KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Bernama) — Four states which have not gazetted the prohibition on the use of the words, “Allah”, “Solat”, “Kaabah” and “Baitullah”, in any non-Muslim publication in the country, will do so soon.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the gazetting would be made in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Conference of Malay Rulers as the four states, Penang, Federal Territory, Sabah and Sarawak did not have a sultan or royal ruler.
“They come under the jurisdiction of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (in respect of Islamic religious matters) as they do not have a ruler,” he told reporters after a Maulidur Rasul 1430 Hijrah/2009 celebration, here, Monday.
Prior to this, Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin, the religious adviser to the prime minister, was quoted as saying that the respective state Islamic religious councils could take action against those who used the words, “Allah”, “Solat”, “Kaabah” and “Baitullah” in non-Muslim publications.
The decision on this was made by the National Fatwa Council as its consultative meeting and had been gazetted in 10 states except Penang, Federal Territory, Sabah and Sarawak.
The use of the words became an issue among Muslims after the local Catholic weekly, The Herald, used the word “Allah” is its Bahasa Malaysia edition.
Ahmad Zahid, when winding up the debate on the royal address in Parliament last Thursday, said although the government, 10 state Islamic religious councils and the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association had applied for their case for the ban to be referred to the Federal Court as it involved the Federal Constitution, 10 states had already gazetted the decision made by the National Fatwa Council on the ban.
He said the decision of the 10 states was made under the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment.