KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry must return eight compact discs containing the word “Allah” that it seized from a Melanau Christian more than six years ago.
High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Zaleha Yusof quashed the then Home Minister’s decision to confiscate the CDs and ordered the items to be returned to the owner, clerk Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill.
In her judgment, Justice Zaleha said it was clear a senior authorised officer could seize materials pending a decision of the minister, though there was no provision for the minister to delegate power to a subordinate.
The judge said she found that the decision to seize the CDs was made by Customs superintendent Suzanah Muin, and not by then Home Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.
Jill Ireland’s CDs were seized on May 11, 2008, at the then low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, when she returned from Indonesia.
The Home Ministry had held then, under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA), that the CDs were in breach of the guidelines of the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim).