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Thread: Govt regrets Herald's defiance on use of word 'Allah'

  1. #91
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sunday, 27 October 2013 23:00 UMNO-BN IS NOW DANGEROUS! For their own safety, Christians,non-Malays must ALERT the world

    Written by J. D. Lovrenciear

    It is just unthinkable what’s next, given the “Endless Possibilities” of the PM’s minted slogan, in so far as the assault on the Catholics continues.
    The latest freezing of 2,000 copies of the Herald newspapers by authorities is more than injustice.

    Denying thousands of Catholic families in East Malaysia their weekly news bulletin on faith matters, as they travel from far and near to observe their obligatory Sunday service, is definitely totally unacceptable to any fair, just and right-minded citizen.


    What on earth exactly is UMNO-BN’s agenda? Are they truly the vanguards and custodians of Islam in Malaysia?

    Is it truly to protect Muslims from being corrupted by the Catholics?

    Is it truly an act of responsibility on the part of the UMNO-BN Muslim leaders?

    Is it truly a plausible show of solidarity by the Muslim NGO’s screaming threats against the Catholic Church in Malaysia?

    God fearing citizens are crying foul:

    Look, serious minded Malaysians are on the edge right now. God fearing Muslims and those of other religions are sharing a common anger.

    They are saying that this persecution against people of one nation who want to lead a God fearing life should not be made to suffer unduly without justification.

    People are asking if UMNO-BN is truly concerned and genuine about the faith of the Muslims and threats to Islam why is it not going after the many sins against Islam and harm against Malay Muslims in this nation that are being committed blatantly.

    Go after the uncountable massage parlors sprouting all over the nation that are offering more than massages. From “volcanic” massage to “batin” massage services’ mobile phone numbers sprayed on culverts, building corners and even street lamps, – surely our Inspector General of Police and the Home Minister are not so naďve to dismiss with a “there is no report so don’t make up stories” warning.

    These are ruining Islam.

    Oh, yes surely you have also seen the “Sex Toys” banners hugging traffic lights and lamp posts in the busy city centre? Even the Mayor does not act!

    Go after all the loan shark operators who are all over the country. Does our Home Minister know how many Muslims are victims of loan sharks? These predators are attacking Muslim homes – not Catholics sir!

    What about Jalan Raja Laut and Lorong Haji Taib. Is the Home Minister and the Inspector General of Police and all those in the likes of the militant right-wing Perkasa, Pekida and Tiga Line members not aware of how many Ladyboys and drug peddlers stalk the back lanes (or notoriously known all throughout the entire country as ‘belakang mati’) as they occupy so many operating centres there?

    These sins of the flesh, mind you, are the real enemies of Islam; not followers of the Abrahamic faith who are mindful of all these filth.

    What about all the gambling dens – the legalized outlets selling all kinds of digits from three to four to five to six and even in the name of sports? Are these not a direct threat to Islam? Are the UMNO-BN self-anointed champions of Islam blind to these sins that truly even tempt many Muslims?

    Hello, the Herald does not sell empat ekor lah!

    Deliberately playing on the emotions of 'easily influenced' Malays

    There is more to tell all these die-hard screaming extremists who are raising a pandemonium of sorts in the name of defending Islam from being tainted.

    Yes, who does not know that Petaling Street and Bukit Bintang is a tourist attraction and a flesh trade market haven? You do not have to be a Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out.

    Just walk down the streets and see for yourself how many painted ladies will beckon almost every passing male outside their operating premises. Some even thug the shirts and sleeves of passersby.

    Ask every tourist or any Malaysian taxi driver and they will tell you that you can shop beyond barang-barang at Bukit Bintang. Are these not a threat to Islam and even national security Mr. Honorable Home Minister?

    Why hound the Catholic Church that is working so hard to keep its faithful away from sin and stay loyal to God, Rulers and nation?

    Is the Herald worst an enemy to Islam than all the filth ranging from corruption, deceit, opulence, arrogance and greed for power and control?

    Pekida, Perkasa and Tiga Line as well as all the Muslim NGOs who are up in arms in the name of religion must appreciate the fact that a true crusader of Islam will fight all the corrupt ways and tempting sins that seem to go unchecked.

