Categorised | Letters to the Editor

Handling of “Allah” usage disappointing

COUNCIL of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) Youth is disappointed and deeply regrets the Home Ministry’s lack of order and clarity in its handling of the restriction over the usage of “Allah”, involving the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Roman Catholic Church’s publication Herald.

The lack of order and clarity is obvious from the earlier prohibition by the Home Ministry of the use of Bahasa Malaysia in Herald, which the Home Ministry later denied issuing.  

Most recently, the Home Ministry gazetted an order allowing the conditional use of the word “Allah” by the Christian community, only to rescind it, suddenly, the following day. 

These incidents portray a very disorganised and irresponsible handling of what is an extremely delicate matter. This not only serves to jeopardise our country’s image, but also undermines the government’s credibility both at home and abroad.

CCM wishes to point out that the Christian community in Malaysia has been using “Allah” in its worship for centuries. It is, therefore, unreasonable for such a usage to be prohibited and outlawed at this time.  

CCM Youth is saddened and disappointed with the attitude of the Home Ministry, which has neither shown concern for nor made any effort to protect the rights and liberties of minority groups in Malaysia.

Claims that the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications could anger Muslims not only in the country but also throughout the world are unfounded. For example, “Allah” is freely used by Christians in Egypt without any objection from the Muslims there.

We are confident that the Muslims here in Malaysia are mature, wise and open to mutual understanding in a multireligious setting. Such claims are, therefore, irresponsible threats that can incite religious violence, and must be stopped.

CCM Youth wishes to state, once again, that our national language, Bahasa Malaysia, belongs to all Malaysians. Christians of this country are citizens who also have the right to use it. The prohibition is, therefore, unjust and unjustifiable and is an act of open discrimination against Christians who are Malaysians and who speak Bahasa Malaysia.

CCM Youth urges the government of Malaysia to be more responsible, sincere and transparent in its handling of this issue and to stop this discrimination by the Home Ministry by withdrawing the restriction on the usage of “Allah”, for the sake of the freedom of religion of all Malaysians.

Daniel Chai
CCM Youth secretary
10 March 2009

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6 Responses to “Handling of “Allah” usage disappointing”

  1. tengku mohd faizal says:

    The mainstream Malays should be okay with it. Just worried about the Umno brand of Malays. They may make a big fuss out of it, maybe even to the extent of creating racial tensions, in the end, if ever racial clashes were to occur, there is no turning back. Maybe we should have both Umno and CCM held responsible.

  2. kerishamuddinitis says:

    Holding both Umno and CCM reponsible? Umno is the perpetrator of this rubbish by virtue of it totally controlling the government while CCM is pointing out the totally ridiculous way in which the issue of “Allah” is being handled. This “gotong royong” way of assigning responsibility is so typical of the herd mentality conditioned over the years to accepting “…no one is wrong, we are all wrong…” so that even if leaders *are* wrong and *should/can* be held accountable and punishable, there will always be *no further action* “…due to lack of evidence…” in proving all are wrong since the basic principle at work is “…no one is wrong, all are wrong…”

    This is Malaysia Boleh! Boleh accept such daily rubbish as we are increasingly, suffocatingly buried deep under the filth. And Malaysia will soon be completely buried by this unwillingness and total inability to accept and practice competency, accountability and transparency. The CCM article above was simply pointing out the lack of these standards and values in the Home Ministry’s handling of the issue. And you, tengku mohd faizal, want to hold *CCM* responsibile?

  3. tengku mohd faizal says:

    Yeah, if ever racial clashes were to occur, if ever racial clashes were to occur, it is because of this issue. Both Umno and CCM should be held responsible.

  4. dominik says:

    The argument by the govt that it will confused the Muslims if the word “Allah” is used/spoken by BM-speaking Malaysians especially in East Malaysia holds no water.

    Firstly, if we turn on the radio or TV channels in Malaysia, do we hear of any talks or spreading of Christianity? Are we allowed to in the first place? No. Instead what we, Christians normally hear from these media is talk on Islam and its interpretations. But are we, the BM-speaking Christians, confused by these programs? Again, no.

    Secondly, Christian articles and magazines in BM are read by Christians and not by Muslims. So how can it confuse the Muslims? It doesn’t make sense.

    However, could it be the spreading of Christianity especially in East Malaysia that is viewed as a threat? It is for people to digest.

  5. watbs says:

    Ya, both held responsible.

    So if the thief hijacks this guy’s car and they get into a fight if he tries to get it back, both are held responsible, ya. If a country invades another and they defend themselves, both are held responsible, ya.

  6. kerishamuddinitis says:

    Praise be to Allah that the vast majority of Malays reject the notion of solving issues and misunderstanding through violence. But there will always be the few who raise the spectre of violence and racial clashes at the slightest chance and on any issue that is polarised along communal lines to intimidate, coerce and stamp their brand of dominance over others. Again, praise be to Allah that such people are a fast dying breed.

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