Jumaat, 11 Oktober 2013

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'DAP should eradicate unhealthy culture or face downturn'

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 07:49 PM PDT

Chan Wei See, fz.com

A central executive committee re-election later, the worse is still not over for DAP as its Melaka chapter is riddled with infighting.

In the midst of it all, Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau (pic) has jumped in to urge the party to eradicate unhealthy cultures.
In an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily, the Skudai state assemblyman indicated that the party was troubled with power centralisation and meritocracy, making it intolerable to internal and external criticism.
This also made it inefficient for grassroot views to be channelled to the top, in addition to the existence of unlawful practices in the party.
Boo also pointed out that following DAP's rapid expansion, it was at the risk of facing a downturn in performance in the 1995 and 1999 general elections (GE) if it failed to eradicate the unhealthy practices before the next GE.
"I don't mind playing the bad cop in the party. I think one must raise an issue immediately once he or she finds it to be detrimental to the party."
"This is the culture a democratic party should nurture," he added.
Boo was responding to the explosion of DAP's internal issues of late. He was of the view that the central DAP leadership should foster a culture of facing public criticism to have a better understanding of its position, as well as its future direction.
On the problem of power centralisation, Boo conceded that there is a force penetrating all state committees, citing Johor's experience in which the central leadership announced the line-up before the state committee could submit its proposed candidate list.
Boo said the Melaka tussle also rooted from the same problem.
Goh urges DAP to probe car purchase case
Melaka DAP chief Goh Leong San who resigned as the state opposition leader on Tuesday, has urged the DAP central leadership to probe an allegation that two DAP leaders – who are a couple – purchased a car with people's donation, Sin Chew Daily reported.
The Duyong state assemblyman who has a feud with DAP central leadership claimed that the car was registered under the name of a party leader's wife, adding that the couple had signed a contract dated June 15, 2011 for the car purchase purpose.
The contract states that DAP Melaka woman wing had unanimously passed a resolution to allocate RM40,000 for a car purchase in its annual meeting held on Sept 4, 2011.
It was also decided in the meeting that the car would be registered under the name of one of the attendees – who is also the wife of a Melaka DAP leader.
"I wish to let the public understand that their donation cannot be spent for personal use. Hence I hope the DAP central leadership will make a clear judgement on this case."
Goh quit as the state oppostion leader on Tuesday after his two comrades slammed him for praising Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron. 
Goh's Johor counterpart Boo had also indicated unlawful purchase occurs in DAP in his interview with Sin Chew – in a clear sign of backing Goh.
Boo said he also found that DAP central leadership had been lenient with some unlawful purchase cases, involving some grassroot leaders. These could be a property or a car, he said.
Boo urged the leadership to act in accordance with the law and separate public and personal matters, and never cover up unlawful practises.


Bumiputera Christians in East Malaysia willing to run foul of the law over “Allah” issue

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:24 PM PDT

Jennifer Gomez, TMI

If the 1.6 million Bumiputera Christians in Sabah and Sarawak are not allowed to use the word "Allah" to refer to God, they would still do so, said two Christian church associations today.

In a joint statement, the Sabah Council of Churches and the Association of Churches Sarawak called on the powers-that-be not to allow religious bigotry, racism and extremism to be perpetuated and poison the nation.

The appeal comes just days before the Court of Appeal rules on Monday whether the Catholic weekly newspaper, the Herald, can use the word "Allah" in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

In the statement, the churches stated that Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, who make up two thirds of the Malaysian Christian community, worship in Bahasa Malaysia and have been referring to God as "Allah" for hundreds of years.

This was even before Malaysia was formed in 1963, where the foundation of its formation was on the basis that there would be no restrictions placed on other religions even though Islam was named the official religion of the country.

Describing it as a tragedy that this foundation was progressively being undermined and eroded, they cautioned that any attempt to hinder the use of the word Allah would instantly turn "native Bumiputeras into law-breakers in the very land where they are sons of the soil".



Using ‘Allah’ in Bible ‘nullifies’ Trinity, Jakim suggests

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:20 PM PDT

(MM) - Malaysia's foremost Islamic authority has again questioned local Christans' use of the word "Allah" today, suggesting it nullifies their religion's concept of the Trinity.

In its weekly Friday sermon today, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) also warned Muslims against supporting "freedom without borders" and human rights causes, which it said are backed by "enemies of Islam" in the country, whom it failed to identify.

