Hornbill Unleashed

May 6, 2014

SIB fails bid, judge ‘bound’ by Herald ruling

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM
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FMT Staff

Justice Zaleha Yusof in her ruling said she was bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal in The Herald case.

the herald SIBKOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Sijil Injil Borneo (SIB) church today lost its long court battle challenging the seizure of three boxes of children’s religious books which contained the terms ‘Allah’, ‘Baitullah’, ‘Solat’ and ‘Kaabah’.

The books, in Bahasa Indonesia, were seized by the Home Ministry from the Low Cost Terminal in August 2007. They were released in 2008.

In December 2007, SIB president Jerry Dusing filed an application for a judicial review to quash the ministry’s decision to seize the books as well as the withholding of delivery of two other titles under the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 (PPPA).
This morning the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Zaleha Yusof ruled in favour of the ministry.

Zaleha ruled that she was ‘bound’ by the recent Court of Appeal ruling which held that the term ‘Allah’ was not an integral part of the Christian faith and practice.

Referring to last year’s ruling against the use of the word by Catholic weekly The Herald, Zaleha said: “Although the ruling was limited to the Herald all the learned judges ruled that the use of Allah is not an integral part of the practice and faith of Christianity,”

“The lower courts are bound by the decision of the superior court, so the seizure by the Home Ministry is not unconstitutional,” she said.

In October last year the Court of Appeal banned the Catholic weekly The Herald from using the word “Allah” to refer to God in its Bahasa Malaysia publication.

A three-man bench chaired by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali ruled that the government did not violate the Church’s constitutional rights by banning the use of the word.

In overturning a lower court decision in 2009, Apandi said: “It is our common finding that the name Allah was not an integral part of the Christian faith and practice.

“Such usage if allowed will inevitably cause confusion within the community.”

This decision however is pending appeal at the federal court.

SIB to appeal

In an immediate reaction, Dusing said the church will appeal today’s High Court decision.

“We will push this to the Appeals Court. We will not rest… this is important not just for Sabah and Sarawak, but also for Malaysia.

“(Because) during the formation of Malaysia there was no indication of a majority religion to be taken into account…we were at that point using the Malay language. Allah is part and parcel of our faith,” he said.

He reiterated that the SIB case was different from The Herald issue as it deals directly with the practice of the faith by the Malay-speaking East Malaysian Christian community.

SIB’s judicial review was seeking four declarations by the High Court to guarantee the rights of Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to profess and practice their faith as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. These were among others:

a) that it is the constitutional right of the church to use Allah as a translation of the word God in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia;
b) that the church and its members are guaranteed equality of all persons before the law and are protected from discrimination against citizens, in particular the exercise of power under the PPPA;
c) that the subsidiary legislation made by order published in Gazette under Section 22 of the Internal Security Act 1960 pertaining to the prohibition of the Alkitab to be declared unconstitutional and in violation of Article 3 (Islam is the official religion but all other religions can be professed freely) and Article 8 (equality before the law), Article 11 (freedom of religion),and Article 12 (rights in respect of religion) of the Federal Constitution; and
d) that in categorising the matter of the use of the word Allah as a security issue and in effecting the prohibition, the Federal Government has infringed Articles 74, 76 and 80 of the Constitution by transgressing into a matter which is not within the powers of the federal government.

In March Dusing had said he hoped the case would give East Malaysians an opportunity to express their point of view on the Allah issue.

The Allah issue is a central concern to the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak. Following the 2008 general election, the Borneo states have been questioning the treatment meted out to them as “equal partners” to the Malaysia Agreement signed in 1963 in all areas including freedom of religion.



  1. Those SIB people who voted in the devil should be ashamed of themselves. See the obstacle to religious freedom and worship of the True Living God the devil is denying them.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — May 7, 2014 @ 9:21 PM | Reply

    • Only devil hate bibles……there is no god in islamic, Muslim al-kitab too many copy cat from the bible…they only know hate each other not just one kind…..Muslim is a born racist religion in bound blood of the world…..in my point are they know only to go war in slogan jihadist….for example Al-Qaeda, Taliban, IS etc.

      Comment by Rita — November 4, 2014 @ 10:45 AM | Reply

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