Ban on “Allah” for non-Muslims and on stop-work on world’s tallest Mazu statue – are moderates in Cabinet outnumbered by extremists?

In his speech at the Christmas high-tea organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made a stirring call to moderates to lead the fight against fanatics or extremism will prevail.

He said: “If the moderates do not speak up, they will allow the extremists to occupy centre stage. And then, extremism will be seen as the religious or national approach in our country.”

However, from the continued ban on the use of “Allah” for non-Muslims and the stop-work on the world’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat, Malaysians are entitled to ask: Where are the moderates in Cabinet and government to lead the fight against fanatics so that extremism will not prevail?

How can the Cabinet justify the total ban on the use of the word “Allah”, by surreptitiously inserting as an unwritten condition for the renewal of the printing permit of the Catholic weekly Herald, when for 50 years through four previous Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Mahathir, the use of the word by Christians and Sikhs had not caused religious misunderstanding, tension or conflict?

It is the Cabinet decision to impose a total ban on the use of the word “Allah” for non-Muslim religions, trampling on the fundamental right of freedom of religion for non-Muslims, that is exacerbating inter-religious relations in plural Malaysia.

Why are there no moderates in the Cabinet to hold the middle-ground or have the extremists and fanatics now outnumber the moderates among the Ministers?

Last Sunday, DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok and I made a special trip to Kudat to gain first-hand understanding of the genesis for the Mazu statue controversy, why there had been such a failure of good governance in all three tiers of governance, local, state and federal, in the mishandling of the issue making Malaysia an international laughing-stock.

I was very glad and relieved that the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was also in Sabah on the same day, touched on the subject in Tuaran. Najib expressed the government’s hope that former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat could settle the Mazu statue dispute amicably without going to court. I immediately welcomed Najib’s statement.

However, after the government “somersault” in the Herald issue, renewing the permit but coming out with an unwritten condition that it could not use the word “Allah” which also infringes on the freedom of religion of the Sikhs, I have no confidence that Najib’s Tuaran statement signified the triumph of the moderates over the extremists in Cabinet and government.

My negative vibrations have been fortified by one former Chief Minister attacking another former Chief Minister over the issue, when they should be standing united to hold the middle ground to uphold the constitutional right of Sabahans and Malaysians on freedom of religion by continuing with the construction of the 108-ft Mazu statue in Kudat.

Yesterday’s Daily Express reported an attack on Chong Kat Kiat by Datuk Yong Teck Lee (both former Sabah Chief Ministers), with the latter accusing the former of not being prudent as “to aggravate the situation and raise the political tension by making harsh and hostile statements (as reported in newspapers on Jan 1).”

The Daily Express report “Accept in good faith: Yong” reported:

Yong, also a former Chief Minister, said the continued attacks by Chong on the Government and its leaders had only made the situation worse. He said it was also interesting that Chong has linked the so-called “Sipadan incident” to the Mazu project.

He said by opening up another issue, Chong now says that the Mazu project was, after all, not just about the Mazu project and there was a wider dimension. “Was Sipadan the one and only issue? Or, was Sipadan, an after-thought? If any, what were the other issues that Chong had with the Government and the BN going back to a few years?” Yong asked.

He said these were questions which answers would shed more background on how the Mazu project has turned out today.

What was the cause of Yong’s attack on Chong? This was the Daily Express report “Najib fully aware I exhausted all means: Chong” on Chong’s response to Najib’s statement in Tuaran, explaining that he had no choice but to institute legal proceedings, viz:

“Not that I want to be nasty and go to court. The suit that I took is not simply for the sake of main main saja. I have no choice kerana saya kena paksa. I have no choice but to seek legal redress kerana the State Government through the Kudat Town Board (KTB) withdrew atau revoked the KTB’s approval to the Mazu project under a specific provision of Section 15 of the Town Planning Ordinance.

“And under Section 16 of the same ordinance, whoever is aggrieved by the refusal of a permission or by the making of a prohibition must within 28 days from the date of receiving notice of the decision, appeal to the High Court against the decision by notice in writing,” he told a press conference at his office at Alamesra here.

On another newspaper’s heading “Govt Hopes Chong Will Settle Mazu Issue Amicably: DPM”, Chong said it is not the Government’s hopes but actually the hope of DPM.

“If it is the Government’s hopes, sudah selesaibah. Betulkah? Ini ada salah print sikit. Patut the DPM hopes. But DPM is not wrong because he has been fully briefed by me.”

