Call upon lawyers for the Herald to invoke Rule 61 of the Rules of the Federal Court, 1995

In view of the serious ramifications and implications of the ruling by the Court of Appeal on the ‘Allah’ issue, I call upon the lawyers for The Herald to invoke Rule 61 of the Rules of the Federal Court, 1995 and apply in writing to the Chief Justice, Malaysia for the urgent hearing of their appeal to the Federal Court.

[Rule 61 reads, ‘Any party filing a notice of appeal may in the case of urgency apply in writing to the Chief Justice who if satisfied that it is a proper case for an urgent hearing, may order the appeal to be heard at the earliest time convenient to the Court.’]

As a result of the ruling, there is serious disquiet and tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country, in particular the Christians. There is no doubt the net has been cast too wide by the Court of Appeal in bringing in its swoop even the mention of ‘Allah’ in the Sikh Bible 37 times. This is clearly unconstitutional. The Sikhs must be reassured that they are not affected by the ruling of the Court of Appeal. Likewise, the Christians should be assured that the Federal Court will comprise both Muslim and non-Muslim judges. In fact, the full bench of the Federal Court comprising all 14 judges [including the Chief Judges of Malaya and Sabah and Sarawak, the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Justice, Malaysia] should be empanelled to hear the appeal. This issue requires to be finally and authoritatively decided by the highest court in the land.

It has been rightly said a rose by any name will smell as sweet. Does it matter in what name the Almighty is referred to?

It is indeed heartening to note the UAE’s The National reporting,

'Indeed, both Christians and Jews used the word ‘Allah' to refer to God even before the coming of Islam. That is all.’

Karpal Singh DAP National Chairman & MP for Bukit Gelugor