Has Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Policy degenerated in four years into a 2Malaysia Policy with different interpretations of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion for two different regions in Malaysia?
This is a question that cries out for answer after the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup told Sin Chew Daily that the Cabinet had decided after the Court of Appeal judgment on the “Allah” case that in keeping with the earlier 10-point solution, the word “Allah” can be used by Sabahan and Sarawakian Christians in their worship, including in the Malay-language bible Al-Kitab.
Many queries have been spawned, including whether the Cabinet can override the Court of Appeal judgment by executive fiat, which no lawyer, whether in Cabinet, government, Parliament or in the country would ever claim.
What then is the legality, legitimacy and longevity of the Cabinet decision attempting to override the Court of Appeal “Allah” judgment?
Never in the nation’s history has a judgment like the Court of Appeal “Allah” judgment and the Cabinet decision attracted so much flak, both nationally and internationally, and the disquiet created must be answered rationally and soberly by the powers-that-be, like those in the following sample comments:
• If the word can be used among Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, it shows that there is really no legal rationale for banning the use of the word by Christians in the first place! It also suggests that the issue is politically motivated rather than one that arises out of real concern for the faith of the Muslims. Does it make sense that a Malay speaking Christian is allowed to refer to God as “Allah” when in Sabah and Sarawak, but he must stop doing so once he steps into Peninsular Malaysia? If there is anything really wrong with the use of the word by Christians then the ban must be applied to the whole nation. The inconsistency in applying the “law” reveals the absurdity of the ban.
• What kind of laws or country do we have in Malaysia? Federal Laws can be applied differently to different regions and groups of people? Cabinet can approve exceptions and violations of Federal Laws? Can a person caught for corruption in East Malaysia be excused by Cabinet decision? Might as well close the PDRM, MACC, Judiciary, etc. Will save Malaysia lots of money. The Cabinet can be the judge, prosecutor, police, etc. Malaysia the no 1Joke in the World…LOL.
• Foreign investors lose confidence in our courts. More and more foreign investors will put the term in case they want to fight for justice they don’t want the judgment from Malaysia. 1 country 2 sets of law. If I’m foreign investor I will attach extra term and condition before I invest in Malaysia. If the BN government does not agree then I will go to another country. Today there are so many choices where to invest. Malaysia no more the only country.
But equally pertinent, is Najib aware that the “Global Movement of Moderates” which he had painstakingly promoted and fostered in international forums (although not in the country) in the past four years is the greatest casualty of the furores created by the Court of Appeal “Allah” judgment and the Cabinet decision?
Most pertinent of all, when is Najib going to end his inelegant silence and respond to the many queries about 1Malaysia, Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion and the independence of the judiciary which have been thrown into sharp and frontal focus, both nationally and internationally, by the “Allah” judgment controversy.
Or are Malaysians seeing the first fruit of Najib’s new slogan and stance of “Endless Possibilities”?