June 6: Case management of application by SIB to cross examine Home Ministry officer

KUALA LUMPUR: An application by Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Church president Datuk Jerry W.A Dusing @ Jerry W. Patel to cross-examine a Home Ministry officer on how the reference of God as 'Allah' by non Muslims could cause confusion and threaten public order in the country has been fixed for case management on June 6.

High Court judge Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said set the date in chambers in the presence of senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, who appeared for the Home Ministry and the government, and lawyer Tan Hooi Ping, representing Dusing.

Dusing applied to cross examine Home Ministry officer Barkhiya Shahiruddin to verify the affidavit-in-reply she made on on behalf of the defendants (Home Ministry and the government).

In the affidavit-in-reply, the defendants said the word Allah was exclusive to Islam and Muslims in the country and usage of the word by other religious faiths caused confusion and created religious sensitivity, as well as threaten public order.

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.

Meanwhile, Shamsul told reporters that a judicial review application by ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and its director, Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid, to challenge a raid carried out by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) to seize translated copies of the book, Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta, authored by Irshad Manji, had been fixed for case management on May 30.

He said the case would come up before Kamaludin.

Shamsul said the court had also set May 16 for case management of a judicial review application by Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk ASeri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Muhammad Zahid Md Arip in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The matter will be heard before High Court judge Datin Azizah Nawawi, he said. — Bernama