In the most recent ruling, the owner of Borders, Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd had failed in their stay application for any action by JAWI (the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department). This was in relation to the recent seizure of the Irshad Manji’s book entitled ‘Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta ‘(Allah, Liberty and Love) that took place some 2 months ago.
According to High Court judge Datuk Rohana Yusof, the stay application was dismissed in her chambers where the general manager of Borders in charge of operations and merchandising Stephen Fung Wye Keong and its store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz applied for all action by JAWI to remain status quo until their judicial review application is disposed of.
In their file, the respondents named were the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein and Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir bin Baharom, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs. In the charge, Nir Raina was charged for distributing by way of selling the books through the branch at The Gardens Mall in MidValley City.
They are also seeking for a declaration to nullified and void the action by JAWI on May 23 and quash its decision to arrest and prosecute Nik Raina. On the other hand, ZI Publications Sdn Bhd, the publisher of the book and company director Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid was granted the challenge of the raid and the seizure of the book as well as the arrest of the latter by JAIS (the Selangor Islamic Religious Department).
In this case, they are claiming that JAIS had raided their premises in Petaling Jaya and seized 180 copies of the book and arrested Ezra with which he was then brought to the office of JAIS before going to the Shah Alam Lower Syariah court. In their argument, the raid and arrest were unlawful as JAIS had no jurisdiction over them and are seeking compensation for damages and mental distress.