    Go, fight the criminals. Fight the thugs. Crush the triads. Fight the people who are operating dubious and suspicious flesh trades.

    Go demand for justice for people who are murdered like poor Altantuya.

    Demand that corruption is tackled affirmatively like what is happening in Indonesia - the world's largest muslim majority nation.

    Why persecute the minority Catholic Church and even hound down their weekly newspaper that never once said “fight BN” but always preached submission to God by being a good citizen.

    Why deny God fearing and faithful followers of religion their weekly doses of inspiration and thoughts to keep them away from sin?

    It is time to ask the Prime Minister what has he got to say? If the Honorable Datuk Seri Najib cannot respond, then we should demand from Datin Seri Rosmah who is determined to create a whole new generation of smart children, what all this threat to Islam and Muslims is all about.

    Seriously, all Malaysians need to pause, reflect and ask themselves: What is this madness all about? We need to say, enough is enough and let humanity move closer to God while fulfilling his or her obligations to Ruler and nation.

    What then is the real threat?

    We need to know what then is the real threat to Islam and Malay Muslims? The legalized sins that is sprouting all over the nation – including all the reported incidents of abuse on migrant workers, hording, corruption, and absence of justice in murder cases, or is it citizens who want to stay close to their respective faiths and lead a God fearing life?

    Leaders please rise:

    Our politicians who claim to know how to lead this nation to better benchmarks must now come together and act decisively. Leaders of religious faiths must come together with right minded politicians. Followers and champions of human rights must give the momentum.

    We must stop the rot or end up rotten.

    All these only because we care much for each other’s religions, and for this one nation we all share now and need to care for a future.

    Full article:
    Follow us: @MsiaChronicle on Twitter

  2. #92
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    In London, Najib defends Allah ruling for security, harmony reasons

    NOVEMBER 01, 2013

    Najib addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum in London on October 29, 2013. - Reuters file pic, November 1, 2013.Once again, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has chosen to open up on a touchy subject in Malaysia while travelling abroad, defending the court ruling which effectively banned Christians here from using the word Allah.

    He said that the curb against the Catholic weekly, Herald, using the word Allah was necessary to protect public security and national harmony, going as far to describe the Herald as a publication with wide circulation.

    The Herald publishes 14,000 copies every week and all are sold within the confines of churches.

    In an interview with Reuters in London, Najib said: "People must understand that there are sensitivities in Malaysia, but what is important is public security and national harmony."

    The prime minister also said that the Court of Appeal decision only covered the Catholic Herald and that the government would not stop people using the word in predominantly Christian areas.

    "With respect to the court ruling it only applies to the Herald paper, which has got wide circulation, and doesn't apply to the situation in Sabah and Sarawak.

    "So what we are trying to do objectively and above all is to ensure stability and national harmony," he said on the sidelines of the World Islamic Economic Forum.

    Najib's interpretation of the Court of Appeal's decision does not square with what Christian leaders, constitutional law experts and former attorney general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman have said about the effect of the October 14 decision.

    Critics of the court's decision argued that the judges' decision that Allah was not an integral part of Christian worship carries wider consequences beyond the Catholic Herald.

    Putrajaya has attempted to placate Christians in Sabah and Sarawak – an important vote bank for Barisan Nasional – by stressing that the court decision does not stop them from using the word Allah when worshipping but this concession has not appeased church leaders who point out that many East Malaysians now live and work in West Malaysia.

    Christian leaders also have pointed out that Christians have used the word Allah for over 100 years, certainly way before the independence of the country in 1957, and done so without causing any confusion among Muslims or disharmony in the country.

    Najib's comments on the Allah court decision at least gives Malaysians an insight into his position on the ruling. So far, he has only assured East Malaysians that a 10-point plan to resolve outstanding
    issues involving Christians is still intact.

    A key component of that plan, unveiled by the government in 2011, allows the import of Malay-language bibles which contain the word Allah.

    Najib generally stays clear of controversial subjects and rarely has press conferences at home where he speaks on a range of issues.

    This is in contrast to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who took on all questions, from the mundane to the serious, from the press when he was the PM.

