Withdraw appeal on use of 'Allah’, return power to TYT to appoint Judicial Commissioner - Ewon
6 Dec 2021
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: Kadamaian State Assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick has called on the State Government to urge the Federal Government to withdraw the appeal against the High Court’s ruling on March 10, 2021 regarding the use of the word ‘Allah’ among non-Muslims.
The Hight Court on March 10 ruled that the ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ among Christians was irrational and invalid and that Christians could use the word ‘Allah’ in their prayers.
The ruling was made by Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin who acted as the High Court Judge, 13 years after this legal battle between the Federal Government and Jill Ireland, a Christian from Sarawak.
However, the Federal Government has filed an appeal against the judgment.
“In wishing all a Happy Christmas, I too pray and hoping that the State Government can urge the Federal Government to withdraw its appeal against the High Court’s decision on March 10, 2021 which has ruled that the ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ among non-Muslims is unconstitutional.
"Hopefully, the guarantee of religious rights of non-Muslims in Malaysia will continue to be protected, beginning here in Sabah," he said.
Ewon stated this while debating the 2022 Sabah Budget in the State Legislative Assembly sitting, today.
Ewon who is also the Vice President of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) also urged the State Government to call on the Federal Government to amend Article 112AB of the Federal Constitution to return the power to the Heads of State (TYT) of Sabah and Sarawak to appoint Judicial Commissioners of the Sabah and Sarawak High Courts.
“I am not sure why the Sabah leadership in 1994 could agree to the amendment of this particular provision in the Federal Constitution which caused our TYT to lose the power its held since the formation of Malaysia.
"As the young generation of Sabah leaders, we want this power to be returned to Sabah TYT in accordance with the aspirations of the Malaysia Agreement and also for the Sabah and Sarawak High Courts to be given their own budgets, among others, to implement mobile court programmes and similar initiatives," said Ewon.
The Sabah State Legislative Assembly session will be held until this Thursday to debate the 2022 Sabah Budget which was presented by the Chief Minister on Friday last week.