Chong said since the letter of revocation was already issued to him on Nov. 15, 2007, it is imperative that he act accordingly.

“Sekiranya, saya tidak ambil tindakan, ertinya saya salah, (If I don’t take action, it means I am wrong); ertinya I admitted something wrong with my project. That is why I am appealing to the court.”

On Sunday, Najib said the issue of the Mazu statue can be resolved if the parties involved discuss it among themselves, instead of going through the courts.

Chong reiterated that he has been sabar (patient) for more one-and-a-half years. “If there is any BN leader in Malaysia who is really that patient, then Chong Kah Kiat is the man. If I wanted to be nasty, jahat, nakal, I would have taken the Government to court long time ago.

“I never did that. I have got letters and documents to prove how far and how wide I have gone through all this. You think I like to have this sort of problem? You think I like to give up my job?

“My message today is bukan saya seolah-olah main tunjuk lawa mau pergi court. Tidak, saya kena paksa kerana under Section 16, I only got 28 days to appeal against the decision.

“Kalau mau bincang, saya sudah bincang dengan banyak orang, KL and all this. Semua surat saya ada, semua dokumen saya ada. Not that saya tidak pernah buat perbincangan.”

The former CM said he had not only been discussing but writing, pleading, begging everybody in the BN to see reason, to be rational and reasonable.

“I have already done everything within my means. What did I get in the end – a letter to cancel my project!

“For the record, I also met PM. PM came to LDP Congress on 11th Nov.

PM asked me to see him the following Wednesday. I went to his office. We had a very good meeting on 14th Nov, to be fair to Pak Lah. He was very good. Everything is done. But Pak Lah being a diplomat, you knowlah.

“After having successfully met the PM on 14th Nov, the State ‘rewarded’ me with a letter of revocation letter on 15th Nov, contrary to what PM told me. As a result of which, I have 28 days from the date I received (the letter) to go to court, failing which, that would mean I salah (wrong).”

On the Government’s hope to bring the Mazu statue issue back to the negotiation table (instead of going through the court), Chong said it is not a question of negotiating.

“What is there to negotiate? It is a question of whether the Government’s decision is right or wrong. Simple logic. If the decision (conveyed in a directive dated June 6, 2006 from the Local Government & Housing Ministry, ordering suspension of works on the project) and followed by a letter from the State Secretary on June 23, 2006 (ordering immediate stoppage of work) is correct and legal, why should the Government talk about compensation and relocating the site?” he asked.

“I know I am not wrong. I have all this while adhered to the law.”

Answering a reporter on Federal leaders’ stand, Chong said: “They have been very good and understanding, all I can say. I don’t want to say much. But at the right time if I am forced to.”

Asked why then did the State not give the approval, he replied:
“Personal… I have said that already. If you remember May 2006 Sipadan – that is how it started. Before Sipadan, my project is already completed (except for assembling the statue). It’s all documented in the national and state papers. What was said, what was blasted, it’s all thereÉall the statements from the State leadership including mine.

“Bulan satu buat kerja, bulan dua, bulan tiga, bulan empat, bulan lima buat kerja. All up already before this (Sipadan), in the open. Secara terbuka saya punya projek. Siap, sekarang mau assemble. After Sipadan, less than three weeks, my project was stopped – no one can run away from Sipadan. How otherwise can you explain?”

It is disgraceful and tragic that instead of the two former Sabah Chief Ministers standing on an united platform working for the completion of the world’s tallest Mazu statue at its original site in Kudat, as the 21 containers of granite carvings for the 108 ft Mazu statue had arrived and are lying idle in the Kota Kinablu port for the past 18 months, Yong Teck Lee is leading the attack on Chong Kah Kiat to oppose the Kudat Mazu project!

Is Yong Teck Lee with the moderates or the extremists in Sabah and Malaysia on the Kudat Mazu statue project?

  1. #1 by Tickler on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 9:09 am

    The status of women was that of pride and equal respect. How could it be otherwise with a people whose chief deity was the goddess Durga (Alla). Women married men of their choice and were financially independent. They were entrepeneurs, artisans, poets and even warriors! Later on Muhammad would marry Khadija, who was not only a wealthy merchant but also in the position to choose her own husband. This clearly demonstrates the level of freedom women enjoyed in Vedic Arabia.