"Islam denies and rejects the belief based on Trinity... The huge question arising here, why is there a need to use the word 'Allah' in the Bible, since when used it will directly nullify the concept of Trinity that they practise," Jakim asked in its sermon ahead of a much-anticipated court ruling on the government's appeal against the Church's right to the Arabic word on Monday.

The sermon however did not exactly explain how using the word "Allah" in the Bible would nullify the Trinity concept, which refers to the three divine personifications of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — which forms part of the belief system of the Christians, especially Catholics.

"Its usage is clearly make Muslims confused, doubt and mistake the identity of Allah and destroy the akidah (faith) of the ummah (community)," Jakim said in its Malay text.

The local Catholic Church has challenged in court to publish the word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly paper, prompting a tussle between Malaysian Muslims and non-Muslims for the past five years for the right to use the Arabic word to call their respective gods.

JAKIM also drew a parallel between Muslims' holy pilgrimage of haj and the unity of its community today, as it calls Muslims nationwide to unite amid the "Allah" row appeal decision next week.

"As we all know, the Allah word issue will be heard again in the Court of Appeal this October 14. So, as Muslims who are obedient to their religion, let us unite to reject any efforts to deny our rights as Muslims," said the sermon here.

"It is wajib (obligatory) for Muslims to take the best care and if there are any elements of insult or misuse towards the word, it must be restricted according to the provisions of the law enshrined in the Federal Constitution," Jakim said, of the "Allah" word.

"Believe it, defending the sanctity of Islam by not allowing others to insult it is requisite."

Muslims in Malaysia will celebrate Aidiladha next Tuesday, which commemorates the willingness of their prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his firstborn son following God's command. It also marks the end of the haj, the Muslim pilgrimage.

JAKIM also warned Muslims in its sermon today against supporting what it called "foreign ideologies", which it referred to as "isms", naming capitalism, communism, socialism, and liberalism as examples.

"Assuming those ideologies as being better than Islamic taching can bring to syirik (idolatry)," stressed Jakim.

An official sermon for the Aidilfitri celebration in early August had also warned Muslims nationwide against a conspiracy by "enemies of Islam" to manipulate them through such ideas, which also included feminism and positivism.

In its Aidilfitri sermon, Jakim told Malaysian Muslims to put their faith before all other considerations, amid alleged religious attacks masked as the freedom of expression by non-Muslims nationwide.

"Believe it, the moment Muslims lose their belief, their guidance brittle, and lose their sensitivity towards Islam, that will be the moment enemies of Islam have waited for," Jakim said in its sermon on August 30, without elaborating on the identity of its "enemies".

Following the uproar then, Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom denied claims the government was attempting to paint Christians as enemies of the Muslims, after being questioned by Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham.

The "Allah" row first erupted in 2008 after the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the Herald's newspaper permit for publishing Christian references to God as "Allah", prompting the Catholic Church to sue the government for violating its constitutional rights.

The Church has argued in court that the word predates Islam and that Christians' right to use "Allah" in a non-Muslim context was affirmed by the government's own 10-point solution issued in 2011.

The 2009 High Court decision upholding the Catholic Church's constitutional right to use the word "Allah" had shocked many Muslims that consider the word to only refer to the Islamic God.

It also led to Malaysia's worst religious strife, with houses of worship throughout the country coming under attack.

Christians make up Malaysia's third-largest at 2.6 million, according to statistics from the 2010 consensus while Muslims are the country's largest religious group at 61.3 per cent of its 28 million people.  


Putrajaya orders Sabah mufti to apologise for ‘Malaynisation’ call

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:17 PM PDT

(MM) - Putrajaya has decided that Sabah mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar must retract his controversial statements against Sabah's indigenous community and issue an open apology, a Cabinet minister has said.

According to Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Ewon Ebin, the Federal Cabinet had decided on the action after a meeting on Wednesday.

"Yesterday (Wednesday), I brought this matter up at the federal cabinet meeting and after talking about it the Cabinet is of the opinion that in the first place, for the sake of harmony among Sabah's multi-racial and multi religious people, this should not have arisen," Ewon told reporters in Kota Kinabalu, as reported by news portal Borneo Insider today.

"So for the continued unity of the rakyat in Sabah, the federal cabinet is of the opinion that the state Mufti should not only retract the statements but also issue a public apology to the KadazanDusun community as well as other natives in Sabah."