    In September, Najib had told the United Nations General Assembly that there was a need for al-wasatiyyah, or the practice of moderation, as a key tool in fighting extremism despite moves to restrict the spread of Shia Islam in Malaysia.

    Mainly Muslim Malaysia follows mainstream Sunni Islam teachings but a number of Malays have been persecuted for being Shias. Islam is a state matter but the federal religious authorities also play a large role in regulating religious affairs.

    Critics said the prime minister should have denounced such restrictions which include raids and arrests, adding it went against his call for moderation. – November 1, 2013.

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Christian leaders harden stand on Allah, say Putrajaya misleading East Malaysians on court ruling

    NOVEMBER 13, 2013

    Christian leaders in Sabah and Sarawak have vowed to carry on using the word Allah even if it meant being prosecuted under a Home Ministry directive allowed by a court ruling.

    They also accused Putrajaya of trying to mislead Christians from East Malaysia into believing that the Court of Appeal ruling was only applicable to the Catholic weekly, Herald.

    They said they will speak up on this issue as this is what their respective congregations expected them to do.

    In Sarawak today, the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) will hold a public forum to address the use of the word Allah as it "relates to religious freedom". The forum will address the legal implications of the Court of Appeal ruling, on whether the decision only affects the use of the word in the Herald in Peninsular Malaysia.

    Catholic Bishop for the Keningau diocese in Sabah Datuk Cornelius Piong said Sabahans, especially the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut natives, have been using the word for generations and will continue doing so.

    "Who is going to stop us? Even God allows us to use the word," he said, calling the move to restrict the use of the word illogical.

    His conviction was supported by the Bishop for the Sandakan diocese, Datuk Julius Dusin Gitom, who said that whatever views the church leaders expressed reflected the congregation's feelings.

    "We will continue to use the word until they prosecute us," he said.

    Gitom also took to task government leaders for "hiding" the real extent of the ruling by saying that the Court of Appeal ruling was limited to the Herald.

    "It is not the case and the people know that. It is a blanket ban which affects everyone."

    He also accused political parties Umno and PAS of trying to outdo each other in being more Islamic, which he added was a contributor to the Allah problem.

    Gitom said some Catholics in rural areas who had no access to information were being told by certain political leaders that there was nothing to worry about, and that it was only a problem for the Herald.

    "These politicians are giving Catholics the wrong facts of what is really happening. That is when we step in to explain to them our rights as Christians," Gitom added.

    Piong also lashed out at ministers from Sabah who were not speaking up on the issue.

    "We are not too happy about it, they are supposed to represent us, they should speak out but they are too quiet."

    Piong said that the congregation would continue to use the word, and added: "What can they do, they will have to sew our mouths to stop us."
    Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sabah president Reverend Datuk Jerry Dusing said its members felt cheated over the way in which the government was handling religious issues.
    He said that although most of SIB's 300,000 members throughout the country were made up of natives of Sabah and Sarawak living in the interiors, they understood what was happening, even though they did not say much about it in public.
    "They may not be able to articulate exactly how they feel, mostly due to lack of confidence, but I visit them in the interiors, and they know what is happening.
    "They know the problems they face, in relation to their children being 'converted' to Islam in their identity cards and also losing their native lands. This, they said, is all linked to the government's handling of religious issues," said Dusing.
    He claimed there were so many cases where Christian parents were surprised that their children were listed as Muslim in their identity cards.
    Dusing also took to task politicians who were trying to play down the issue by saying the ruling was limited to the Herald and would not affect Sabah and Sarawak, pointing out instead that the Court of Appeal judgement had defined that the word Allah was not integral to the Christian faith.
    "So let us not be fooled that this is only about Herald and Allah. The judgment is far reaching. How can it then not apply to Sabah and Sarawak? And that is why w

    e are throwing our support behind the Catholic Church in its appeal,” Dusing added.