  2. #2 by cheng on soo on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 9:26 am

    By their own reasoning, tugu negara, big helang in langkawi, tortoise statue in trengganu, also haram, should be removed soonest! all old RM1 note(with tugu n.) must all be destroyed, anyone holding it shall be fined! person who design tugu n RM 1 shall be prosecuted!

  3. #3 by oknyua on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 9:41 am

    Hi Shamshul, tak menjawap saya, tak apa. Hari ini hari Ahad.

    Logik yang saudara sebut tentang Vatican dan Masjid, adakah ia berkaitan dengan keadaan di Malaysia, dimana kita berbincang tentang hak orang-orang yang disebut Malaysian? Jangan lupa Vatican adalah negara tersendirian.

    Tak apa, tak payah jawap. Ahad ini saya perlu bersorak sorai ke gereja dengan pujian, nyanyian dan mazmur, mengikut cara Raja Daud. Tak mungkin ikut saya, kan?

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 9:42 am

    On logic, there is no reason to stop the Mazu project as is. On politics and personal views there seem to be the motivation of what is happening.

    What I don’t get is, if this is about politics and personal views, why is Yong, a former Chief Minister, getting into the middle of the politics and personal views? Its clear that ordinary Sabahan in his state want the Mazu project and really why attack Chong who have already resigned? The only answer is he is trading favours, selling out in order to further his own interest. Its shameful. Just shameful his actions when there are real issues here.

    Chong now sounds like someone who feel he as been pushed to close to breaking with BN. He has stopped short of directly attacking Badawi’s leadership. I find it strange he has no qualm in a veiled attack on Najib. The man is taking on some very powerful forces and his fellow BNers don’t appreciate it but rather engrossed in their own selfish politicking.

    What is dissapointing is Chong still see it fit not to move over to opposition, thinking he can make it work within BN framework and through the courts. If he were Malay, he would already have gone over to the opposition.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 10:37 am

    “//….My point is very simple. Every religion when in control, although they tolerate the presence of other religions want to ensure their religion is seen as dominant. It is as simple as that..//” -shamshul anuar in 3rd para of posting.

    Yes of course but how is this consistent and reconcilable with your statement in 2nd para of same posting : “As for religious requirement, all of us must respect the sensitivity of each other”?

    Are you practising “sensitivity” by saying that my religion in control is dominant meaning other’s are subordinate?

    Is this right – ought this to be the case when practised by the government?

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 10:41 am

    This is the multiracial and multi religious country. If you want to practise me dominant and you subordinate, then don’t go round on a high moral horse making speeches on multi religious tolerance and not practising what you preach….

  7. #7 by k1980 on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 10:57 am

    Oh Dollah boy, the elections, the elections are coming
    From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
    The summer’s gone, and all the flowers are dying
    ’tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.

    Don’t come you back when summer’s in the meadow
    Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
    ’tis I’ll be there in sunshine or in shadow
    Oh Dollah boy, oh Dollah boy, I don’t miss you so.

    Click for Music :

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 10:59 am

    “Tolerating the presence of other religions” just like “tolerance” of non malays/non muslims as citizens sharing the country’s benefits and obligations is not enough if tolerance here implies, in context, that the others are tolerated for so long as they are and remain in “subordinate” in rights whether relating to religion or otherwise.

    The word tolerance should connote “respect” and where is that respect if the other side is viewed “subordinate” relative to one’s “dominant” position?

    Anyone who first learn English and try to learn the meaning of the word “tolerance” will know it does not mean “indifference” or “neglect” or just acknowledging the other exists.

    To “tolerate” means to “bear with” or “suffer of.” It includes to endure “to endure,” or “to sustain pain or hardship,” “without interference or molestation.”

    On this understanding, tolerance of multi religious society can only make sense in that it involves the people of majortity religion, though not agreeing with or even approving the other religions, to bear with and endure the latter by according religions of minorities with at least sufficient respect in terms of right to cater their religious needs by erecting a statute like Mazu statue in Kudat instead of just dismissing it, as Mufti Sabah did, in saying it was “haram”. Yes it is harams to Muslims but it is not to non muslims worshippers in Kudat, so what has it got to do with it? How can one stop the project on this ground and yet claim one is tolerant? It means one does not understand the word “tolerant” when using it.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 11:12 am

    An example of tolerance – although pork is haram to Muslims, pork is allowed to be sold for needs of non muslims. So should Mazu statue in Kudat be allowed to be erected on same basis.

