Mais: Dewan Bahasa can prepare BM bible to correct Christians’ ‘Allah’ use

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka can prepare an official Malay translation of the bible to correct Christians’ alleged error in using the word “Allah” for God, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) asserted in court today.

Mais lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla claimed that the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak had wrongly used “Allah” for God in Bahasa Malaysia, arguing that they should instead use “Tuhan” and that this would not deprive them of their rights.

“That’s why we submit it should be sent to Dewan Bahasa. That will also be in line with para 2 of 2011,” he said, referring to the government’s 10-point solution issued in 2011 which had said bibles of all languages, including Bahasa Malaysia, can be printed in Malaysia.

“The government is also interested in allowing for Bahasa Malaysia publication of bibles. If Bahasa Malaysia publication of bibles is allowed, Dewan Bahasa would then prepare text to be approved by the Christian community, we would then not have this issue for generations to come,” he said. Read more

Rights groups support anti-discrimination laws

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Several non-government organisations (NGOs) urged the government today to enact anti-discrimination laws, after a PKR lawmaker suggested legislating against workplace discrimination.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said such laws were necessary after a recent incident involving an international hotel not allowing its front desk staff to wear headscarves.

“All policies should uphold the basic principle enshrined under Article 8 of Federal Constitution that guarantees equality and non-discrimination on the basis of gender and religion.

“Towards this aim, we call for increasing urgency to adopt a Gender Equality Act for Malaysia that would end gender discrimination in the workplace and other spheres of life,” the group said in a statement today. Read more

Putrajaya’s 10-point solution overrides 1986 ‘Allah’ ban on Christian publications, court told

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 ― The federal government’s 2011 solution dubbed the “10-Point Solution” overrides its 1986 outdated ban on the word “Allah” in Christian publications, a lawyer argued in the High Court today.

Lim Heng Seng, the lead counsel for his Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Bumiputera Christian client Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, claimed the government’s lawyer had effectively acknowledged that the 10-point solution overrode the 1986 ban.

Lim also said a memo was issued by the Home Ministry’s secretary-general to government officials for compliance with the 10-point solution in 2011 or risk disciplinary proceedings.

“So why do you allow the 1986 directive to hang like a sword of Damocles over Christians?” he asked.

“Obsolete, redundant, inapplicable and overridden,” he said when describing the 1986 government directive. Read more

Lawyers: Workplace discrimination law won’t affect Bumiputera quotas

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 ― Enacting a law against employment discrimination will not contradict constitutional provisions that provide for Bumiputera quotas for positions in public service, lawyers said.

Lawyer Surendra Ananth noted that the Federal Constitution’s Article 153 ― which covers the special position of Malays and Sabah and Sarawak’s natives ― is limited to only the public sector in terms of the workplace, and already provides for the equality that a workplace discrimination law would push for.

“I don’t think there would be a contradiction of Article 153. As far as workplace is concerned, Article 153 refers expressly to public services only. Further, Article 153 inherently provides for the safeguard of equality and non-discrimination,” he said, citing Article 153(5) which expressly said that nothing in Article 153 would diminish Article 136. Read more