SIB church filed notice to discontinue leave to appeal bid over discovery of documents

PUTRAJAYA: Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church has filed a notice to discontinue its leave to appeal application in the Federal Court over the discovery of documents pertaining to the Cabinet’s decision prohibiting the use of the word “Allah” in non-Muslim publications.

Lawyer Bobby Chew representing the SIB church and its president, Jerry W A Dusing@Jerry W Pate, when contacted, said the notice of withdrawal of the leave to appeal application was filed on March 22.

He said he had informed the court during case management which was conducted via e-Review yesterday.

On March 17 this year, Chew had said he received instruction from his clients to withdraw the leave to appeal application for discovery of documents in view of the High Court’s decision in allowing a judicial review brought by Sarawak native Christian, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill.

SIB church had, in November last year, filed a motion in the Federal Court to obtain leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of the church’s appeal on the discovery of the documents on Oct 12 last year.

On Oct 16, 2017, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed the church’s application for the documents, ruling that the documents were classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and could not be released.

The documents were requested by the church and Dusing in a judicial review application filed on Dec 10, 2007, against the Home Ministry and the government over their right to use the word “Allah” to refer to God in their religious publications.

SIB Church and Dusing filed the judicial review after the Malay-language Christian religious books containing the word “Allah” which were brought in from Surabaya Indonesia, were seized by the Customs Department at the low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang in August 2007.

On Oct 1, 2014, the Court of Appeal gave the nod to the church to commence a judicial review over the right to use the word “Allah” in all its religious publications and materials after the Kuala Lumpur High Court on May 5, 2014, dismissed the SIB church’s leave application to initiate a judicial review.

They are seeking a declaration that they have a constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in their Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia-translated Christian bibles and in all their religious publications and materials.

The church’s judicial review in the High Court is set for case management on April 19. — Bernama

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