SIB wants cross-examination of Home Ministry officer in 'Allah' case

KUALA LUMPUR: Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) wants the Home Ministry to explain how the reference of God as 'Allah' by non Muslims could cause confusion and threaten public order in the country.

The issue was stated in the affidavit-in-support filed by its president Datuk Jerry W.A Dusing @ Jerry W. Patel on Dec 8, 2016 in his application for cross-examination of Home Ministry officer Barkhiya Shahiruddin's affidavit-in-reply.

The officer represented the Home Ministry and Malaysian Government who are defendants in SIB and Dusing's case.

In their affidavit-in-reply, the defendants said the word, Allah was exclusive to Islam and Muslims in the country and its usage by non Muslim religions causes confusion and religious sensitivity as well as threaten public order.

The plaintiffs' lawyer Lim Heng Seng told reporters today that the court fixed May 11 for case management of his clients' application for cross-examination of the Home ministry officer to determine the fact of his affidavit.

Reporters obtained a copy of Dusing's affidavit from his lawyers, Lim and Tan Hooi Ping after case management in chambers today of SIB's originating summons before High Court judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah.

In his affidavit, Dusing questioned the defendants' basis to ban distribution in Malaysia of Christian publications besides the Bible which contain the word Allah.

"The disputed grounds and facts are relevant to the issue in the court's decision on whether the plaintiffs and church members have the constitutional right to use the word 'Allah' in their embrace and practice of the Christian faith," said Dusing in the affidavit.

Dusing and SIB filed the originating summons on Dec 10, 2007 to challenge the decision of the Royal Malaysian Customs to seize religious books brought in from Surabaya, Indonesia, which contained the word Allah, at the low cost carrier terminal in Sepang on Aug 15, 2007.

The plaintiffs are also applying for a declaration that they have constitutional right to use the word Allah in their Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia-translated Christian bible and in all their religious publications and material. — Bernama