  10. #10 by Tickler on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 11:15 am

    Malaysia: Sliding into Religious Intolerance

    Many recent events in Malaysia seem to point to the possibility that Malaysia, a country which often prides itself on the cultural and religious diversity that can be found within its borders, is slipping slowly into intolerance and religious favoritism. A conservative view that favors Islam over the religious traditions of the countries substantial religious minorities is beginning to grip the country.
    Numerous incidents that have occurred over the past several months have sparked concern among the countries Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, and traditional Chinese religious adherents that their rights of religious freedom enshrined in Malaysia’s constitution are increasingly being violated and subordinated to the will of Malaysia’s Muslim community. These groups collectively comprise about 40% of the country’s population.

    From: The Grieboski Report provides analysis and critique of current events within the context of religious freedom, human rights, and social justice around the world.

  11. #11 by Tickler on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 11:34 am

    5.2. Implement the legislative reforms proposed by the MCCBCHST in their Memorandum dated 20 October 2005 entitled “Respect the Right to Profess and Practice One’s Religion” immediately. At the moment, these reforms are being considered by the Law Reform division of the Attorney General’s Chambers.

    5.3. Religious programmes on State owned radio and television, in Bahasa Malaysia and in all the vernacular languages, should recognize similar values preached in other religions and not suggest that the universal values shared by all religions are only unique to Islam. There should also be religious programmes on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.

    5.4. All national schools to ensure religious and cultural classes for non Muslims, by teachers sanctioned by the religions concerned, as part of the curriculum. In addition, civic studies should be introduced for all students irrespective of race and religion.

  12. #12 by madmix on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 11:57 am

    Wasn’t Yong Teck Lee the CM that sold off Sabah government owned MISC shares in exchange for worthless Borneo (NBT) shares and lost the state hundreds of millions?

  13. #13 by Tickler on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 12:15 pm

    More on that here:

    In his statement yesterday, Matiasin purported to give a summary of the Warisan Harta-NBT transaction, namely:

    * By way of a share swap, Suniwang Holdings Sdn. Bhd. is to acquire MISC shares from Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn. Bhd. at RM5.70 per share.
    * In return, Warisan gets RM50 million cash, plus other quoted stocks, including NBT at market price at time of transaction.
    * Furthermore, Warisan is more than adequately secured and protected by sufficient collateral security against any dimunition of the quoted shares acquired.
    * It will not lose even if the NBT share prices fluctuate as a result of market sentiments.
    * Legal buy-back arrangements are in place.

  14. #14 by Tickler on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 12:16 pm


    However, Yong Teck Lee was vague as to whether this RM50 million cash had been paid and credited into the accounts of Warisan Harta.

    Furthermore, what is the use of the State Government trumpeting that it did not have to pay a single sen for the three million NBT shares if it had incurred a RM73 million loss for acquiring them without having to pay a single sen?

  15. #15 by Loh on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 1:26 pm

    The word Allah has been used to refer to God even before the Islamic religion was born. UMNO-led government chose to ban the word Allah because it considered Allah the Islamic God, or rather God as understood by Muslims is Allah.

    By the ban, christians using bahasa Malaysia for their prayer may be able to call Allah if they are not within the hearing distance of the authority, but they will certainly not be unable to read about their God known as Allah in Bahasa Malaysia.

    Even if Allah refers exclusively to Islamic God, which is clearly not true, Allah belongs to all Muslims in the world, and not just Muslims in Malaysia. Allah is a non-diminishing ‘asset’, for want of a better word to describe an omnipresent and omnipotent being, and even if non-Muslims in Malaysia ‘erroneously’ share the blessing of Allah, it would be at no cost to Muslims in Malaysia.

    When UMNO government is not willing to share Allah with non-Malays, at no cost of its own, how can we believe that UMNO has ever practised power-sharing, which it could have all to itself?

  16. #16 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 2:02 pm

    Is there muslims here on the blog? May we know exactly why pork is prohibited in Islam? I know that Jewish also prohibited prok. Is it because pork is not “clean”?

  17. #17 by oknyua on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 2:16 pm

    Mr Pulau Sibu,

    Sibu is founded by the Foochow, Christians who migrated from their province in around 1860. Ask a nearest Foochow.

    Hey, anyway the answer to your question: Leviticus 11:7. Divided hoof and does not chew the curd. This applies to Christians as well! But then, I eat bak kut teh, because we are in age of grace, not in the age of the law (susah mau explain to you).

