July 25, 2012
Borders seeks stay of all JAWI action
by Aidila Razak@http://www.malaysiakini.com
Berjaya Books, owner of the Borders chain is seeking a stay of all action by the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) against the company and its employees, in relation to the banned book ‘Allah, Love and Liberty’.
Lawyer Ang Hean Leng said an inter-parte application was filed a week ago and the hearing has been fixed for next Monday in the Kuala Lumpur High Court before Justice Rohana Yusof.
“We are seeking to maintain the status quo so that no further action is taken against our clients pending the disposal of the judicial review,” Ang told reporters today.
This includes a court case against book store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz who was charged under Section 13(1) Federal Territory Syariah Offences Act for distributing the book at the Borders outlet in the Gardens, Mid-Valley Mall, on May 23.
She is liable to a RM3,000 fine and two years’ jail or both, upon conviction.The hearing of the case in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court has been brought forward from September 19 to August 7.
Berjaya Books, along with the Assistant General Manager (operations and merchandising) of Borders Stephen Fung Wye Keong and Nik Raina had filed a judicial review on June 18 challenging the legality of the action against them.
Named as respondents are JAWI, the Home Affairs Minister and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic Affairs.
According to the plaintiffs, JAWI does not have power to ban a book as authority for such action should be drawn from the Publications and Printing Presses Act 1984.
Furthermore, JAWI had carried out its raid and seized copies of the book by the Ugandan-born Canadian author six days before the Home Affairs Ministry gazetted its ban.