A voice that builds our faith towards Jesus Christ the Savior. 一个建造我们归向救主耶稣基督的声音。
Monday, June 23, 2014
Christians to continue using Allah in services and Bibles, says Christian Federation of Malaysia
Published: 23 June 2014
The Christian community will continue to use the word Allah in Bibles, church services and gatherings as the Federal Court ruling today was only confined to the Catholic weekly, Herald, said the Christian Federation of Malaysia.
Its chairman Reverend Dr Eu Hong Seng said that given the court's refusal to grant the Catholic church leave to appeal, it will treat the decision of the Court of Appeal as being confined to that particular case.
"We maintain that the Christian community continues to have the right to use the word 'Allah' in our Bibles, church services and Christian gatherings in our ongoing ministry to our Bahasa Malaysia-speaking congregation, as we have done all this while," he said in a statement today.
He said this was guaranteed by the Attorney-General himself, who had previously said on October 20, 2013, that the case was only meant for the usage of the word Allah in Herald.
"As legal adviser to the Malaysian government, we will hold him (A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail) and the government of Malaysia to that position," Eu added.
"There are other pending cases in the courts that would involve the matter. We will have to see whether these will provide alternative avenues to uphold and defend freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression in Malaysia."
The Federal Court today dismissed the church's leave application to appeal the ban by the Court of Appeal on the use of the word "Allah" in the Herald.
Four of the seven-member bench dismissed the church's application for leave to appeal, saying that the Court of Appeal was right in its decision to ban the word in the Catholic weekly.
Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, who led the seven-man bench, said the President of the Court of Appeal Md Raus Sharif, Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin and Federal court judge Suriyadi Halim Omar agreed that leave should not be granted.
The CFM, Eu (pic) said, was "extremely disappointed" with the decision, adding that simple justice would have meant allowing the appeal to go through.
"We continue to maintain that the decision of the Court of Appeal, and its reasoning in arriving at their decision, were so critically flawed in so many respects.
"Simple justice would have mandated an appeal, to rectify the many incorrect and inaccurate statements and observations of the Court of Appeal that led to its decision," he said.
He said the Appellate Court's decision had caused serious negative repercussions on the freedom of religion for Christians in Malaysia but lamented that the Catholic Church had been denied the opportunity to challenge the "inaccurate statements and observations".
"In the meantime, we call on the Christian community in Malaysia to remain steadfast in their faith and courageous in the face of much prolonged adversity," Eu said.
Earlier today, Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew also expressed disappointment that the four judges who had rejected their application had not talked about the rights of the minority in the country.
"The four judges who did not grant us the leave to appeal spoke about things that did not touch on fundamental basic rights of minorities," he said outside the court.
One of the church's lawyers, S. Selvarajah said the church was considering a review of the Federal Court decision but added that no decision had been made so far. – June 23, 2014.