KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 – The future has just grown murkier for the country’s only Catholic newspaper, which is locked in a lawsuit against the Home Minister over the right to publish the word “Allah” to mean God for Christians.
The Malaysian Insider was told that The Herald’s publishing permit for next year was retracted recently.
The weekly’s priest-editor, Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew, explained that the Catholic Church which publishes the multi-lingual weekly, had first applied for the annual licence in late July.
The Home Ministry had replied on Aug 5 and approved their application to publish in four languages: Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin and Tamil, but rejected their request to add a new language, Kadazandusun.
The church received a second letter from the Home Ministry on Sept 3, which promptly retracted the approval given a month earlier even though the RM800 publishing fee had been paid up.
No reason was given for the rejection, Andrew said.
Instead, the Home Ministry ordered the church to disclose its bank accounts and send in the latest statement, which Andrew found odd.
“They are a licensing body for permits, not a commercial body,” he said.
The priest also said they were forced to put in a letter asking for a refund on the RM800 payment, which he also found strange.
He noted that the ministry should have returned the money automatically, and added that he would not follow the directive as it may indicate that the church agreed with the rejection.
Andrew said the church has enlisted the aide of Datuk Michael Chong, a special officer to the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and a church-going Catholic, to clear the confusing chain of events.
Chong responded promptly and told him the deputy home minister had “overturned” the decision to reject the church’s permit.
But there has been no breakthrough since then. Their last communication was yesterday, through an SMS exchange.
“We’re in limbo right now,” Andrew said.
Taken from: TheMalaysianInsiderEven our catholic's right to preach to our own people is being monitored by the government... What is this country coming to? The Malaysian government is trying to control our religion? We should have freedom to preach what we believe.. As long as we don't do it in a radical way, then I think that it should be fine...The Herald is a catholic newspaper that is published only to be sold in churches, where distribution is only towards the catholic community. This newspaper is not sold to the public. So tell me, is there gonna be a big country crisis if the newspaper is being sold among the catholic community?I don't know what our government is thinking, but I sure know that it will cause a lot of anger from our catholic community. Instead of trying to ban our newspaper, try to improve your bloody lousy services.. It's as lousy as it could be already..
Friday, November 13, 2009 [DeathTeaM]†BlaNc† Sprayed.