    Ask a Muslim whether he knows why he cannot eat pork? Try lah, just for fun. (The answer is still this Levitical Law. In Bahasa, Leviticus is “Imamat.”)

  18. #18 by ktteokt on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 3:46 pm

    BN government always talking about tolerance. Who is tolerating who???

  19. #19 by kanthanboy on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 4:52 pm

    “…Ask around everybody in Malaysia. Ask them What Allah is…” Shamshul anuar

    Good question, you should ask those Christians who have their church services conducted in Bahasa Malaysia and use the Indonesian bible. I am sure everybody from this group will give a clear answer that Allah is their God in the bible.

  20. #20 by kanthanboy on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 5:16 pm

    Pulau sibu,

    Let me try to explain in a non-religious way. When the Israelites were wondering in the desert God wanted to protect them from food poisoning by eating certain food that could be easily contaminated because refrigerator has not been invented yet.

  21. #21 by offspring on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 9:05 pm

    I’ve been a silent reader of this blog for quite a long time. Today I decided to express my concern about the banning word of Allah. I can’t take it any longer!!

    I attended Mass services in Church since I was little. When I was 8 years old, I have started attending the classes for my confirmation in Church. The word of Allah has been used since then. We’ve been having our masses in BM and the word Allah existed in most of the prayers!! It’s not only me or my family used the word Allah for prayers but all the neighborhoods; to be precise EVERYBODY.

    After 50 years of independent, then now it was declared that the word of Allah is belong to MUSLIM. What a shock. It may imply that we have two GODS or ALLAH – one is for the Muslim and the other is for non-muslim. Isn’t it weird?? By virtue there is only one GOD or ALLAH but the only difference would be the LANGUAGE.

    The problem now, how to explain to the rural folks in the remote areas especially the people in Sabah and Sarawak that we can no longer use the word ALLAH if you are not a Muslim. What would their perception be? Why all of the sudden or why didn’t we realize earlier that ALLAH is belong to the Muslims?? I bet there will be loads of questions come out!!! Do we have to tell our people, use word GOD instead. I was practicing to pronounce GOD instead of ALLAH in one of the prayer e.g “Aku percaya akan ALLAH bapa yang mahakuasa…” Although the word of GOD carries the same meaning as ALLAH but wouldn’t it be strange to say ‘Aku percaya akan GOD bapa yang mahakuasa…”

    I said to my Muslim friend that I can no longer utter the word ALLAH and she replied, “you can say it in front of me, May ALLAH bless you!!”

    Don’t tell me, soon there will be a special dictionary or vocabulary book issued to tell Non-Muslim what words should be used and vice versa so that we, the Non-Muslim would not violate their religion!

    I don’t know if I want to cry or to laugh about all the craps created but one thing for sure, I am ashamed to admit that I’m Malaysian just because of this issue!! I respect highly my religion as well as others. May ALLAH bless us all!

  22. #22 by bukanbumi on Sunday, 6 January 2008 - 9:12 pm

    Ask any Malaysian who is Allah and the answer will be GOD (TUHAN), ask any Indonesian, Malaysian, Arab Christians who is Allah and the answer will also be GOD.

    The word “ALLAH” is not Copy Righted to the Malay Muslims but is Copy Lefted (Freeware), this means every body can use the word ALLAH without any restriction and also no need to pay for copy right or beg the UMNO Master to allow the use word “ALLAH” as their GOD, until such time UMNO apply for Copy right for their exclusive use of the word, Get it?

  23. #23 by shamshul anuar on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 12:40 am

    Dear Uzminoonist.

    Many thanks for your reply. However, please do not assume I am a Dato’. I am just En Shamshul Anuar.

    In no way , UMNO or Malaysian Govt is imposing Islam on non Muslims. The record speaks for itself. The ruling on the word “Allah” is necessary to prevent confusion. Since it is generally accepted that everybody( in Malaysia) will say that Allah refers to what Muslims recognised as The God, therefore I see no reasons on the accusation of curtailing the freedom of practising other faiths.

    Muslims refer to the place of worship of Christian faiths as Churches , not mosques. In similar vein, why insist on the word “Allah” when everybody knows that Christians recognise Jesus as their God. As for eating pork, Islam specifically prohibits it. It is actually “najis” to Muslims. Please enlighten the authority should any Muslim prohibits you from eating pork. As far as I know, no MUslims ever deny non Muslims the right to eat pork. You can have your pork to youre heart content. No problem to me or Abdullah Badawi or Yang Dipertuan Agung .