Bungsu caused a storm last month with his proposal for a programme to "Malaynise" the state's non-Malay Bumiputera Muslims, citing a need to unite the country's Muslims.

He told a thousand-strong Muslim symposium in Putrajaya that many of the indigenous Muslims in the north Borneo state still refused to call themselves Malay, unlike ethnic groups like the Javanese and Bugis in Peninsular Malaysia who today identify themselves as belonging to one Malay race.

The mufti boasted of a "successful" mass "Islamisation movement" of Sabahans in the 1970s, which according to him, had played a role in making Islam the religion of the state.

Bungsu also claimed that Kadazan is an "invented" ethnic group made of non-Muslim Dusun people, who are mostly Catholics.

Ewon, who is also the Ranau MP and vice-president of Sabah-based United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), said that Bungsu had touched on a sensitive issue for the ethnic group by making such claims.

The under-fire Islamic cleric has since claimed that he was urging the state's Muslim Bumiputera to unite under the umbrella of the so-called Malay stock with his controversial "Malaynisation" remark and was not calling to deny their ethnicity, according to quotes attributed to him in a blog.

In a posting on D.K.M. Sabah site, an unidentified blog operator professed to have met Bungsu on October 2 for a brief interview to clarify the mufti's remarks that have since stirred up a storm in the state.

Bungsu was quoted in the blogpost to have defended his remarks as a statement of scholarly facts based on ethnography and anthropology, saying that he was merely referring to the Malay stock from the Malay Archipelago that he claimed numbered over 200 million people.

Fending off accusations that he was attempting to dilute the ethnic diversity in Sabah, he was quoted as saying that the local natives there could acknowledge that they belong to the Malay stock without discarding their indigenous languages and ethnicity.

The Sabah mufti has yet to respond to The Malay Mail Online's request for verification of the blog's contents. 


DAP tells members to stop complaining in public, use proper channels instead

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:55 PM PDT

Jennifer Gomez, TMI

DAP leaders have been ordered to stop airing their grievances in public and instead use internal channels to raise their complaints.

Its national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook (pic), said recent incidents where party leaders in several states had complained publicly about the party had created a negative impression among the public.

"We have been getting many calls from the public expressing their displeasure over the bickering by our own elected representatives," Loke said.

He said the central leadership was prepared to meet the state committees and listen to their complaints and find solutions to them.

"We must all be fully aware that we have been entrusted by the people in the recent general election to continue to serve the country for a better Malaysia.

"We all carry the responsibility to strengthen the party internally and to manage our public image," Loke stressed.

The highlight of the past week was the saga of Duyong assemblyman Goh Leong San and his deputy Lim Jak Wong (Bachang assemblyman), who resigned as opposition leader and opposition whip of the Malacca state assembly respectively on Tuesday.



Contest for PAS top post?

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:45 PM PDT

K Pragalath, FMT

PAS which would hold its party polls next month along with its 59th muktamar (annual general meeting) is likely to see the first contest for its presidency, in recent times.

Incumbent Hadi Awang has been party chief for a decade following the death of his predecessor, Fadzil Noor in 2003.

Padang Serai division chief Fauzi Tahir had announced via micro -blogging site, Twitter of his intention to contest for the top post in the Islamist party.

"I would like to test the members' understanding of the party constitution," he said on Twitter.

The party constitution does not state that the Islamist party must be led by an ulama.  Ulama leadership within PAS was entrenched through the formation of the syura (consultative) council.

FMT was told that Fauzi's intention to contest stemmed from the fact that Hadi was not listening to the ground sentiments in Kedah, which led to the party losing the state in the last general election.

PAS alongside its opposition coalition partners, DAP and PKR, has wrestled away Kedah from the Barisan Nasional at the 12th general election in 2008 but failed to hold on to the state at the last general election in May this year.

PAS' Menteri Besar the late Azizan Abdul Razak was blamed for the defeat.



‘Why appoint Samy, Ong as special envoys?’

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:37 PM PDT

Leven Woon, FMT

DAP's Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng questioned the need for Putrajaya to appoint BN politicians as second ambassadors to foreign countries that is costing taxpayers RM20,000 to RM27,000 per individual per month.

