Political analyst and constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari (right) argued that Nazri must resign if he chooses to express a different stance from that of the government on the contentious issue.
He said that under the concept of collective responsibility, a minister must remain silent even if he or she does not agree with decisions made by the cabinet. Those who wish to differ will have to resign.
A recent example was the departure of de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim from both the cabinet and Umno because he opposed the use of the Internal Security Act and saw no reform of the judiciary.
Abdul Aziz was referring to Nazri's announcement last Friday, that Christians in Sabah and Sarawak could use the term 'Allah', but that the practice would not be extended to those in the peninsula.
“From the constitutional point of view, Nazri may just be making clear the government's stand or policy. However, this has no legal effect as the matter now stands before the Court of Appeal,” he said.
“Nazri (left) has no power to vary the law as laid down by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. It is quite absurd. One cannot see how his formula can be applied, more so when Nazri does not have (jurisdiction to intervene).”
Abdul Aziz also said that neither the palace nor the government has the right to interfere with the judiciary.
The government has been named as a respondent in the dispute over the use of 'Allah'. By extension, Nazri is a member of the government.
Islamic Development Department director-general Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz had told the media on Saturday that there should not be two sets of rules for the use of 'Allah'.
Deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin (left) had said in London last week that the government will abide by the ruling.
Nazri, however, is not the only minister to have contradicted the official stand on the issue.
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had initially indicated that it was all right for Muslim groups to protest the 'Allah' ruling.
Following the police chief's clarification against demonstrations, Hishammuddin 'clarified' his remark.