    The Christian community in Sarawak said the forum today is being held to inform and educate Bumiputera Christians who are affected by the court ruling.
    ACS secretary-general Ambrose Linang said the forum will discuss the historical context behind the formation of Malaysia and the promises leading to the Malaysia Agreement.
    "We will also go into the history of the Malay bible translation, that Allah is an integral part of the Christian faith among the native Christians of Sarawak," said Linang.
    "The forum will also discuss the use of Allah in the Malay language bible and Christian publications, and that the use of the word must extend to Christians in the peninsula, based on freedom of religion for all Malaysians.

    "The premise is that Article 11 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion for everyone and that it does not say one set of freedom for Sabah and Sarawak and another set of freedom for West Malaysia," he said in a statement.

    Speakers at the forum will include lawyer Lim Heng Seng, who will speak on the constitution and religious freedom, Dr Ng Kam Weng, who will address the theological and historical perspective of the use of the word Allah, and Professor Dr Jayum Jawan, on the role of churches in nation building.

    On October 14, the Court of Appeal ruled that the word Allah was not an integral part of the Christian faith and practice, where the three-man bench saw no reason for the church to remain adamant in wanting to use the name Allah.

    They also said that allowing Christians to use Allah would lead to confusion within the Muslim community.

    The ruling drew the attention of Muslim scholars from the international arena who warned that the prohibition of the word could push a progressive country like Malaysia backward. – November 13, 2013.

  4. #94
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Mon, 13 Jan 2014 03:45:00 GMT | By Kee Thuan Chye

    BLOG: The Allah’ Issue in Perspective – Part 1

    A look at the ‘Allah’ issue in perspective.

    As the ‘Allah’ issue rages on, particularly after the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raided the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seized 300-plus copies of the Bible in Malay and Iban on January 2, let’s take a moment and look at it in perspective.

    How did it start?

    Not, as falsely claimed by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, because Malaysia has become more liberal and Malaysians are testing the limits of their “new-found freedom”. Not, as he says, because some groups “purposely come up with something to annoy people” or that they want to run down other religions.

    That is the usual kind of poppycock for which he has of late been fond of spinning.

    The whole mess started in 2009 with Syed Hamid Albar, who was home minister then, banning the Catholic weeklyThe Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia section. Prior to that, there had been no issue. Christians in Sabah and Sarawak had been using it for ages, long before they joined the Federation of Malaysia. No one had raised a hue and cry.

    Yes, at the time there was already a ministerial order, issued by the home ministry in 1986, which banned all non-Muslim publications from using the word ‘Allah’, along with three other words – ‘solat’, ‘Kaabah’ and ‘Baitullah’. But it obviously ignored the fact that ‘Allah’ was in the lexicon of the East Malaysian Christians, and it appeared to have been issued without considering their sensitivities.

    Yes, there was also the Control and Restriction Enactment on the propagation of non-Islamic religions among Muslims, which had been passed into law by 10 states in Peninsular Malaysia since 1988, and it prohibits non-Muslims from using a number of Arabic terms, including the word ‘Allah’ and, strangely enough, even ‘fatwa’, ‘sheikh’ and ‘imam’. But this was promulgated for the specific purpose of preventing Muslims from being converted to other religions.


  5. #95
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Tue, 14 Jan 2014 02:00:00 GMT | By Kee Thuan Chye

    BLOG: The Allah’ Issue in Perspective – Part 2

    Looking at the ‘Allah’ issue in perspective.

    Yesterday, I looked at the ‘Allah’ issue from the time it started to what it has become today, and how we are now trapped in a web of confusion spun from diverse interpretations of the Court of Appeal’s decision on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by The Herald, as well as the “one-policy, two-countries” implication arising from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 10-point solution.

    In the midst of such confusion, how do we judge who is right – those who claim that ‘Allah’ is exclusive to Muslims or those who insist that it is their constitutional right to practise their religion the way they have been doing it for ages, including referring to God as ‘Allah’?

    How do we deal with the rising fervour on both sides, Muslim and Christian, as they seek to defend what they think is right? With Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of The Herald, who said on December 27 that Christians would continue to use ‘Allah’ in all Selangor churches, and with the Solidariti Umat Islam Klang members who protested in public against his statement?

    How do we deal with Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria’s demand for the arrest of the Malays who turned up at a church in Klang to show solidarity with Christians?