    As for kanthanbboy, perhaps ( with due respect to Christianity)it is time to refer Jesus instead of Allah as reference to God.

    As for Jefrey, please reread my comment. In no way I or Muslim or Malay or PM want to treat you as being insubordinate. I was just saying the plain truth about reality. Islam is prominent over other religions in Malaysia just like Buddhism is prominent over other faiths in Thailand.

    The reason is simple. The largest etnic group in Malaysia is Malays who practise Islamic faith. Of course naturally Malays give priority on Islam. But other faiths are allowed to be practised freely. I am sure Jefrey understands that of course Pope regards Christianity as the dominant religion in Italy over other religions.

    Because of Muslim’s sensitivity that you could find pig farms all over Malaysia. Because of Muslim’s sensitivity that you will find that Muslims do not use Encephalitis diseases as a reason to close once and for all the pig farms .

    Because of the Muslims sensitivity that you will find that all religious festivals are accorded as national celebration, a rarity in this world. Because of Muslim sensitivity, many Chinese or Indian politicians survive elections.

    As for Mr Onkyua, I studied Bible. I had been to churches in many countries. I respect your faith. As for Mr Loh, I must say this ” Seeing is believing”. The fact is staring at us. What do you call ( if not as power sharing) when even now half of the seats in Parliament is under UMNO. It can form FEderal Govt on its own if it is nasty. Remember during independence it held 34 out of 52 seats. It is matter of choice.

    But in humility it is still willing to honour gentlemen agreement with non Malays. So, actually it is not that bad. In no way that I am making light on contribution of non Malays. But when someone trying to deny the fact, I must put the record straight. Many are not aware there are many seats currently held by non Malay politicians have Malay majority constituents. To name a few, : Gunung Semanggul( Perak), Semberong( Johor), Lunas( Kedah) , Kulim( Kedah).

  24. #24 by sotong on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 5:58 am

    In the Middle East, Allah is God to all her people – Muslims and Christains alike.

    Pork is the most popular meat consumed by the people in the world. If pork is ” najis ” to Muslims, then non Muslims will be judged unfavourably and unfairly by Muslims.

    Increasing political awareness of non Malay and moderate Malays is crucial to ensure Islamic extremism and fundamentalism do not create further damage to the country.

  25. #25 by kanthanboy on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 7:15 am

    “…it is time to refer Jesus instead of Allah as reference to God.” .” Shamshul anuar
    I know it is illegal in Malaysia to talk to Muslims about Jesus but when Muslim like shamshul annuar wanted to teach me how I should refer Jesus I have to tell him the truth.
    When I converse in English, I will refer Jesus as God. When I converse in Bahasa Malaysia, I will refer Jesus as Allah.

  26. #26 by sotong on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 7:44 am

    Decades of grossly divisive and damaging policies eg. bumi/non bumi, Malay/non Malay, Muslim/non Muslim, Halal/non Halal, Allah/non Allah and etc. that are destroying a multi racial and religious country of ours.

    It seems the government is more interested in shapening the differences between the people to divide and rule.

  27. #27 by oknyua on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 2:35 pm

    Hai Shamshul,

    Thank you for responding. Tapi tak menjawap soalan. Confusion, that was the question I asked. Are you confused after reading my post? No, isn’t it.

    Just for discussion, the “haram” on pork, it is an old Levitical law. Levitical law means the law set by old old Levites as commanded by Musa (Moses) in the Torah. That was followed by Jews all the years. Don’t call it “najis” for no scriptural reason. It is in the same category as camel, coney, rabbit, pig – don’t even touch their carcasses. (Levitucus 11:7-9)

    That law existed long before Christianity and Islam came.

    Who called you Datuk… maybe he was joking lah. Anyway can we be friends?

  28. #28 by Loh on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 4:30 pm

    ///What do you call ( if not as power sharing) when even now half of the seats in Parliament is under UMNO. It can form FEderal Govt on its own if it is nasty.///— Shamshul Anuar

    That is called window dressing. The non-Malay BN MPs are there to vote with UMNO. The non-UMNO cabinet ministers are there to make it look like Cabinet decisions were made on consensus. The fact that non-Malay ministers except one had to withdraw their memorandum to PM AAB shows that they were not even allowed to disagree outside the Cabinet meeting even through private correspondence. Since these ministers agree on government policies under duress, it might be better not to have them as ministers at all. All non-Malay ministers should not be made ministers if they did not win on non-Malay majority constitutencies. Or better still, UMNO should just form the government without the other component parties, and stop talking about power-sharing.

