Sarawak woman gets nod to challenge ministry’s action

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: A woman from Sarawak got the nod from the High Court yesterday to challenge the Home Ministry's decision to confiscate eight compact discs (CDs) on Christian teachings, containing the word "Allah" on the covers.

Judge Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin granted leave to an application for a judicial review by Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, 27, a clerk, which she filed on Aug 20 last year.

Jill, a Melanau of the Christian faith, is seeking an order to quash the ministry's decision to confiscate and seize the CDs, an order to direct the ministry to return the CDs to her and a declaration that she has the right to possess, use and import publications containing the word "Allah".

Alizatul made the decision in chambers after hearing submissions by Jill's counsel Annou Xavier and Henry Teh, and senior federal counsel Suzanna Atan who represented the respondents — the ministry and the government.

Jill claimed that the ministry seized the CDs on May 11 last year when she disembarked at the low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang on arrival from Indonesia.

The CDs were bought in Indonesia and were of various titles including "Cara Menggunakan Kunci Kerajaan Allah", "Cara Hidup Kerajaan Allah" and "Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah" .

She said they were for her personal use.

Jill said she received a letter dated July 7 last year from the ministry on the reasons for the confiscation.

The reasons included a threat to security, the CDs contained prohibited words and, therefore, breaching Department of Islamic Development Malaysia's guidelines, she added.