Archive for January 20th, 2010

A commentary on Nazri’s offer of a way out

By N.H. Chan
Malaysian Insider
Jan 20 2010

This is what the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said (The Star, Saturday, Jan 16, 2010). Nazri, who was voicing his personal opinion over the “Allah” issue, noted that Sabahans and Sarawakians could still conduct Mass and give sermons in Bahasa Malaysia but should not use the word “Allah” while in the peninsula.

“It is all right to hold Mass in Bahasa Malaysia but do not use the word ‘Allah’. They must use Tuhan as in the national language,” he said in an interview.
Although he agreed that the word “Allah” had been long used in Christianity way before Islam existed, Nazri said: “That’s why I say it is all right in Sabah and Sarawak but culturally, you cannot apply it in a place where Allah has always been Islam’s God.”

But where is it said anywhere – certainly it is not in the Koran – that Christians cannot apply Allah in a place where Allah has always been Islam’s God. Read the rest of this entry »


Malay Provocation

New York Times
January 20, 2010

HONG KONG — One ought to be able to laugh at the absurdity of it. But the message is one of ignorance, religious and racial prejudice and political opportunism.

Last week, the Malaysian government declared that Christians in one part of the country could use “Allah” as the word for God when speaking Malay, but that those in most of the country could not. This is the same government that is currently running a public relations campaign called One Malaysia emphasizing the common identity of the nation’s racial and religious mix.

In reality, a government dominated by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) is using spurious religious/linguistic arguments to shore up its support among a majority Malay electorate, which has been fed for years with preferences and privileges. Meanwhile, non-Malay money and talent exits the country.

The government had earlier tried to stop the use of the word Allah by all Christians. This was successfully challenged in the High Court. But instead of letting the matter rest, the government declined to back down, setting the scene for the fire bombing of churches. While these could not be laid directly at the door of UMNO, hotheads in the party may well have taken their cue from what non-Muslims see as a deliberate attempt to stir up ethnic/religious issues for political gain. Last year it was Hindus who were the target of Malay provocation. Read the rest of this entry »


Tsu Koon exposing the hollowness of 1Malaysia …

It is most regrettable that the KPI Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon is leading the Barisan Nasional government backoff from an inter-religious council to resolve inter-religious differences and promote inter-religious amity, goodwill and understanding, starting with the “Allah” controversy.

This is the real meaning of Koh saying that at this time, “teh tarik” sessions for inter-religious dialogues are more appropriate than official and formal ones.

In the first two decades of nationhood, there were more meaningful inter-religious interaction than now as there was a formal Inter-Religious Organisation which was set up by Tunku Abdul Rahman when he was the first Prime Minister which was headed by a Cabinet Minister.

For over three decades, the Inter-Religious Organisation went defunct and a formal inter-religious council should be urgently revived to resolve inter-religious differences and promote inter-religious amity, goodwill and understanding in plural Malaysia.
Read the rest of this entry »