SIB Sabah Church Law Suit Against the Malaysian Government

(excerpt) The suit brought by the SIB Sabah Church against the government over the confiscation of their Christian publications containing the word Allah was again postponed Tuesday (29 Jan), making it the third delay in a row….The suit is filed by Pastor Jerry Dusing and SIB, a native bumiputra Christian denomination in Sabah over the confiscation of some of their Christian publications for children that contained the word “Allah” and detention of some others that were brought in from Indonesia last August.

They are asking the court for a judicial review of minister’s decision to confiscate and detain their books as well as for a return of the publications. They are also 22 declaratory reliefs relating mainly to the freedom to practice their religion arising from the seizure. In the meanwhile, they are also asking for a stay order against the respondents.

Malaysia: SIB Suit Postponed Again

PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA: The suit brought by the SIB Sabah Church against the government over the confiscation of their Christian publications containing the word Allah was again postponed Tuesday (29 Jan), making it the third delay in a row.

A delegation of church leaders from the Sidang Injil Borneo led by its president Pastor Jerry Dusing flew in from various parts of Sabah for today’s hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

However, upon arrival they learned that the respondents – the Minister of Internal Security who is also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and the government – have sought an adjournment.

Applying for the postponement on behalf of the Attorney General, Senior Federal Counsel Azizah Nawawi said they are asking for more time to file in their written submissions in reply to the applicants written submission filed at the last hearing two weeks ago on 16 January.

She is asking for the hearing to be schedule in May or June, which is after the general elections expected to be held before that.

The suit is filed by Pastor Jerry Dusing and SIB, a native bumiputra Christian denomination in Sabah over the confiscation of some of their Christian publications for children that contained the word “Allah” and detention of some others that were brought in from Indonesia last August.

They are asking the court for a judicial review of minister’s decision to confiscate and detain their books as well as for a return of the publications. They are also 22 declaratory reliefs relating mainly to the freedom to practice their religion arising from the seizure. In the meanwhile, they are also asking for a stay order against the respondents.

The last postponement was requested on the basis that there were efforts by “other parties” to resolve the matter out of court. But this failed to materialise.

“ There had been some positive developments recently and we did not object to the postponement,” Pastor Dusing said.

“We seek and expect a fair and just resolution to the matter. If this is not forthcoming we have no option but to proceed to request for an early hearing due to the importance and urgency of our application for a stay of the administrative order prohibiting the use of the word “Allah” in our religious publications. We are willing to wait as long as it takes for our case to be heard,” he said.

He added that regular prayer update on this case will be forwarded to all SIB districts. SIB members should liaise with their respective district superintendants and local pastors for information. (By BOB TEOH/ MySinchew)
MySinchew 2008.01.29
2008-01-29 18:14
http://www.mysinchew.com/node/6324


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