10-point solution will be used to solve tussle over ‘Allah’, says minister

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(The Malay Mail) – The government’s 10-point solution still stands and will be used to resolve Sabah Sijil Injil Borneo (SIB)’s predicament over using the word “Allah” to refer to God in Christian publications, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.

Kurup, who is the minister in charge of interfaith matters, insisted that the federal government has never wavered from its stance.

“I have seen the prime minister and he said we will be holding on to the 10-points and it will be used to settle this case,” said Kurup briefly at the sidelines of a forum organised by the Global Movement of Moderates.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration issued the 10-point solution shortly before the Sarawak state election in 2011 to end a Home Ministry blockade of shipments of Christian Holy Scriptures in the Malay language containing the word “Allah.”

Kurup said the government is also looking into “long-term solutions” for the matter including the long-discussed national harmony bill.

On May 5, the High Court here struck out Sabah SIB’s 2007 lawsuit against the Home Ministry for confiscating three boxes of Malay-language Christian publications that contained the word “Allah”.

The High Court said it was bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal, which ruled in October last year that the Arabic word “Allah” is not an integral part of the practice and faith of Christianity.

The books, imported from Indonesia, were seized at the international budget airport terminal in Sepang on August 15, 2007 while in transit.

They were later returned to the Sabah church on January 25, 2008.Kurup added that he had spoken to SIB and the church’s lawyers will be using the 10-point solution to appeal the High Court’s decision.