Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir cannot be more wrong when he said that non-Muslims insisting on the use of the word ‘Allah’ in peninsular Malaysia are disrupting what was already a working arrangement, claiming that “insisting to do so creates tensions between different religions” as non-Muslims in the peninsula do not traditionally use the word.
This is because three generations of Malaysians regardless of race or religion have been singing the state anthems of seven states, Johore, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu invoking the name of Allah to bless and protect the Sultan and people. Were they wrong?
The six-line Perak state anthem invoked Allah’s name four times, viz:
Dilanjutkan Allah usianya Sultan
Adil dan murah memerintah watan
Ditaati rakyat kiri dan kanan
Iman yang soleh Allah kurniakan
Allah berkati Perak Darul Ridzuan
Allah selamatkan Negeri dan Sultan
Allah, grant the Sultan a long life
Just and gracious, ruling the homeland
Obeyed by the people left and right
Allah endow the righteous faith
Sanctify Perak Darul Ridzuan, O Allah
Salvage the State and Sultan, O Allah
Allah’s name is invoked thrice in the Terengganu state anthem, viz:
Allah daulatkan Tuanku Sultan,
Terengganu Darul Iman,
Allah peliharakan Tuanku Sultan,
Sejahtera sepanjang zaman,
Allah rahmatkan Tuanku Sultan,
Memerintah rakyat aman.
God may his majesty remain sovereign,
Terengganu the abode of faith,
God bless his majesty,
Blissful throughout his reign,
God bestow mercy upon his majesty,
Govern the people in peace.
The Johore anthem starts with “Allah peliharakan Sultan” and ends with:
Allah berkati Johor
Allah selamatkan Sultan
The Pahang anthem starts with
Ya Allah Yang Masa Kuasa,
Lanjutkan Usia Duli Yang Maha Mulia,
and ends with
Ya Allah Selamatkan Duli Tuanku Raja Kami
The name of Allah is invoked in Selangor state anthem’s “Allah lanjutkan usia Tuanku”, Kelantan state anthem’s “Segala Kebesaran Allah cucurkan” and Kedah state anthem’s “Allah selamat Sultan Makhota”.
Have three generations of Malaysians, particularly non-Muslims in the seven states of Johore, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu done wrong and been offending the sensitivities of their Muslim contemporaries in using the name of Allah to bless and protect the Sultan and people when singing the respective state anthems?
Were the Muslims particularly in these seven states in the past 56 years offended that non-Muslim Malaysians were also using the word “Allah” in these state anthems?
The answer can only be a powerful “No’.
If so, why should the “Allah” controversy deteriorate to its present level as to create the worst racial and religious polarization in the country as to transform Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Policy into a 2Malaysia Policy especially over constitutional rights of Malaysians, seriously tarnish Malaysia’s international reputation as a moderate “model” plural nation and undo all efforts to attract foreign investments by raising vexing questions including the system of justice and the independence of the judiciary in Malaysia?
The ball is in Najib’s court for him to prove that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians and that his 1Malaysia Policy is not actually a 2Malaysia Policy!