    The window dressing allowed TDM to claim that non-Malays agreed to all government policies, including those that discriminated against non-Malays. Without non-Malays in the Cabinet, he would have to argue on the merit of the policies. Clearly he could not.

    The government gives the impression of power sharing but UMNO does not practise it at all, on the policies concerning the people. They may share power to enrich themselves.

    Does it cost UMNO anything to share Allah with non-Muslims?

  29. #29 by shamshul anuar on Monday, 7 January 2008 - 11:15 pm

    Dear Onkyua.

    Many thanks for your info. Perhaps you are not aware that for Muslims, pig or pork is considered “najis”. However, rest assured that no Muslims have ever deny the right of non Muslims on pork consumption. As for the reason why it is forbidden, it is clearly stated in Kuran. Besides, pig connotes dirty and all races of mankind associate it with four letter word.

    As for Mr Loh, perhaps he did not get the point. The ruling is done in good faith; that is to prevent confusion. Everybody around the world realizes the fact that Muslims worship Allah and Christians worship Jesus. In Malaysia, you can ask around about Allah. People will reply that Allah is what Muslim accepts as God. As such, why the commotion.

    Does this ruling prevent Christians from worshiping Jesus? No. So, what is the problem then? And what is the statement” Does it cost UMNO…? all about? I fail to see the relevance. Since when UMNO or Malays say that they monopolises Allah or Islam?

    As for Kanthanboy’s remark, well what else can I say. Nobody is teaching him how should he adressed what he recognises as God. Just remember that at least in this country , automatically people will associate Allah as what Muslims worship.

    As for accusation vs UMNO, well that is what hatred can do. It can blind us to the reality. As for Sotong’s remark, do realize that “halal” as it is in food is religious requirement for Muslims the way I do not serve meat to Hindus. In no way, it is done to divide the country.

    Surely Mr Sotong can not deny on glaring reality that non Chinese find it so difficult to find employments in private sectors due to Mandarin requirement. They say it takes two to tango. Perhaps once a while Mr Sotong can start to think on his contribution to the unity of Malaysia.

  30. #30 by legalsabahan on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 - 12:18 am

    I really confused the politics of Malaysia with the politics of Taiwan.
    They all focus to the wrong direction, they focus on kissing their blade, while they should be leading the people, taking the blade int their hand, to do a gotong-royong cleaning the neighbourhood!

    Discussing bout the “Allah” while they should put more effort on the issue of the cooking oil and public welfare, i don’t think they know people is now having a very bad day, as the economy is really bad. YB, why don’t you try to ask out BELOVED PM, how much is a kilogram of RICE!! haha i don’t think he knew, as usual!

    Don’t all the YB, should aware that, WE, the PEOPLE OF MALAYSIA, elected you to become our representative, and you, all the YB, should you be grateful that we gave you the trust? but most of the YB don’t really honout the power we gave them. they not concentrate on public issue but on “BOCOR”, not seeing the effect of price increase of petroleum, but focusing on MAZU issue.

    If there is god, MAZU and ALLAH will laugh and tease us from above. Did any of the God ever say, “I want my mosque/temple/church to be the tallest.” ?? If this is the way of granting a ticket to heaven, I think the GOD is no difference than all those corrupting rat in Malaysia government.

  31. #31 by sotong on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 - 8:08 am

    Contribution to unity in M’sia….the BN’s way is divisive and has failed!!

  32. #32 by Loh on Tuesday, 8 January 2008 - 3:08 pm

    ///Everybody around the world realizes the fact that Muslims worship Allah and Christians worship Jesus.///– Shamshul Anuar

    They all use the same term Allah; and Allah was the term used long before Islam, as indicated in this blog. Eveybody would have included me, and others who wrote about it on this blog. I don’t agree.

    It seems that fifty years into Independence the government becomes very considerate that the non-Muslims may pray to the wrong God called Allah, and so it decides to ban the use of the term Allah by non-Muslims. Banning non-Muslims from using the word Allah is said by Shamshul to be done in good faith, to prevent confusion. Who is confused? The non-Muslims are not confused in the use of the term Allah as their God, and they are very happy about using it all these years. Even if it is imposed by the authority that non-Muslims are confused, they are living in the bliss of that confusion. The happiness of non-Muslims in this confusion does not cost the government anything, and I do not wish to assume that the government is sadistic in making non-Muslims unhappy by banning the use of the word Allah.

