Hornbill Unleashed

October 22, 2013

Allah only an issue in peninsula, Sarawakians are tolerant, says Taib

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (3rd from left) and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, flanked by Taib and his wife, at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu meeting in Kuching, today. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 21, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (3rd from left) and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, flanked by Taib and his wife, at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu meeting in Kuching, today. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 21, 2013.The Allah issue between Muslims and Christians in Peninsular Malaysia does not affect Sarawakians because they are a tolerant people, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

“To us (people in Sarawak) there is no issue. We have lived with people of different races and different religions for many decades, even before Malaysia,” Taib said in his first public statement on the issue since the Court of Appeal ruled last Monday that the word Allah could not be used by the Catholic weekly, Herald.

Taib declared the ruling was not binding on Sabah and Sarawak. (more…)

October 18, 2013

One country, two interpretations of Allah – it’s awkward, say politician and lawyers


“Why do we have one country with two interpretations of the use of the word Allah?” Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) asked this when commenting on the Cabinet decision yesterday that the Court of Appeal ruling, which banned the word Allah in the Catholic weekly, Herald, does not apply to Sabah and Sarawak.

“I’m not comfortable with this interpretation. The assurance by the Cabinet that Sabah and Sarawak can use the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia or native language bibles, and other religious publications and in worship, but not in West Malaysia, is not satisfactory,” Masing told The Malaysian Insider, adding that he still thinks that the court ruling is faulty. “It means one nation with two religious definitions of what is acceptable. I feel awkward.” (more…)

October 17, 2013

Allah not exclusive to Muslims, government declares ban only applies to Herald


The ban on the use of the word Allah only applies to the Catholic weekly, Herald, and not other Christian publications or the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia bible which is widely used in Sabah and Sarawak, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).

He said the Cabinet decision to allow the use of Allah in Bahasa Malaysia or native language bibles in Sabah and Sarawak and the assurance given by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in 2011 still stand, thereby suggesting that the government does not believe that the word is exclusive to Muslims.

But the issue (the ban on the word Allah in the Herald) is not over yet, he added, and believed there would be an appeal to the Federal Court. (more…)

In Sarawak, angry reactions to ‘Allah’ ruling

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

In reacting angrily to the Court of Appeal ruling against the use of ‘Allah’, Sarawakians have crossed political and spiritual lines to display rare unity in the defence of religious freedom.

Hundreds of comments have appeared in newspapers, news portals and blogs, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Some expressed regret that Sarawak had been betrayed into joining Malaya, Sabah and Singapore into forming the Federation of Malaysia, while others called for a ban on leaders of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia, Perkasa and religious fanatics from entering the state.

Yet others told Christian Dayaks and Malaysian Chinese to quit the BN as a mark of protest. Christians account for more than 70 percent of the population of 2.6 million in the state. (more…)

October 15, 2013

‘We will worship this ‘Allah’ till kingdom come’

Lawrence Yong & Ram Anand

The Court of Appeal’s decision to prevent The Herald from using ‘Allah’ in its Malay publication as a reference to God has ruffled Christians – especially in Sabah and Sarawak – and non-Muslim groups.

In the aftermath of the decision, an East Malaysian archbishop has said that Christians in Sabah and Sarawak will worship ‘Allah’ and even challengingly asked the authorities, “What are you going to do about it?”

Gerakan became the first BN component party to come out with a statement on this matter – insisting that the opinions of all BN component parties should have been sought before the government took a stand on such matters. (more…)

Court says ‘No’ to use of ‘Allah’ in Catholic weekly


Hafiz Yatim

It’s confirmed – Catholic weekly The Herald cannot use the word ‘Allah’ in the publication to refer to ‘God’.

The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya today unanimously over-ruled the landmark decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

In an immediate response, The Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew (left in photo ) expressed disappointment, but said there are plans to lodge an appeal with the Federal Court.

On Dec 31, 2009, KL High Court judge Justice Lau Bee Lan had ruled that the Home Ministry’s ban on the use of the word was unlawful and unconstitutional as it violated Article 11 of the federal constitution. (more…)

ON COLLISION COURSE: Muslim groups now want Allah ban to cover Sabah, Sarawak, Al-Kitab

ON COLLISION COURSE: Muslim groups now want Allah ban to cover Sabah, S'wak, Al-Kitab Malaysia Chronicle

Just minutes after the Malaysian Appeals Court delivered a controversial judgement that is bound to rock the nation and trigger great racial disunity, ultra Malay Muslim activists called for an end to the “special” privileges granted to Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, saying that the ban on the use of the Arabic word Allah should be extended to them.

