The government and home ministry have withdrawn their appeal against a High Court decision ruling that Christians can use the word "Allah" in the publication of religious material for learning purposes.
According to Sinar Harian, the notice of termination of the judicial review appeal was filed by the Attorney-General's Chambers on April 18, at the office of the Court of Appeal registrar in Putrajaya.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court on March 10, 2021 ruled that Christians could use "Allah" along with three other Arabic words – "Baitullah", "kaabah" and "solat" – in their religious publications for educational purposes.
Judge Nor Bee Ariffin had allowed a judicial review application by Sarawak native Christian, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, whose legal battle on the matter began 13 years ago.
Nor Bee in her ruling held that the 1986 directive by the home ministry barring the use of the four words was filled with illegality and irrationality.
She also said that the words could be used by the Christian community for teaching purposes as they had been in use for more than 400 years.
However, Putrajaya lodged an appeal, saying it was "not satisfied" with the ruling.
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told reporters today that his ministry had decided to withdraw the appeal, adding that a note was sent to the Cabinet several months ago.
"It is a position taken by the home ministry, and I had to inform the Cabinet, which I did a few months ago," he was quoted as saying by The Malay Mail.