KUALA LUMPUR: The Catholic Herald magazine is permitted to use the word Allah provided the publication clearly states the words “For Christians only” in its masthead.
Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew said this was stated in the recently gazetted Internal Security Act signed by the Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar on Feb 16.
“The next edition of the Herald will contain the word Allah, and we will print the words “For Christians only” on the masthead so as not to contravene the Act,” he said.
It is learnt the Act also forbids the use of the words Kaabah, solat and baitullah.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry’s Quran Publication Control and Text Division secretary Che Din Yusoh confirmed the content of the gazetted Act.
The High Court will today hear the mention of the case about the use of the word Allah in the Herald.
The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, who is the plaintiff, had applied for a judicial review of a Home Ministry directive last year forbidding the Herald publisher from using the word Allah as a synonym for “God.”
The plaintiff’s counsel Porres Royan had argued that the directive was unlawful and that the word was not exclusive to Islam.
On Dec 5, the publisher filed a writ of summons in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to seek a declaration on the use of the word.
The other respondents were the Home Ministry, the Government and the state Islamic Councils of the Federal Territory, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor, Kedah, Johor, Malacca and the Malaysia Chinese Muslim Association.