KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Idris Jala believes that the order to stop the distribution of the Herald in Sabah over the weekend was a case of a "misunderstanding", adding that the 10-point agreement between Putrajaya and East Malaysia still stands.
Idris, who was the architect of the 10-point agreement which allowed the printing, importation and distribution of the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia version of the bible, broke his silence on the Allah issue today when he said, "this should not have happened".
He said he regretted the action of the Home Ministry.
“They should have not stopped the Herald in Sabah. It shouldn't have happened,” Idris, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, told reporters after opening the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) in Kuching.
He said the Prime Minister had made it abundantly clear that Christians in the two East Malaysian states could continue to have publications containing the word Allah.
“There should not have been a problem.”
Idris said he had not been briefed on the move of the Home Ministry but believed “there is a misunderstanding but I don't know the details”.
Home Ministry officials on Thursday stopped about 2,000 copies of the weekly publication from being distributed when the consignment arrived at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
The consignment arrived at 2.54pm and after it was vetted by ministry officers, the forwarding company was told not to release the 2,000 copies which were to be distributed to churches in Sabah.
It was eventually released on Sunday after the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, sought the intervention of Barisan Nasional MP Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau.
Idris pointed out that the Home Ministry should not have stopped the consignment from being distributed as the 10-point agreement “still stands” despite the Court of Appeal ruling.
“The 10-point agreement is still very valid. The court ruling is purely on the Herald (in the peninsula),” Idris added.
On October 14, the court ruled that Herald must not use the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia section, overturning a High Court decision in December 2009.
Source: The Malaysian Insider