    So, was it to prevent confusion among Muslims? Religion is a private matter, and the number of people praying to Allah does not influence their share of blessing from Allah. The practice of Muslims in their belief in Allah is not affected by whatever non-Muslims choose to believe. Hence banning non-Muslim from using the word Allah does not affect Muslims in practising their religion. It does not add to their faith.

    When non-Muslims want to use the term Allah, and the government decides that it should be banned, the act of banning is then for the interest of the government. So how does banning the word Allah benefit the government, and hence UMNO. In other words what does its cost UMNO if the word Allah is continued to be used by non-Muslims?

    The question is for UMNO, and Malays are welcome to answer it. But it is important not to miss the point, and please do not claim that the question is irrelevance, when it is not comprehended.

  33. #33 by UzMiNoOnist on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 - 2:02 am

    //Everybody around the world realizes the fact that Muslims worship Allah and Christians worship Jesus.//

    Muslims worship ALLAH, Christians worship GOD
    Jesus is the son to God and Nabi Mohammad s.a.w the messenger of GOD.
    GOD = ALLAH, ALLAH = GOD, unless UMNO want to confuse the world.

  34. #34 by UzMiNoOnist on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 - 2:09 am

    //pig connotes dirty and all races of mankind associate it with four letter word//

    Not my race unless you think that I am of a sub-race and my religion is the subordinate to Islam (with due respect).

  35. #35 by UzMiNoOnist on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 - 2:31 am

    //In Malaysia, you can ask around about Allah. People will reply that Allah is what Muslim accepts as God. As such, why the commotion//

    1. We are seeing it as UMNO also want to monopolize the word ALLAH to themselves and be seen as the champion of Malay and gain political millage through manipulating religious sentiment of something very close to the Malay community’s heart. (You know, election is coming lah Dato’)

    2. The word allah existed before Islam (with due respect)

    3. A chauvinistic depiction of Islam by UMNO will not gain respect, at least not from me. But don’t get me wrong, I respect all religions (including the great religion of Islam) and no religion is subordinate to mine, I just can’t respect UMNO being very ‘ular’ or snaky about it.

  36. #36 by UzMiNoOnist on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 - 2:35 am

    //For Muslims, pig or pork is considered “najis”//

    Please keep it to yourself ‘najis’ or no ‘najis’ as I don’t like my food to be called ‘najis’ by anyone. This I would consider as rude and no manners. Where is the Malay that is bersopan and ber adat that I used to know when I was youth and the Malays before ARABization?

  37. #37 by UzMiNoOnist on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 - 2:49 am

    shamshul anuar,

    Please do not slant my comments as anti-Malay as I respect every people as human beings and no lesser. They are my friends and will still be my friends and countrymen irrespective of their political biasness.

  38. #38 by sotong on Wednesday, 9 January 2008 - 8:39 am

    The Jews, Christains and Muslims came from the same book……believing in a single entity – Allah/God.

    Decades of narrow, short sighted and damaging politics of race and religion are doing enormous damage to the country.

  39. #39 by legalsabahan on Thursday, 10 January 2008 - 11:23 pm

    Mr shamshul anuar,

    i’ve read that you saying:Every religion when in control, although they tolerate the presence of other religions want to ensure their religion is seen as dominant. It is as simple as that.

    take a look in China, Buddist is the main religion there. but there is still more than 60 million Muslims in China! More than the population in Malaysia, why they can live together happily, peacefully, but we can’t?

    this come to the question of RESPECT, we respect other’s religion and race. Personally, i really HATE Christian saying Buddist/ Taoism was idol praising religion. really hurt me when i went back to my hometown as a Taoism. if I’m a idol praising guy, what do you call the Jesus and Holy Marry statue you placed in your church??

    Same come with Islam with all the religion, we respect Muslim don’t take pork, so we don’t invite Muslim to Bak Kut Teh! and no Beef rendang to our indian friend.

    Respect, my friend, it doesn’t mean that if you dominant the word “ALLAH”, mean you love the god more! Try and think, if you are talking loving God all the time, but doing all the wrong. ARE YOU STILL ENTITLE TO HEAVEN?

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