He said it is redundant to appoint former MIC president S Samy Vellu, former MCA president Ong Ka Ting and Rompin MP Jamaluddin Mohd Jarjis as special envoys to South Asia and India, China and the US respectively.

"If we already have ambassadors in those countries, why do we need to appoint another special envoy to these countries? If people like Samy Vellu and Ong have vast experiences in dealing with the India and China governments, why don't we appoint them straight as ambassador?

"We can have two ambassadors to one country, so by the same token can we have two prime minister as well?" he asked at a media conference today.

He said when the question was posed to the government, the reply he got was that it was because Malaysia's ambassador to China Iskandar Sarudin does not speak Mandarin.

Citing a parliamentary reply, he added that a special envoy post carries the weight of a minister, and the positions were only created after Najib Tun Razak became prime minister in 2009.

On top of the three special envoys, there were four other BN politicians appointed to advisory or special envoys positions in the Prime Minister's Department:

  1. Rais Yatim as special advisor on social and cultural issues, with RM27, 227.20 monthly allowance
  2. Johari Baharum, as special advisor to the Northern Corridor Economic Region, with RM21,500 allowance
  3. Abdullah Mohd Zin, as advisor on religion issues, with RM25,106 monthly allowance
  4. Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, as advisor to women development and entrepreneurship, with RM27,227.20 monthly allowance.

Lim asked why the government is flip-flopping on Shahrizat, having accepted her resignation as women minister last year after NFC scandal but only to re-appoint her to the same portfolio again.

"If she is still an asset to the government, they shouldn't have accepted her resignation in the first place," he said.

He also said the advisory posts of Shahrizat, Rais and Abdullah Mohd Zin also overlapped with those of a minister.



Cries of police officers baffling activists

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:33 PM PDT

Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT

The vice chairman and the executive council member of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation have expressed disbelief towards the plight of police officers in the country.

The issue was highlighted in a story FMT carried yesterday upon interviewing some personnel from the force.

When called for comments, Lee Lam Thye and Robert Phang were stunned to be made aware that police personnel are facing shortage of funds in their respective departments.

Earlier, in a phone conversation, Lee requested FMT to send an email with regards to the issue as he has yet to be briefed about the matter.

However, later in a short sms exchange, Lee notified FMT that he wished to personally check and confirm the issues before making any comments.

"I am sorry, no comment at the moment, I wish to check and confirm the matter first," said Lee who is also a social activist.

On the other hand, Phang when contacted repeatedly asked whether the allegations by police officers came from solid data.

"Are you sure this is happening," he asked.

Upon being given more details, Phang immediately told FMT that the occurring problems have to be addressed as soon as possible; and further stressed that it must be stopped immediately.

Phang added that the problem will only demoralize police officers and compromise thorough and impartial investigations.

"We have to stop this at once, this is discouraging the men and women in blue, they are doing a very tough job and they are not suppose to face this kind of problem,"

The former MACC advisory panel member then appealed to the Inspector General of Police to seriously look into the grievances faced by the officers.

The Chairman of Social Care Foundation also urged the responsible authority to take the matter seriously as it would affect the work ethics of the officers.

"They are not suppose to use their own pocket money to fill up the fuel although they are using their own motorbikes,"

"I appeal the IGP to look into this matter and I hope that it can be resolved soon," Phang said.

It was reported yesterday that police officers have for long suffered their own internal problems as they face shortage of funds in their respective departments.



Poor police force

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 01:04 PM PDT


(FMT) - Despite millions for the force, its officers have been coughing up funds from their own pockets for fuel, repairs bills, office equipment and other essentials

While the government spends millions of ringgit constructing new police stations, the plight of normal police officers who work frantically on tight schedules and at the same time encounter constant risks, is plainly forgotten.

A random check by FMT at several police stations in the Klang Valley revealed that many officers are dealing with challenging situations such as patrolling in damaged police cars and ill-equipped stations.

In revealing his situation, a lance corporal who declined to be named, told FMT that he had to use his own motorcycle for his routine rounds and said that he foots the fuel bill from his own pockets due to inadequate patrol cars in his station.

Shockingly, the police officer further said that the patrol cars at the station where he works had been sent out for repairs to the district police workshop; and has since been under repair for months.

"The patrol car is 'out of service'. It has been there (workshop) for months. I rather use my own Yamaha 125z to do my rounds but I have to pay the fuel from my own pocket and it costs me RM30 per day and I can't make any claim," the officer said.

