Hornbill Unleashed

November 21, 2013

The day Taib Mahmud SPOKE UP for Christians in Sarawak

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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The day Taib Mahmud SPOKE UP for Christians in SarawakBorneo Post

WHENEVER the ‘Allah’ issue hogs the headlines, Sarawak and Sabah can also expect to be in the spotlight.

Over the past weeks, all of us must have had an overdose of ‘Allah’ – I mean the dispute over the usage of that almighty name. I find it seriously appalling how we, Malaysians, can really go overboard in our quarrels over the use of a term.

Don’t drag us into your ugliness

It has been said that Malaysia is the only country in the world where its citizens are at loggerheads over ‘Allah’. Hey, are we not supposed to be a proud nation of well meaning, sensible and cultured people? Are we not supposed to be understanding and tolerant folk able to live in peace and harmony despite our racial and religious differences?

What happened? Instead of showing others who we really are – a nation of proud Malaysians who are decent and caring people – we chose to display our ugly side. If others describe us as a nation of idiots, don’t blame them. We probably deserve to be called silly names.

It was most unfortunate that the people of Sarawak and Sabah were innocently dragged into the nasty equation as well. It’s well known to us in East Malaysia that we’ve never had a problem over religion – Never!

I have said this many times in this column and I will not hesitate to repeat it because it’s something so uniquely Sarawakian. As a Sarawakian, I’m always proud to make this known and clear to all.

Pehin did the right thing

Many Christians were very happy with Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud when he defended their right to continue using the name ‘Allah’. The Sarawak Chief Minister spoke rather eloquently on the issue recently.

In his own words: “To us (Sarawakians) there is no issue. We have lived with people of different races and different religions for many decades, even before Malaysia. The ‘Allah’ ruling will not be binding on Sabah and Sarawak. We cannot alter the status quo in Sarawak.”

The Chief Minister further said that on visits to the longhouse, he would source a Muslim cook to prepare his dishes using the ingredients which the longhouse residents had bought. His childhood at the mission school had prepared him for being with Christians and he was not perturbed when they made the sign of the cross, or prayed.

Indeed, Taib’s speech resonated with many Malaysians and I must thank our CM sincerely for speaking out for Sarawakians in such a strong, yet honest, manner.

The CM’s words were particularly gratifying not only because he is the chief executive of the state but because he is also a Muslim. It shows that the man knows more of his great faith Islam than the many pretenders in Malaya.

Look at the Malay ‘comedians’ in the peninsula

Now, I wonder why the likes of Ibrahim ‘Comedian’ Ali and his cohorts in Perkasa and elsewhere never dared to rebuke Taib? Did they agree with Taib after all? Or are they withholding their fire out of respect (or fear) for the Sarawak CM who also heads the religious organisation Perkim? That makes Taib an authority on Islam too.

But the most conspicuous difference between Taib and his brothers in the faith in Malaya is that he is a Sarawakian Muslim. Because Taib is a Sarawakian, he understands the ‘spirit of tolerance’ better than those in Malaya. This is something we cannot dispute. Thumbs up for Taib.

Musa Aman should have spoken up: What happened to Pairin and Jeffrey?

It’s a shame that Taib’s counterpart in Sabah, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, has stayed silent over the ‘Allah’ issue. Is it just because he is an Umno man and his party’s stand is clear – No ‘Allah’ for non-Muslims. If that is the case, then we Sarawakians must count our blessings again that Umno has yet to set foot in Sarawak. I don’t think we, Sarawakians, ever want our beloved state to be ‘Umno-nised’. No, no way!

This week as the Kuala Lumpur Catholic Archdiocese filed an application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court against a decision which allowed the government’s appeal to ban its weekly publication the Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, the churches of Sabah and Sarawak also made its stand clear.

Christian leaders in the two states have vowed to carry on using the word ‘Allah’ even if it means being prosecuted under a Home Ministry directive allowed by a court ruling.

Putrajaya deliberately misleading Sarawakians and Sabahans

They also accused Putrajaya of trying to mislead Christians from East Malaysia into believing that the Court of Appeal ruling was only applicable to the Herald.

They said they will speak up on this issue as this is what their respective congregations expect them to do.

Catholic Bishop for the Keningau diocese in Sabah Datuk Cornelius Piong said Sabahans, especially the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut natives, have been using the word for generations and will continue doing so.

“Who is going to stop us? Even God allows us to use the word,” he said, calling the move to restrict the use of the word illogical.

The Association of Churches in Sarawak has urged Putrajaya to show more commitment to recognising religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak.

The group’s chairperson Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok said thus far, Putrajaya had only displayed “ad hoc benevolence” whenever religious freedom cropped up.

“We need tangible commitments from the authorities to respect and uphold the freedom of religion, guaranteed by the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the nation,” Bolly said in a statement this week.

Najib needs to learn some lessons in leadership from Taib

These are legitimate demands from Christians in Sabah and Sarawak. While we are happy that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has reiterated that the court ruling only applies to the Herald and that the 10-point policy stays, some of his cabinet members have been giving conflicting statements.

Therefore, the Prime Minister has to put his own house in order on the matter and as Sarawak Christians have requested, show more commitment to recognising religious freedom in East Malaysia.

Perhaps, Najib could quietly seek Taib’s advice on how to resolve this long-standing issue. In this case, Taib certainly knows better.



  1. He doesn’t look like an angel
    He walk like an angel
    He talk like an angel
    We must be wise
    He’s the devil in disguise
    Oh yes he is
    The devil in disguise…….