    What about Perkasa Vice-President Zulkifli Noordin’s insistence that even the Malay-language Bible (Al-Kitab) must not contain the word ‘Allah’, and that churches in Sabah and Sarawak must heed the Court of Appeal’s verdict, in spite of the 10-point solution?

    How do we deal with the call, escalated by the ‘Allah’ issue, made by Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim) for Sabah and Sarawak to secede? Or the similarly worded warning by both Bolly Lapok, the Bishop of Kuching, and Bishop Thomas Tsen, President of the Sabah Council of Churches: “Proscribing the use of the word ‘Allah’ would instantly turn native Bumiputeras into law-breakers in the very land of which they are sons of the soil. This is not only abhorrent but wholly unacceptable.”?

    What will all this fervour lead to? Should it be allowed to simmer indefinitely? What is the solution to the problem?

    Former Attorney-General Abu Talib Othman proposes one. He suggests that the 1986 ministerial order – which bans all non-Muslim publications from using the words ‘solat’, ‘Kaabah’, ‘Baitullah’ and ‘Allah’ – be revoked. If this is done, the banning of the use of ‘Allah’ by The Herald will not be an issue any more. Following from that, one supposes, the Court of Appeal’s verdict will also become academic.

    This sounds good, but the current home minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, has already come out to assert that the order will not be revoked. He has also insisted that The Herald cannot use the word ‘Allah’ even in East Malaysia. And going by the reactionary stance he has been adopting since taking over the ministry, he is not likely to budge. But even if by some miracle he does agree, the problem would be solved only for Sabah and Sarawak. What about Peninsular Malaysia?

    In that regard, Abu Talib says “the use of the word must now be extended to the peninsula” so “we can live in a happy Malaysia”. But the prime minister has to be the one to make that happen. The question is: Would he dare? As it is, with so much tension building up over the issue, all Najib has done is maintain a deafening silence.

    Besides, last November, in his Maal Hijrah address, he vowed that he would fight for the word ‘Allah’ to be exclusive to Muslims. Even though this contradicts his own 10-point solution. It proved that Najib is more interested in playing politics with the issue. He clearly presented the 10-point solution in 2011 out of political expediency, out of wanting to appease East Malaysians because he needs their votes. But as a result, the country is now caught in a tangle. And yet he has not come up with a plan to undo the tangle.

    James Masing is right in blaming the leaders in the federal government for not daring to decide on a single set of laws that will be applied nationwide. He is also right in accusing them of making religious policies out of political expediency instead of religious principles.

    To be sure, we can’t have two different sets of laws for the ‘Allah’ issue. As Masing says, “Malaysian leaders must decide once and for all which set of religious laws Malaysians must abide by. This way, Malaysians will have a clear choice on what to do. The law should be applicable to all, whether they live in Lubok Antu (in Sarawak), Pulau Penyu (Sabah) or Kuala Perlis.”

    Former Cabinet minister Zaid Ibrahim offers another solution. He calls on Najib to “make an honest finding” as to whether the Christians consider the use of ‘Allah’ to be integral to their faith. If they do, he should convene a special meeting with the Malay Rulers at which they must discuss “with detachment and clarity” what brought about the state enactments made from 1988, which forbid the use of ‘Allah’ and more than 30 other Arabic words for the purpose of preventing the proselytization of Muslims.

    Zaid is certain that the fear of Christians converting Muslims is at the root of it all, and that being so, “I don’t think [Christians] will mind if the Government were to set up a special task force to look into conversions”.

    With this agreed to, Najib and the Malay Rulers “can make this point to Muslims: that in exchange for the use of the word ‘Allah’ by the Christians in their prayers, publications and the Malay Bible, Christians in turn will support the enactment of special laws and enforcement mechanisms to protect the Muslims from any conversion”.

    At the same time, Najib and other authorities must urge Muslims to respect the beliefs of Christians. “If Christians say ‘Allah’ is integral to their Scriptures and their faith, then let’s accept that and move on.”
    This proposal also sounds good, but will Muslims find it to be too much to take? Will it be acceptable to people like Ulama Muda Umno’s young ustaz Fathul Bari Mat Jayaha, who recently said “we wouldn’t want any calls saying that all religions are equal, in 50 years or 100 years to come.”?

