out the country’s laws override “government policy”.

The vice-president of Malay rights group Perkasa also claimed the country’s laws ban the import of any publication containing the word “Allah”.

“Anyone with a little basic understanding of law will realise that government policies cannot breach, contradict or go against any laws of the country,” Zulkifli, a lawyer, said his blog post on Tuesday.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/laws-override-cabinets-10-point-deal-on-allah-says-perkasa-veep#sthash.x1UyUlNP.dpuf

Members of Perkasa and other Muslim NGOs outside the Court of Appeal, September 10, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy MayMembers of Perkasa and other Muslim NGOs outside the Court of Appeal, September 10, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — As Putrajaya is pressed to uphold its 10-point solution allowing Malaysian Christians the freedom to use “Allah” in their worship, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin pointed out the country’s laws override “government policy”.

The vice-president of Malay rights group Perkasa also claimed the country’s laws ban the import of any publication containing the word “Allah”.

“Anyone with a little basic understanding of law will realise that government policies cannot breach, contradict or go against any laws of the country,” Zulkifli, a lawyer, said his blog post on Tuesday.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/laws-override-cabinets-10-point-deal-on-allah-says-perkasa-veep#sthash.x1UyUlNP.dpuf

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — As Putrajaya is pressed to uphold its 10-point solution allowing Malaysian Christians the freedom to use “Allah” in their worship, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin pointed out the country’s laws override “government policy”.

The vice-president of Malay rights group Perkasa also claimed the country’s laws ban the import of any publication containing the word “Allah”.

“Anyone with a little basic understanding of law will realise that government policies cannot breach, contradict or go against any laws of the country,” Zulkifli, a lawyer, said his blog post on Tuesday.

He pointed out that the much-touted Najib administration’s “10-Point Resolution is merely the government’s policy”, and stressed that policies that ran counter to the country’s laws “cannot be enforced”.

A long-simmering religious row between Malaysia’s dominant Muslim community and sizeable non-Muslim minorities bubbled up again after Selangor’s Islamic religious enforcers raided a bible importer’s office in Petaling Jaya and carted off over 300 copies of the Christian holy book in the Malay and Iban languages last week.

In his blog post, the former one-term Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP said the federal government has a right to impose restrictions or give leeway to importers, but was duty-bound to obey the country’s laws.

“And the country’s laws ban the use of a few words and certain words in any publication, including the word ‘Allah’,” he said.

“So bringing in or importing any publication containing the words that are banned is prima facie a breach of laws that can see actions being taken including the seizure of the publication materials and the bringing of criminal charges in any criminal courts [of the civil legal system].”

Federal laws do not prohibit the word the Arabic word for God from any publication.

But several states, including Selangor, have passed laws that bar the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims under provisions that restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religions to Muslims.

Zulkifli also sought to defend the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), which has come under public scrutiny following its surprise raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) last Thursday, where it seized over 300 bibles in the Malay and Iban languages that contained the word “Allah”.

The Malay-Muslim rights activist argued that Jais was merely carrying out its duties to enforce the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.

He pointed out that Section 9 of the state law makes it a criminal offence for non-Muslims to use “Allah”, among a list of 35 other Arabic words.

“Therefore, the question that Jais should discuss or negotiate with anyone that is suspected of committing a crime does not arise,” he said.

Zulkifli’s comments preceded the Selangor mentri besar’s announcement that the state Islamic religious agency must receive the state executive council’s approval for future raids.

In a bid to sooth non-Muslim anxiety, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim told a news conference yesterday that though Jais had the legal authority to conduct raids, it must get the state’s nod before carrying out its duty.

Zulkifli said those charged with breaking the law have a legal right to defend themselves in court, and argued that “the question of the infringement of their basic rights and right to defend themselves does not arise”.

He questioned the Christian community’s “stubborn” insistence on using the “Allah” word to describe their God, asking if they have “hidden agenda”.

He also suggested that Malaysian Muslim concerns took a backseat to the rights of the country’s minority Christians.

“Why is this issue not looked at from the Muslims’ perspective at all?

“Do Muslims in Malaysia no longer have rights in protecting their faith and our basic rights to profess and practise our faith in peace and harmony as provided for by the Federal Constitution?” Zulkifli asked.

He claimed that Malaysian Muslims have never stopped Christians from professing and practising their faith, and expressed pride at their community’s high tolerance towards the followers of other religions.
– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/laws-override-cabinets-10-point-deal-on-allah-says-perkasa-veep#sthash.x1UyUlNP.dpuf

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