    Comment by kocokoco — November 23, 2013 @ 12:08 PM | Reply

  2. As a leader and the head of state, Taib’s response to the Allah issue hail as an example for ‘protecting’ his statesmen particularly the Christians. As a Sarawakian, born and raised in Sarawak, he knows and understands the people around him. The majority of the population are mainly Christians or non-Muslims. His statement might be seen as a way to gain popularity or to mend ties to those who dislike him, given his reputation and allegations of corruption. But on the bright side of his statement, it clearly showed his understanding of the multi-racial community in Sarawak.

    Comment by Layla — November 21, 2013 @ 10:44 PM | Reply

  3. As a leader and the head of state, Taib’s response to the Allah issue hail as an example for ‘protecting’ his statesmen particularly the Christians. As a Sarawakian, born and raised in Sarawak, he knows and understands the people around him. The majority of the population are mainly Christians or non-Muslims. His statement might be seen as a way to gain popularity or to mend ties to those who dislike him, given his reputation and allegations of corruption or the aftermath of winning the GE13. But on the bright side of his statement, it clearly showed his understanding of the multi-racial community in Sarawak.

    Comment by Layla — November 21, 2013 @ 10:42 PM | Reply

  4. The only two options left are to elect a new and better government or to seek independence through ICJ and UN. What is 5% royalty when we should have control of our own resources and oil wealth 100%. The 5% should be contributed by us to them and not vice versa. Even the 20% promised by PR is too little, although much better than the 5%. How much longer do you want our country Sarawak to be exploited of it’s oil and timber resources? Till we are dry and empty? Don’t ever trust any of these cunning politicians. They are fighting for their bank accounts and political survival.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — November 21, 2013 @ 8:37 PM | Reply

  5. The harmony that exists in Sarawak we regard as priceless gems. If this is taken from us we would be revolting.

    Comment by Audrey Meligai — November 21, 2013 @ 7:21 PM | Reply

    • What harmony?

      Taib is killing all the Ulu peoples who are Christians mostly. He killed some Penans lately. He’s killing Muslims. Does it matter if he kills Christians? Why would he care if the Christians call their God Allah, too?

      What harmony? Its just lots and lots of haha money, bah!

      Comment by Dont forget the money — November 23, 2013 @ 4:52 PM | Reply

  6. Now the sudden change in format of the Moral test paper for SPM 2013 had inflamed all non Malay students . They felt the government was stupid to play the racial and religious cards in the way they segregated Muslims and non Muslims for certain test.

    Comment by Awaken Dayak — November 21, 2013 @ 6:53 PM | Reply

  7. Be it BN or PR, the political leaders from Sarawak should have their say in and don’t just simply bow down to their counterparts from the Peninsular.
    People of Sarawak & Sabah have spoken when something which it of utmost important to all – TOLERANCE & MUTUAL RESPECT = UNITY & HARMONY.
    Yes, things are not always good & rosy too in Sarawak & Sabah. But in terms of those key words I mentioned earlier, we must be proud of that. We instill that in us & have it in us anywhere we go. Those ”words” are just words over here in the Peninsular.. let them learn how important it is to have Tolerance & Mutual Respect in a multi-racial community.

    Comment by Melanie — November 21, 2013 @ 6:42 PM | Reply

  8. The racist,radical & extremist organisation, which is unworthy to be named, has no other better things to do except to create racial and religious tension and disunity among the people. Why does the government of the day have not done anything about them so far? Are they much stronger than the Putrajaya? It must remember, do not take the patience of the silent majority for granted. We are fed up with the sitiations. Either you do the right things now or we will do it in the coming GE with our might. Forget not, you got only 47%? Are you asking for 27%?

    Comment by owl — November 21, 2013 @ 2:16 PM | Reply

  9. Another piece from Borneo Post to ball polishes the old man again. Why suddenly after all the bad publicity by the protesting, blockading and arresting of Penans and other Natives who are against the old man damned dams, there are suddenly a lot of news about him being this and that in the Borneo post lately?

    He didn’t need to speak up on behalf of the Christians and he certainly didn’t need to defend us Sarawakian Christians on the ALLAH issue. Like what he himself said, the ALLAH issue is a non issue in Sarawak so why the need to defend us if it is a non issue?

    His only issue with this non issue is political. He has to come out and say what he said to for the sake of his Party PBB and himself. Christians are the majority in Sarawak and that scares him and for him to be silent on a non issue like the ALLAH issue could have adverse effect on his political future and that of his rule as a minority.

    What leadership can najib learn from him? The Penans are in Putra Jaya taking their case to Najib because nobody in Sarawak is taking them seriously and deal with them amicably!

    Comment by brian — November 21, 2013 @ 12:24 PM | Reply

    • He has instructed the speaker to reject the motion to discuss or debate the position of Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia. The paramount thief minister and one of his thieves, James Masing, only wanted to appear as heros for ignorant and uneducated Sarawakians . Without the 18 points agreements with the Federation of Malaya revisited or reviewed and corrected, Sarawak will remain as one of the 14 states of Malaysia and robbed of its rightful position in the formation of Malaysia and ownership over petroleum resources.

      Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — November 21, 2013 @ 7:01 PM | Reply

  10. Taib is a Muslim, a moderate one. This is perhaps why he got the staying power.

    Comment by i knowit all — November 21, 2013 @ 10:30 AM | Reply

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