When asked on why he refused to use the bike provided by the station he said that the motorbike consumed more fuel and the condition of the bike was not good.

"This scrambler is not user friendly. The fuel tank is smaller and it consumes more fuel. It is a hassle for us. The tyres meanwhile are not safe. Once I almost fell as I was on my routine checks and it is not that comfortable either," said the officer.

Another officer from different police station said that he prefers to use his own money to repair the patrol car. He added that it would take three to four months for the patrol car to be repaired if he sends it to the district police workshop. 

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/10/11/poor-police-force/ 

Mat Sabu: Ulamas in politics must stop rhetoric of theology

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 12:52 PM PDT


(fz.com) - PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu has lashed out at those who have labelled him as a Syiah, saying that only those who do not know the history of the party will make that accusation.

With PAS party elections looming, accusations of being a Syiah, not being PAS-enough and many other labels are being bandied about among the many factions in the party. 

Mohamed, better known as Mat Sabu, who is the first non-ulama to hold the post of deputy president, has been the target of some people in PAS who claim he is a Syiah because he had openly supported Hezbollah and the Iranian revolution. 

Mat Sabu has countered the accusation by pointing out that Unit Amal (PAS' popular crowd control unit) is actually modelled after the Iranian Revolution Guards – even its anthem is actually based on an Iranian song – but that has not earned it the Syiah label. 

Unit Amal is a pride of PAS. Set up in 1991, it now has more than 3,000 PAS youth as members.  

Despite it being part of an opposition party, Unit Amal has been hailed by the authorities as one of the most disciplined and successful forces in dealing with demonstrations and crowd control involving thousands. 

In fact, the police always worked hand in hand with Unit Amal when handling opposition rallies. 

"I am not a Syiah. But I admired the way the ulamas (clerics) took part in politics during the Iranian Revolution and Iran happened to be Syiah. I also think Hezbollah is the most successful NGO in the world. I admire their traits and commitment to the cause of the people," Mat Sabu told fz.com recently. 

(Hezbollah is a Syiah Islamic militant group and Lebanese political party founded by clerics, and played a major role in resisting the Israeli invasion into Lebanon in 2006.)

"PAS is the only other Islamic party in the world that has ulamas as its top leaders – not even the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt or the Islamic Party of Turkey," said Mat Sabu.

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/mat-sabu-ulamas-politics-must-stop-rhetoric-theology 


Google Malaysia Site DNS Hacked, Credit Claimed By ‘Team Madleets’ Hacker 1337

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 12:45 PM PDT

(Tech Crunch) - Security is just an illusion. It does not exist. We have no political intentions whatsoever.

Google's Malaysian site has been hacked and replaced with a splash screen giving credit to a group called "Team Madleets." The normal site has been offline for several hours as of late Thursday afternoon and the page lists a series of handles that are ostensibly part of the team responsible. Updated with brief statement from the hackers below.

The attack appears to have been of the DNS poisoning variety, in which a hacker gained access to the Malaysia Network Information Center and changed the DNS records of Google's site to Madleets-controlled servers. So no information appears to have been changed on Google's servers at this time, as this is a redirect attack of sorts.

The stamp at the top says '[!] Struck by 1337′, which is apparently a reference to an individual hacker within the group called 1337, who has recently (allegedly) performed hacks on domain registrars of several countries. A message on 1337′s Facebook page says "Google Malaysia Stamped By 1337″ and references the google.com.my and google.my domains. The only other indicator about who the group could be is a reference to them being Pakistani in origin.

Read more at: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/10/google-malaysia-site-hacked-credit-claimed-by-team-madleets/ 

The Ten Most Expensive Places To Buy A Car

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 12:35 PM PDT


(Jalopnik) - Some of you think Americans have it bad when it comes to buying a car. With low car prices, cheap gas and a great road network, I say you're one of the lucky ones. Don't believe me? Just check out how much it costs to buy a Prius or FR-S in one of these countries.

10) Cuba


Price of a new Scion FR-S: LOL!P

Technically, you can buy or sell cars in Cuba since the market was "liberated" in 2011, but with prices sky high and low incomes all around, business is slow.P

Masterofgoingfaster is a local:P

A 70s lada is about 12K USD in Cuba, it's quite interesting to see how values change depending on what you can get out of the car and when reliability is so important. I know this because I was born there and went this summer for about 10 days to visit the fam.

