Sabah church seeks basis for ‘Allah’ ban, but govt says it’s a ‘secret’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — A Sabah church today asked the courts to order the government to disclose documents showing why it had banned non-Muslims from using the Arabic word “Allah”, but the government objected by saying such documents were classified as “official secrets”.

Lim Heng Seng, the lead counsel for the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sabah church, argued that it was necessary for the government to reveal information relating to its original ban in 1986 on the word “Allah” in non-Muslim publications.

Noting that the Home Ministry had cited the 1986 government circular after its 2007 seizure of SIB Sabah’s Christian education, Lim said this initial ban was the “root” behind recurring problems faced by local Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians who have been using the word “Allah” for hundreds of years.

He described the situation as akin to the “Sword of Damocles” hanging over Malaysian churches’ head, where the 31-year-old ban was not always enforced but would from time to time be used by “little Napoleons” for seizures that would later be reversed after brought to the attention of senior officials like the prime minister or ministers. Read more

No let-up on US probe — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

LAST week a US Court granted a stay of the proceedings of several civil cases filed to forfeit assets said to have been purchased with funds allegedly stolen from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund – 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

This means that proceedings with regard to these cases – 14 out of the 21 filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) – will not proceed for the moment.

The DOJ requested for this stay because it said that criminal investigations of “a large group of individuals and entities” linked to the diversion of the stolen money (money laundering) were ongoing.

The DOJ fears that facts disclosed in these civil forfeiture cases could expose the witnesses and informants in the criminal investigations to intimidation or retaliation; and jeopardise the probe and the safety of these witnesses and informants. Evidence could be destroyed by the culprits.  Read more