e-JUDGMENT TODAY [2021] CLJ JT (7)
 

JILL IRELAND LAWRENCE BILL v. MENTERI BAGI KEMENTERIAN DALAM NEGERI MALAYSIA & ANOR
HIGH COURT MALAYA, KUALA LUMPUR
NOR BEE ARIFFIN J
[JUDICIAL REVIEW NO: R4(2)-25-256-2008]
17 MARCH 2021

Abstract: The Ministry of Home Affairs, through a Directive issued in 1986, banned the use of the word, among others, 'Allah', in Christian publications, citing a threat to public order. However, upon analysis and scrutiny 35 years later, the Directive was discovered to be unreflective of and inconsistent with the Cabinet's policy decision. The Directive stood on its own without any statutory backing, rendering it illegal, unlawful and a nullity for want of jurisdiction. The Directive was devoid of any legal effect whatsoever from inception. It followed that the prohibition on the use of the word, among others, 'Allah', imposed by the Directive, could not be legally sustained. The Ministry of Home Affairs had exceeded its powers and such a prohibition was against art. 11 of the Federal Constitution.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW: Judicial review Directive Validity and constitutionality Christian publications in form of educational audio compact discs carrying word 'Allah' seized and confiscated following Directive issued by Ministry of Home Affairs Directive prohibited, inter alia, use of word 'Allah' in Christian publications Whether Directive mirrored and consistent with Cabinet's policy decision Whether Directive had statutory backing Whether Minister acted legally Whether actions within limits of power prescribed by law Whether Directive legal, valid and lawful Whether had legal effects Whether there was adequate, reliable and authoritative evidentiary basis for Directive Whether there was disruption to public order and tranquility warranting Directive Printing Presses And Publications Act 1984, ss. 7(1), 9(1), 26(2)(d)

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Fundamental liberties Freedom of religion Christian publications in form of educational audio compact discs ('CDs') carrying word 'Allah' seized and confiscated following Directive issued by Ministry of Home Affairs Directive prohibited, inter alia, use of word 'Allah' in Christian publications Constitutional right to import CDs in exercise of right to practice religion and right to education Whether there was deprivation of freedom of religion Whether Directive offended art. 11 of Federal Constitution

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Fundamental liberties Equality Equality of all persons before law and protection from discrimination against citizen Christian publications in form of educational audio compact discs carrying word 'Allah' seized and confiscated following Directive issued by Ministry of Home Affairs Directive prohibited, inter alia, use of word 'Allah' in Christian publications Whether there was inequality before law Whether Directive offended art. 8 of Federal Constitution

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