Suggested By: Spiegel, Jalopnik's Pariah., Photo Credit: kooklanekookla  

9) North Korea


Kim Jong-un must really like you to get a car, and you better keep it that way, because it's not only your ride that's always on the edge.

bobrayner explains:

North Korea! If you're really, really lucky and reach a good position in the party hierarchy you might be able to get something like this:

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18z80kktpfta6jpg/ku-xlarge.jpgThat's not a real Merc. It's the glorious Pyongyang 4.10, from a factory that used to make GAZ-51 clones (a prewar Soviet light truck). They might share the same engine, so there may well be some running on the same wood-gas conversion that's popular in North Korean trucks because supplies of conventional fuel are patchy. Build quality is abysmal, but it's better than trying to buy some old imported Volga since nobody's been able to import spare parts in the last twenty years.

Most people can't actually buy a car. And the car market is pretty much subject to government whims - good luck with fuel rationing and travel permits. One day Kim Jong-Il got so irritated by having to wait behind a Japanese car (in what must be the only traffic congestion ever experienced in the gloriously smooth-running republic) that heordered all Japanese cars confiscated

I want a Pyongyang 4.10 2.5 Evo 2, now! 

Read more at: http://jalopnik.com/the-ten-most-expensive-places-to-buy-a-car-1256855393 

Cars in Malaysia are cheaper than in other countries

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 12:30 PM PDT


(Astro Awani) - The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) has rubbished a report by popular car news portal,Jalopnik, that ranked Malaysia as the second most expensive place in the world to buy a car.
MAI CEO, Mohamad Madani Sahari said the report was unfair as it was based on only one car model, the Scion Fr-S.

"It is not fair to make a comparison solely based on a single model, and this model is a high-end sports car not meant for the masses," he told Astro AWANI.

He defended the prices of locally-made cars, saying that some local cars were among the cheapest in Asia.

"MAI has conducted an overall car price comparison in Asia. Car prices in Singapore and Vietnam are generally higher than in Malaysia.

"Models like Proton Saga SV is sold at RM33,438 in Malaysia while the same model is sold at RM40,581 in Thailand, RM40,246 in Indonesia and RM81,823 in Singapore.

"Malaysia has the cheapest car price among other countries that are selling the Perodua Viva 660 BX.

As ‘Allah’ appeal nears, Borneo churches say ban violates Malaysia Agreement

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 10:17 PM PDT


Boo Su-Lyn, The Malay Mail

With the courts just days from deciding on the "Allah" appeal, the churches of Sabah and Sarawak banded together today to insist that prohibiting Christians from calling their god "Allah" violates the 1963 Malaysia Agreement upon which the country was founded 

Ahead of the Monday ruling by the Court of Appeal on whether the Christian Church can use the Arabic word, the East Malaysian churches stressed that it was "completely unacceptable" to bar such usage that has been their common practice for centuries.

"This is abhorrent, wholly unacceptable and a flagrant betrayal of the Malaysia Agreement which guarantees the inalienable rights of non-Muslims in Sarawak and Sabah to religious freedom," Datuk Bolly Lapok, chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak, said in a statement today.

"The Bumiputera church will continue to use the Bahasa Malaysia Alkitab, together with the word 'Allah', both of which are fundamental to all aspects of the profession and practice of the Christian faith," he added.

Bishop Datuk Dr Thomas Tsen, president of the Sabah Council of Churches, pointed out in an accompanying statement that two-thirds of Christians in Malaysia are Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak, numbering at 1.6 million, who use Bahasa Malaysia and indigenous languages in their prayer services.

"With the greatest respect to the governing authorities, whether they are the legislative, executive or judicial arms of government, we ask that religious bigotry, racism and extremism should not be perpetuated and allowed to fester and poison our Malaysian nation," said Tsen.

"Specifically with regard to the use of the word 'Allah', proscribing the use of the word 'Allah' would instantly turn these native Bumiputera into law-breakers in the very land of which they are the sons of the soil," he added.

The appellate court in August ruled in favour of allowing the government's appeal against the 2009 High Court decision, which has been at the centre of frosty interfaith ties in the country over the last three years.

The 2009 High Court decision, which upheld the Catholic Church's constitutional right to use the word "Allah" in its weekly publication The Herald, had shocked Malaysian Muslims who considered the word to be exclusive to Islam.



Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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