You don’t have that power, Home Minister!

An opinion on why the High Court was correct in its application of the law in respect of the “Allah” issue and that the Court of Appeal should affirm that decision.

The Allah” decision back in middle of January by the High Court of Malaya may include the subject matter of the word “Allah” but the legal substance and principle matter in issue in that case is the extent of the Home Minister’s power to curtail the usage of a certain word.

I do not wish to bore the readers with a legal cross reference of this case and that statute, but safe to say, the High Court judge in that case had to decide if a Home Minister can ban a word, such as “Allah,” from being used by non-Muslims. This is significant. For if the High Court confirms that the Home Minister has such a power, then the next question to ask is, to what extent?

It is simple logic. If a Home Minister can ban usage of that word, can it also mean that the Home Minister can also ban words like “Tuhan,” “Geraja,” “Masjid,” etc? Is it also possible that if the Home Minister is a big football fan, and happen to support a team like, say Everton; can he ban that name from being used by any other fan? And to add into that ban that any usage of that word by a non-fan will be dealt with by the law?

The High Court has, in my view, correctly decided the issue, and held that the Minister does not have such a power. A perusal of the Federal Constitution and the relevant Federal statutes, clearly demonstrates that the law does not accord such a power to the Home Minister.

To cut a long argument short – the Home Minister does not have the power to ban such words of any words, for that matter.

The Home Minister now informs us Malaysians, that the Ministry intends to appeal to the Court of Appeal. What he is appealing against is not about the usage of that word “Allah” but whether the Ministry has such a power.

Will the Court of Appeal rise and defend the law? Will they be influenced by top Judge(s) who were formerly member(s) of the ruling party, now sitting in the Palace of Justice? Will the Court of Appeal be cowered into doing so after the judiciary’s website was hacked into and defaced with a threat to reverse the High Court decision?

I believe, if the Judges at the Court of Appeal, do what they are suppose to do, that is to apply the law then they should dismiss the Appeal.

I am aware that I will receive brickbats for being critical of the Judiciary at Putrajaya, but I am only a wee tax-paying Malaysian, wanting our Courts to defend the law; hoping that the law will not be skewed.

So long as practise my freedom to speak responsibly, I believe I have a right to gently remind our Judges at the Court of Appeal (and Federal Court if the case may be) to just apply the law, and nothing else but the law.

Tags: , , , , ,

Posts by

Posted on 17 February 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

Read more articles posted by .

Read this first: LB Terms of Use

4 Responses to You don’t have that power, Home Minister!

  1. Qama Gill

    the main problem of this matter is those who dragged God's name in vain. such people who called them Muslim still dare to tarnish His name. stop use religion as a veil to serve disgusting political agenda. Quoting your own Quran(109:6), "for you your religion, for me my religion." did God already teaches to respect boundaries of faith between others? for those non-believers who are seeking peace and decent life, did you forget the responsibilities to protect them if you have the power of ruling? how about the story of the Ethiopian King (or Habsyah in Arabic) who is a christian that gave asylum during the torment treatment by Mecca people? if Allah is claimed to be Muslim's right, can Christians apply to claim rights on te word Jesus, Mary, Joseph, church and bible from being use? how about Hindus with Lakshmi, Rama and Siva or Sikh with Guru Nanak or Vaisakhi? does the use of the word Allah in the published tribune is meant for defamation? or had been use by Christian in any means of degrading Muslim? i believe not. since there is no element of wrongdoing, why such fuss created for the sake of it? despite skins or faiths, we should be unified as a nation. no more of this please, Home Minister..

  2. This whole issue is becoming a laughing matter for many countries overseas. I was so totally amused reading some idiot claiming that Muslims reading the Christian bible will get confused seeing the word Allah in it, and get confused of the God they believe in. Riiiight… Muslims will get confused, but Christians have some divine wisdom to discern the Allah in the quran, n the Alah in the bible? That very suggestion about the possibility Musims getting confused is a direct insult to every Muslim in Malaysia! Which Muslim in their right mind would ever believe a word of the Christian bible? Being a Muslim, you should believe only what's in your quran and not what's written in any other religious books!!! Period!

    I'm utterly disappointed with the authorities with this totally insulting assumption of the Muslims Malaysian's wisdom. I have many friends who are Muslims and I dare claim that Muslims are much smarter and discerning that that. Want to give an excuse, choose a better one. One that doesn't put your fellow Muslims down…

  3. sang kancil

    I sincerely hope the court of appeal will reject the home minster's appeal. However, I think it may be a pie in the sky. Sigh!:(

  4. Alfred Charles

    Richard, thank you for your lucid presentation. The trouble with our judges in the Palace of Justice is simply because they are sucking up to the powers that be and they are not upholding the Federal Constitution which is a written document. The ordinary citizens are surely losing their faith in the judges especially in the CA and the FC which is supposed to be the 'last bastion of justice.'

    If judges are not brave enough to uphold justice but prefer to act in contempt of the constitution they should just resign and not cause further misery to its citizens.