    Of course, no religion should ty to be more equal than any other, even if its followers form the majority of the population. If it does, it’s not about religion any more. It becomes politics. And Heaven knows (notice that I don’t say God or Allah) that politics has already interfered too much with religion in Malaysia.

    It’s clear, for instance, that the ‘Allah’ issue stems more from politics than anything else. It stems from the politics of opportunism, of divisiveness, of expediency. So now, how about letting religion speak for itself instead?

    On this note, let me reproduce what my good friend Azmi Sharom, a law lecturer, wrote in The Star on January 8:

    I am loath to tell anyone what to think, but here I would like to humbly ask the Muslims reading this … to please look at the Quran. There is no theological basis for banning anyone from using the word ‘Allah’. Nowhere in the holy book does it say that ‘Allah’ is exclusive to Muslims.

    In fact, Surah 22:40 (Al-Hajj) states that the name Allah is used in all sorts of houses of worship: mosques, churches, monasteries and synagogues.

    … Is [Islam] a religion that is so small in its worldview that it can approve of one community claiming the term for God for itself? Is Islam so lacking in common decency and compassion?

    I don’t think it is, and I will not be accepting any opinion that says otherwise, for a religion without the decency to respect other faiths, without the compassion to not attack other faiths, would be in my view a very poor thing indeed.

    Well said, Azmi. Perhaps it’s time for the people who matter to be magnanimous and make the necessary changes for the sake of peace and harmony. Time to put politics aside for the sake of national reconciliation. Starting, of course, with the home ministry. And Najib.

    * Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed toMSN Malaysia

    * Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the new bookThe Elections Bullshit, now available in bookstores.


  6. #96
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    ‘Allah’ application for leave adjourned to March 5

    JANUARY 15, 2014

    The Catholic Church's application for leave to appeal over the use of the word “Allah” in its newspaper has been rescheduled to early March to facilitate all the five appointed Federal Court judges to hear the matter.

    Lawyer S. Selvarajah, who is part of the church’s legal team, said they were informed by the Federal Court registrar that the new date for the nearing is March 5.

    Last month the Federal Court registry had fixed February 24 during case management.

    “We were informed the hearing of the application has been rescheduled as some of the judges slotted to hear the matter were not available on February 24,” he said.

    Under the Courts of Judicature Act, the chief justice is entrusted with empanelling judges to hear matters before the Federal Court.

    Litigants in civil cases before the apex court must obtain leave before an appeal can be heard.

    The church has framed 26 questions on the Federal Constitution, administrative law as well as the power of the court to allow the Home Minister to ban the use of the theological word.

    On October 14, a three-member bench led by Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali – which allowed Putrajaya's appeal to ban the Herald from using the word – said there was a 1986 directive by the Home Ministry that prohibited non-Muslim publications from using four words: “Allah”, “Kaabah”, “Solat” and “Baitullah”.

    Apandi in his judgment said the reason for the prohibition was to protect the sanctity of Islam and prevent any confusion among Muslims.

    He also ruled that if the word is allowed to be used by Christians, it could threaten national security and public order.

    Furthermore, the court said the prohibition was reasonable on grounds that the word “Allah” was not an integral part of the Christian faith and practice.

    The decision sparked an outcry among Christians and other non-Muslims in both the peninsula and East Malaysia. – January 15, 2014.

  7. #97
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Use of ‘Allah’ is up to the states, says Najib

    JANUARY 24, 2014

    Breaking his silence on the Allah row, Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) today said the 10-point solution allowing for the use of 'Allah' in bibles is valid for Sabah and Sarawak, and any other state that does not forbid its use among non-Muslims.

    The prime minister said in all other states, the use of the word will depend on their respective enactments, such as in the case of Selangor.

    Putrajaya's stand may open the way for individual states to forbid the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims either in worship or in their publications, taking the cue from Selangor whose Sultan issued a decree prohibiting non-Muslims from using "Allah" and 35 other Arabic terms.

