Hornbill Unleashed

April 27, 2013

Christians to continue using ‘Allah’ despite government appeal, says Dompok

BOO SU-LYN

Al Jazeera handout photo shows Najib being interviewed by anchor Veronica Pedrosa (right). The interview will be aired today.

Christians will not stop calling their God “Allah” even if the courts stop them from doing so in Muslim-majority Malaysia, says UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, whose party is part of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition government.

The Sabah Christian and caretaker plantation industries and commodities minister dismissed Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s support of a government appeal against the 2009 High Court ruling allowing the community to use the Arabic word “Allah” as that would affect the coalition’s Christian vote in Sabah in the May 5 general election.

“Whatever the outcome of the appeal is, the fact is no government can enforce a prohibition of this nature,” Dompok told The Malaysian Insider.

“So the Christians will continue to use it without any hindrance. I don’t think any government at all, not even a PAS government in future, can stop Christians from using this,” he added. Apart from Christians, Sikhs too use the term to describe God.

Najib told global news station Al Jazeera in an interview, to be aired today, that he supported the government appeal against the 2009 High Court ruling, saying that Muslims have a different concept of Allah than Christians.

Dompok said no government can stop Christians from calling their God ‘Allah’.An excerpt of the interview was obtained and reported by The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

The Court of Appeal has fixed May 30 for another case management on the government and Home Ministry’s appeal against the 2009 High Court decision that the word “Allah” can be used by the Catholic weekly newspaper Herald.

Najib’s administration, however, had issued a 10-point formula for east Malaysia before the 2011 Sarawak state election to resolve the blockade of shipments of Malay-language bibles that are primarily used by Bumiputera Christians.

In the 10-point resolution, the Cabinet, through its minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala, assured the large Bumiputera Christian population in Sabah and Sarawak that they were free to bring in and use their bibles in Malay as well as in indigenous languages.

The Christian community forms about a quarter of Sabah’s population and almost half of Sarawak’s population, where they mainly worship in Bahasa Malaysia church services and read Malay-language bibles.

Dompok pointed out that Sabah BN’s Kadazandusun component parties PBS, UPKO and PBRS recently imported 5,000 copies of Indonesian bibles for the Christian community in the Borneo state.

“Even before Malaysia was formed, this word was already used. In the Iban language, there is no other word,” he said.

“In Malaysia, we should be allowed to use the national language in its fullest and it is part of every Malaysian’s human right to be allowed to use any language that it deems fit in its worship,” added the former Sabah chief minister.

Church leaders said yesterday that Najib’s backing of the “Allah” ban contradicted his 10-point resolution for the Borneo states.

Christians comprise about nine per cent of the country’s 28 million population.

13 Comments »

  1. Christians across the nation shall vote against corruption, racism and for freedom of worship.

    Comment by Sabestian Jacob — April 27, 2013 @ 5:59 PM | Reply

  2. ALLAH is the name given to HIs people to respect and call HIM. There is no such thing as who has the right and who should not call Him.

    Comment by Orang Sarawak Suara Sarawak — April 27, 2013 @ 4:56 PM | Reply

  3. ALL CHRISTIANS VOTERS IN MALAYA, SABAH AND SARAWAK AS WELL AS REGISTERED OVERSEAS CHRISTIANS VOTERS WILL VOTE FOR PAKATAN RAKYAT EXCEPT PAS BECAUSE PAS HAS NO CHRISTIAN CANDIDATE ANYWAY. IT IS A SIN FOR A CHRISTIAN VOTER TO VOTE FOR UMNO.

    Comment by Ayen Piyat Tawai — April 27, 2013 @ 3:35 PM | Reply

  4. Christians must not back down, you have done no wrong. the PM is only toying with politics and his listeners are getting bored.

    Comment by mik — April 27, 2013 @ 2:39 PM | Reply

  5. Using Allah or not…dosen’t matter at all…your belief only to one god matters.No teaching of jihad and to marry 5 woman at time reflect which religion is a good religion..renong..renonglah ya!!!!!!

    Comment by neverwalkalone — April 27, 2013 @ 1:51 PM | Reply

  6. If Dompok is clean and have any dignity, he would have quit BN and declare that he quits BN to seek justice for Christians and he firmly believes in freedom of worship.

    Comment by SK Subramaniam — April 27, 2013 @ 12:46 PM | Reply

    • There is such a thing as worshiping MONEY and POWER i believe and even being a christian would not spiritually exempt anyone from that vice!

      Dompok is a politician first and his devotion to his faith and religion second, seeking justice for his religion is just a lip service to earn a longer stay in politics?

      Comment by brian — April 27, 2013 @ 2:22 PM | Reply

      • No doubt Dompok squawked we yet hear no squeak from our very own local MPs and DUNs. What went wrong…. multi-million plies RM plaster on their mouths?

        Comment by miaOwkia — April 27, 2013 @ 3:35 PM | Reply

        • Maybe its too much a burden for them to carry and they do not want to cross path with perkasa ibrahim ali,zul nordin,tee abdul,hassan ali and the rest of the ketuanan people. To stay out of trouble, stay low and stay quiet and hope people doesn’t notice!

          Loosing their religion or is it COWARDS the word to describe them better!

          Comment by brian — April 27, 2013 @ 4:33 PM | Reply

  7. A low-class children movie played by the pee-M and a stooge from land below the wind

    Comment by tigeryk — April 27, 2013 @ 12:13 PM | Reply

    • Not even X rated?..LOL

      If the Chairman of BN can support and influence the court to over turn the court decisions on the Allah issue, he and BN can also lend and impose such support and influence on other court cases deemed detrimental to BN.

      Would that be good for the INDEPENDENT of our Judiciary?

      Comment by brian — April 27, 2013 @ 12:55 PM | Reply

  8. No religion nor holy books in this world or even God can help people who are hell bound to achieve all their personal interests at the expense of others.

    Comment by Travis — April 27, 2013 @ 10:43 AM | Reply

  9. Now you say can, after election if BN wins, then WHAT ?

    Comment by gagojackman — April 27, 2013 @ 10:42 AM | Reply


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