“Everyone should stick to that decision,” Nasharuddin Mat Isa, a senior PAS leader but who is expressing his opinion on behalf of his NGO and not political party, told reporters on Monday.

Nasha was referring to the decision by the Appellate judges to overturn a High Court ruling that would have allowed Catholic magazine, the Herald, to use the word Allah in its Malay-language edition. (more…)

Church to fight on after “Allah” decision, says court ignored evidence


The Court of Appeal’s decision today prohibiting The Herald from using the word “Allah” goes against all evidence on the issue from around the world, argued the Catholic weekly’s editor, Father Lawrence Andrew (pic).

Andrew said that the church could not reconcile with the basis of the ruling today. He pointed out that in 2011, Putrajaya in its 10-point solution to the issue had allowed the printing and distribution of the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the Bible.

“The government allowed the printing and distribution of the Malay Bible but in the same breath is challenging the word used in Herald. This is a serious contradiction,” he said. (more…)

Courts continue to ignore rights of Christian minority

Christian Federation of Malaysia

The Christian community in Malaysia is gravely dismayed and very disappointed by the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the power of the Minister to ban the use of the word Allah in the Herald publication. In a wide-ranging decision, all Christian publications in Bahasa Malaysia would appear to be affected by this ruling.

By stating that “the name ‘Allah’ is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity” the court has totally ignored the position of our East Malaysian Bumiputra and Orang Asli Christians, who constitute 60% of the church in Malaysia and who are Bahasa Malaysia-speaking. (more…)

Herald denied use of Allah: Decision might DESTABILIZE M’sia as Muslim ultras demand more

Herald denied use of Allah: Decision might DESTABILIZE M'sia as Muslim ultras demand moreMalaysia Chronicle

As expected, Malaysia’s Court of Appeal has overturned a lower court ruling and denied Catholic magazine, the Herald, the right to use the Arabic word Allah to describe God in its Malay-language edition.

Father Lawrence, the editor of the Herald, told reporters the Church would be appealing the decision. If leave is given, then Malaysia’s Federal Court would be the next to hear the long drawn-out case that was first stirred up in 2007.

When Father Lawrence was asked if he felt that today’s judgement was politically-tinged by the ongoing Umno election, he declined to comment. (more…)

Judge: ‘Allah’ ruling to protect Islam, Malays

Hafiz Yatim

The insertion of the words ‘in peace and harmony’ into Article 3(1) of the federal constitution should be interpreted as the need to protect the sanctity of Islam as the main religion of the country and to insulate it against any probable threats, reasoned a senior judge.

Newly-elevated Federal Court judge Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali (left) said the insertion was a by-product of the social contract entered into by the nation’s founding fathers.

“It is my judgment that the most possible and probable threat to Islam, in the context of this country, is the propagation of other religions to the followers of Islam,”  he said in his 43-page judgment in the case involving the Malay edition of Catholic weekly The Herald. (more…)

‘Christians would be confused as well’

K Pragalath

Their concept of God as symbolised by the Trinity is absolutely and completely dissimilar to the concept of Allah in Islam, says Justice Zawawi Salleh.

Even the Christians would be confused over the usage of Allah’s name since there is a different understanding of God in Christianity and Islam, said Court of Appeal judge, Zawawi Salleh in his written judgment today.

The Cout of Appeal today unanimously over-ruled a Kuala Lumpur High Court decision in 2009 which had allowed Catholic newspaper The Herald to use ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God. (more…)

It’s worship as usual, Sarawak Christians will continue use “Allah” – state Minister

Sarawakians attend Bahasa Malaysia mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Kuching, in this file picture dated April 2011. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 14, 2013.


Sarawak will continue to allow the use of the word Allah in Bahasa Malaysia and native language Bibles and church publications, said State Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, following the Court of Appeal’s ruling today not to allow Catholic weekly The Herald to use the term.

Masing described the ruling as “not genuine”, saying the use of the word Allah predated Islam.

“We (Christians in Sabah and Sarawak) have been using the word Allah for over 100 years. Why suddenly we are now told we cannot use it?” he asked, adding that the court’s decision would have a negative impact on non-Muslims beyond Sabah and Sarawak. (more…)

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