    Selangor's 1988 enactment to prohibit the use of 'Allah' by non-Muslims led to a raid by its State Islamic Department on the Bible Society of Malaysia on January 2. More than 300 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban were confiscated in a move that has caused an outcry in civil society.

    Najib added that the recent statement by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong on the use of 'Allah', was made in the latter's capacity as Sultan of Kedah and was only relevant to that state.

    “The party supreme council members support the government’s move to uphold the sanctity of Islam and to the use of 'Allah'," Najib said after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.

    "The council also takes note of the 10-point agreement. If the state has an Islamic enactment, they have to abide by it.

    "If not, like Sabah and Sarawak, they can continue to practise as usual,” he said.

    On the Yang Di Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah's speech on January 19, Najib stressed that the decree was made in Kedah and not for the whole country.

    The Kedah ruler last week said several words including "Allah" were the exclusive rights of Muslims, citing a 1986 decree by the National Fatwa Council on their use.

    The King also said that religious sensitivity must be observed and the status of Islam as the country's official religion must be respected.

    The tussle over who gets to use 'Allah' has seen legal experts, religious scholars, human rights activists and politicians argue over one of the Federal Constitution's most sacrosanct foundations - the right of every Malaysian to freely practise his or her faith.

    In the 1980s, several states and their Muslim fatwa committees passed laws forbidding the use of 'Allah' and several Arabic terms by non-Muslims.

    This includes the 1988 Selangor enactment and the 1986 decree by the National Fatwa Council.

    However, these laws were not widely enforced until 2008 when the Home Ministry banned the Catholic weekly, Herald from using the term in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the publication.

    The term is used by Christians who worship in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban, such as those in Sabah and Sarawak. Two thirds of Malaysia's 2.9 million Christians are from East Malaysia.

    The term 'Allah' has been in use for centuries in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia bibles.

    The Herald won a High Court decision in January 2009 that overturned the Home Ministry ban. However, the Court of Appeal then overturned that decision in 2013, saying that the word was not integral to Christianity.

    While the Herald's case was being debated in court, the Home Ministry in 2011 seized two consigments of bibles in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia that were imported from Indonesia and were meant for distribution in Sabah and Sarawak.

    The Najib administration at the time crafted a 10-point solution to resolve the problem and the bibles were subsequently released to their respective importers.

    The 10 point-solution allows for the import and use of Bibles in all languages.

    However, the JAIS raid on the BSM early this year has questioned the validity of the 10-point solution on states which have laws that expressively forbid the use of the term 'Allah'.

    Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of legal matters Datuk Nancy Shukri had said that Putrajaya cannot interfere in each state's religious matters. This includes implementing the 10-point solution.

    The 10-point Solution:

    1. Bibles in all languages can be imported into the country, including Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia.

    2. These Bibles can also be printed locally in Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. This is a new development which should be welcome by the Christian groups.

    3. Bibles in indigenous languages of Sabah and Sarawak such as Iban, Kadazan¬Dusun and Lun Bawang can also be printed locally and imported.

    4. For Sabah and Sarawak, in recognition of the large Christian community in these states, there are no conditions attached to the importation and local printing of the Bibles in all languages, including Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia and indigenous languages. There is no requirement for any stamp or serial number.

    5. Taking into account the interest of the larger Muslim community, for Peninsula Malaysia, Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia, imported or printed, must have the words “Christian Publication” and the cross sign printed on the front covers.

    6. In the spirit of 1Malaysia and recognising that many people travel between Sabah and Sarawak and Peninsula Malaysia, there should be no prohibitions and restrictions for people who bring along their bibles and Christian materials on such travel.

    7. A directive on the Bible has been issued by the Ketua Setiausaha (KSU) of the Home Ministry to ensure proper implementation of this cabinet decision. Failure to comply will subject the officers to disciplinary action under the General Orders. A comprehensive briefing by top officials, including the Attorney General (AG), will be given to all relevant civil servants to ensure good understanding and proper implementation of the directive.

    8. For the impounded Bibles in Kuching, Gideon, the importer can collect all the 30,000 Bibles free of charge. We undertake to ensure the parties involved are reimbursed. The same offer remains available for the importer of the 5,100 Bibles in Port Kiang, which have already been collected by the Bible Society Malaysia (BSM) last week.

