The Sultan of Selangor has requested Anwar Ibrahim to wait for the National Council of Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) to deliberate on Putrajaya's move to revoke the appeal in the "Allah" case, following an audience by the prime minister today.
In a statement, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah said this was because the council is tasked with the role of advising the Malay rulers on the administration of Islam at the federal level.
"I believe that it is important that MKI's views be forwarded to the Council of Rulers in coming up with a conclusive policy on the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims in Malaysia," he said, adding that Anwar has agreed to consult the MKI on the issue in August before bringing it up to the Malay rulers in October.
The sultan urged all quarters to respect the constitutional provisions on the powers of the Malay rulers in matters of Islam.
He also urged for the matter not to be politicised and to wait for a decision by the Council of Rulers.
On March 10, 2021, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled in favour of an application filed by Jill Ireland, who sought a declaration that her constitutional rights were violated when the home ministry in 2008 seized Christian religious CDs and books using the term "Allah" under Section 9(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
The court decision was followed by an appeal filed by Putrajaya, then under the Perikatan Nasional government headed by Muhyiddin Yassin.
On May 15, Putrajaya that it was dropping its appeal to challenge a High Court decision in 2021 allowing Christians to use the word "Allah" in their religious publications, sparking a flurry of criticism from Muslim groups, lawyers as well as top Perikatan Nasional leaders.
Anwar meanwhile defended the decision, saying the prohibition on non-Muslims using the term "Allah" in their religious materials remained.
He said in the Dewan Rakyat on May 23 that the move to drop the appeal was made after consultation with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He added that the Agong had said that any decision must be in line with the Malay rulers council, which prohibits the word from being used by Christians in the peninsula, while giving leeway for those in the two Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak.