The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) has yet to decide whether to appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling that stopped them from being a party in a lawsuit filed by a church group.
Council lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said he had yet to brief his client on last week’s ruling to obtain further instructions.
“I believe the council needs time to meet before making a decision,” he told FMT.
Haniff said the council had 30 days from Sept 30 in the event it intends to file an appeal in the Federal Court.
Haniff said this in response to whether the council would now confine itself to a role of amicus curiae (friend of the court) in Sidang Injil Borneo’s (SIB) court proceedings to use the word “Allah” in their religious propagation.
Last week, Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer allowed SIB’s appeal to prevent the council being a party to the suit as it had no rights over non-Muslims.
Hamid said the council failed to show that it had a direct interest in the judicial review bid.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court judge will meet both parties on Monday to fix trial dates.
SIB and its president, Rev Jerry Dusing, filed the suit in December 2007 after three boxes of imported Malay-language Christian educational books that contained the word “Allah” were seized by the Customs Department at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal in Sepang in August 2007.
The books were returned to SIB in January 2008.
SIB is also seeking a declaration that it has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in religious publications and purposes.
Last year, the council filed an application to be made party to SIB’s suit.