Cabinet should make a decision to withdraw the appeal against Lau Bee Lan judgment on the Allah controversy

The Cabinet should make a decision to withdraw the appeal against the KL High Court judgment of Lau Bee Lan on the Allah controversy now that the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has admitted that his predecessor, Tan Sri Hamid Albar should not have banned the word “Allah” from being used by the Catholic Church.

Speaking at the Fourth Annual Malaysian Student Leaders’ Summit yesterday, Hishammuddin admitted that this issue will continue to haunt his ministry “for a very long time”, saying: “We should have let the sleeping dogs lie.”

With Hishamuddin’s admission, the Cabinet should do what it had failed to do these past six months after the Lau Bee Lan judgement in January, i.e. take a policy decision that the Home Ministry should withdraw its appeal against the High Court judgement allowing the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia sections of its newspapers, Herald, to demonstrate the government’s seriousness and commitment to resolve the issue through inter-religious dialogue.
So far, Cabinet Ministers had been denied the right to consider whether the Home Ministry should withdraw its appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment on the “Allah” controversy.

This is the time for the Cabinet to take full responsibility for the resolution of this controversy especially as the original decision to file the appeal against the Lau Bee Lan judgment was made without reference to the Cabinet.

When Lau released the written grounds of her judgement laying out the reasons and the laws behind her ruling on January 15 this year, I had called on the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail to ensure that all Cabinet Ministers were immediately given copies of the 57-page judgment so that they can individually make up their minds on whether the Cabinet should take the decision that the Home Ministry withdraw its appeal in the “Allah” controversy and focus instead on inter-religious dialogue to resolve the issue in view of Lau’s well-reasoned and solid judgment, in particular:

  • the 22 grounds why the Home Ministry’s ban on Herald on the use of the word “Allah” is illegal;

  • why the Home Minister’s ban is unconstitutional;

  • on the seeming conflict between the Federal Constitution and the state enactments to control and restrict the propagation of religious doctrine among Muslims;

  • on the claim that the Home Minister’s ban was to safeguard public security and order; and

  • on claims from Muslim groups that “Allah” cannot be challenged in court.

All Cabinet Ministers must be conscious of the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility as the appeal is not just the appeal of the Home Ministry but represents the appeal by the Barisan Nasional government and Cabinet.

With Hishammuddin’s admission of the mistake by the former Home Minister in creating the “Allah” controversy, undermining Malaysia’s multi-religious harmony, this is the time for the Cabinet to revisit this issue to make a policy decision to drop the appeal or Cabinet Ministers would be failing in their individual and collective responsibility in continuing to drag out the controversy in allowing the appeal to remain in court, still unheard.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 4:22 pm

    Actually its possible for Hishamuddin to get the Cabinet to do it given its current makeup which is different from last year. But UMNO Supreme Council is another matter. Its UMNO Supreme Council that he need his cabinet colleagues to help win over.

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 5:05 pm

    Remember a 2-faced cold-blooded reptile speaks with a forked tongue

  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 5:26 pm

    Allah said He will make known His Holy Name to all races in every part of the world, in every place of worship, even in temples and churches…………………….

    Now that His Holy Name is known and being used by the Catholic Church, why are UNMO muslims protesting, making Islam a misunderstood religion?

    Malaysia is the only country in the world to ban the use of the world ‘Allah’ making whoever called for the banning narrow-minded and appearing stupid.

  4. #4 by Cinapek on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 6:18 pm

    Hishamuddin said: “We should have let the sleeping dogs lie.” on the ALLAH issue.

    He should not just talk. He should have the guts to walk the talk and do the right thing. He should repair the damage he admitted has been caused by the BN by bringing this matter up to the Cabinet and get the approval to drop the appeal.

    Anything less and it would be clear to all and sundry that he is hypocritical and he would do more damage than good to himself with this admission of BN screw up and yet he lacks the guts to correct it. And please, do not expect us to feel sorry for you if you have a tough job to correct this. It goes with the territory and if you cannot stand the heat in the kitchen then get out. You already have a credibility problem with your infamous keris waving and your public show of support for the cow head gang.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 6:39 pm

    Hishamuddin talking holy stuffs?
    He cannot think straight and contradicts himself so many times…it is useless to think of him as a law maker but a big mouth it in by Najib to make noise for UMNO B.
    ‘ALLAH” is a word…that does not belong to UMNO B at all.
    UMNO B hopes Malaysians do not understand any other languages…especially Hebrew and Sanskrit….which uses “ALLAH” by Christians and god fearing humans…this word…to described so many things.
    Let those idiots keep on making fools of themselves..hoping to fish Muslims votes as their champion to protect Islam religion….ONLY in Malaysia.
    We all know…without race and religion politics…UMNO B is finished.

  6. #6 by Jong on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 7:17 pm

    HahaHHa! Since the LauBeeLan judgement on “Allah” controversy and the appeal that followed, it has been made to poke fun at Malaysian Muslims and non-Muslims alike, across the globe!

  7. #7 by johnnypok on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 11:09 pm

    Our so-called public servants should use their time and energy to improve the economy.

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 11:46 pm

    If Hishamuddin believes the “Allah” issue is a mistake and should not have happened, he can easily end it “with the stroke of a pen”.

    So will he stroke his pen?

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 1:49 am

    Was he sober when he say dat?
    Did he say dat after a couple of pints of happy hour-EtOH?

  10. #10 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 5:26 am

    Mr Home Minister: don’t waste time being apologetic.
    Just do your job properly and withdraw the Home Ministry’s ban and then work with the Minister on Islamic Affairs to handle the Muslims who need further education on the rights of non-Muslims.
    Seriously the government spends so much money of TV for Islamic religious programs and talk shows, we should have saints walking among us instead of all the animosity.

  11. #11 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 11:46 am

    The Home Minister is afraid of the more junior minister who overrules him. He just doesn’t have the guts. He’s impotent.

    He just can’t stroke his pens and solve the problem with his strokes.

    He’s just trying to pass the buck.

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