    9. Beyond the Bible issue, the Government wishes to reiterate its commitment to work with the Christian groups and all the different religious groups in order to address inter-religious issues and work towards the fulfilment of all religious aspirations in accordance with the constitution, taking into account the other relevant laws of the country. In order to bring urgency to this work, in my capacity as the Prime Minister, I will meet the representatives of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) soon to discuss the way forward.

    10. The Christian Ministers in the cabinet will meet on a regular basis with representatives of the various Christian groups in order to discuss their issues and work with the relevant Ministries and myself in order to resolve them. As the leader of this country, I wish to reiterate the Government’s commitment in solving any religious issues in this country. There is a need to manage polarities that exist in our society to achieve peace and harmony. I believe the best way to achieve this is through respect, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation. - January 24, 2014.

  8. #98
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Stating the obvious.

    Was 10-point solution a ploy to win support in Sarawak, asks DAP

    JANUARY 25, 2014

    DAP today questioned whether the endorsement of the 10-point solution by Putrajaya in April 2011 was a deliberate attempt to mislead the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak.

    In posing the question, party national vice-chairperson Teresa Kok (pic) asked whether the 10-point solution was announced merely for political expediency due to the 2011 Sarawak state election.

    "Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must answer this question, many people are asking whether the 10-point solution was an attempt to mislead and deceive the Christian community," she said in a statement.

    Kok, the Seputeh MP, said if the cabinet had wanted the solution to be subjected to state laws, why did Najib not say so clearly in the 10-point solution?

    She described Najib's statements on Friday as a great cop-out as he had failed in his duty as prime minister.

    "Is it not Najib's responsibility as the country's premier to resolve a problem if he finds that a cabinet decision cannot be implemented in some states due to existing state laws?” she asked.

    "The 10-point solution was approved and endorsed by the cabinet. Therefore, it is their collective responsibility to ensure its compliance and workability in all states," Kok said.

    "Cabinet is supposed to find a solution to the problem, it cannot become a solution that brings no closure, and worse still, create more problems."

    Kok said Najib could not simply abdicate responsibility for the 10-point solution, but has to take the necessary steps to ensure that it is implemented in all states.

    She also asked whether Najib was buckling under pressure exerted by Umno warlords and hardliners.

    "Since the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department’s raid on The Bible Society of Malaysia's offices on January 2, the nation has been waiting for Najib's response on the issue.

    "However, when Najib finally decided to break his silence, he disappointed the entire Christian community in Malaysia.

    "In fact, Najib chose to respond to the kangkung ridicule against him first instead of commenting on the Jais raid and the seizure of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus," Kok said, adding that she did not agree that the 10-point solution was subjected to state Islamic laws. – January 25, 2014.

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Netizens upset with Putrajaya for sidestepping Allah issue and passing the buck to states

    Earlier today, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim took to Twitter to say: “On the Allah issue, Mais and Jais are conducting an investigation. The state government will not intervene to avoid disrupting the investigation.”

    The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) are investigating The Bible Society of Malaysia under the Selangor Non-Muslim Religions (Control of Propagation among Muslims) Enactment 1988. Earlier this month, Jais had raided the distributor’s premises and seized 351 Malay and Iban Bibles.

    “The next time Najib promises you a (insert number)-point 'solution' to anything, remember to read the tiny little fine print. #janjiDicapati,” tweeted @patrickklsk.

    Najib’s statement could open a floodgate of new enactments by states in the federation to forbid the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims either in worship or in their publications, a point that was not missed by netizens.

    “So now individual states can override the federal government? How about Pakatan states issue an 'enactment' so that citizens are no longer required to pay income tax, and just pay to the state?” said TMI reader hooleah.

    On Thursday, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin commented that the Bible seizure fell under the jurisdiction of Selangor as the raid conducted by Jais was done under a state enactment.

    In response, former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim had tweeted: “So Putrajaya thinks it’s being clever by saying the Allah issue is now with Selangor. A reaction from political eunuchs.” – January 25, 2014.

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