Archive for January 10th, 2014

Unholy row: Malaysia’s ‘moderate’ religious agenda in ‘Allah’ use wrangle

Nile Bowie | January 09, 2014 13:46

Religious authorities have boldly confiscated hundreds of Malay language bibles over their use of the word ‘Allah’, a signal that the Malaysian government is backpedaling on its highly flaunted program of moderation and inclusivity.

Malaysia has garnered much international attention in recent years for being the only country in the world to regulate the use of the word ‘Allah’ and other terms deemed to be exclusive to Islam among its non-Muslim citizens.

The term ‘Allah’ is borrowed from Arabic and is used to describe ‘God’ in the language used by the nation’s dominant Malay ethnic group, who practice a brand of Islam that is deeply interwoven with Malay nationalism. Malaysia’s Christian minority has used the term ‘Allah’ in Malay language bibles and daily prayers in churches to refer to the Christian god for centuries, but a controversial court ruling in 2013 prohibited a Catholic newspaper, The Herald, from using the word. Despite the prohibition of the term applying only to The Herald and not to other publications, religious authorities recently took the unprecedented step of raiding a Bible Society and confiscating over 300 Malay language bibles on the basis that public disorder would ensue unless the term ‘Allah’ remains exclusive to Islam.
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The Battle for GE14 in Peninsular Malaysia begins and ends in Johor

In November, 2013, I outlined a 12 point strategy on how Pakatan can capture Putrajaya in GE14.

In Peninsular Malaysia, Johore holds the key in unlocking the gates to Putrajaya. For Pakatan to win Putrajaya, this strategy must first and foremost work in Johore.

The Battle of Johore for the Battle of Putrajaya in the 14GE is the greatest challenge of the DAP State Convention to be held in Batu Pahat on Sunday.

In GE13, Pakatan has shattered the fixed deposit state of Johor by winning 5 parliament and 18 state seats, a worthy achievement given the resources that were spent by the BN in this state.

But this is not enough. To achieve the goal of winning Putrajaya in GE14, Pakatan must set a target of winning half of the parliament seats in Johore. To do this, we must firstly defend our marginal areas (Bakri and Batu Pahat) and our newly won areas (Kluang, Kulai and Gelang Patah). And then, we must go on the offensive to capture the marginal BN areas including Segamat, Sekijang, Labis, Ledang, Muar, Tebrau, Pasir Gudang and Pulai. If we have won all of the marginal BN areas, Pakatan would have won 13 out of 26 parliament seats in GE13. Read the rest of this entry »