The division of unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-estranged-backstabbing-bedfellows un-registered political pact is getting crystal clear. PAS and DAP are on opposing ends on very fundamental issues for the domain that they are representing and/or struggling for.
DAP, PAS send mixed messages on ‘Allah’ issue
By Ida LimDecember 26, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 — In a fresh debate over the word “Allah”, PAS says that Christians should not use it to describe their god in the Bible, while its political ally DAP insists that Christians in East Malaysia should be allowed to use the Arabic word.
PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said today the use of the word “Allah” in the Alkitab, the Malay-language translation of the Bible, would not reflect the original text’s meaning.
“PAS’ stand is that the Bahasa Melayu Bible should replace the ‘God’ term with ‘Tuhan’ and not ‘Allah’ to mirror the actual meaning of the original text,” he said in a press statement.
Tuan Ibrahim said both Christians and Muslims could be confused when the word “Allah” is used in the Alkitab.
“Since the Bahasa Melayu Bible is a translation from the original English text, the term ‘God’ does not mean ‘Allah’, because the accurate translation is ‘Tuhan’. It should be translated according to original meaning. Translating ‘God’ to ‘Allah’ will confuse Christians and create unease among the Muslims and can confuse Muslims,” he said.
He said “Allah” was a sacred name for the Muslims and should be used appropriately.
“In relation to that, (the) request to use Allah’s name in the Bahasa Melayu translation of the Bible is not wajar (suitable), even the society in the West, they don’t use Allah’s name to refer to God whether in speech, writing of films. The word that is often used is ‘Lord’,” said Tuan Ibrahim, who is also Pahang PAS commissioner.
On Monday, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had raised the controversial “Allah” issue in his Christmas message.
“For this reason, DAP urges the BN Federal government to allow the use of the word ‘Allah’ on the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible as has been allowed in Sabah and Sarawak for the last 50 years and practised in the Middle East for more than a thousand years,” Lim wrote in a statement on December 24 in English and Mandarin.
Zairil Khir Johari, DAP’s assistant publicity secretary, said today that Lim’s words have been “twisted”, saying that the Penang chief minister had only asked Putrajaya not to deny the rights of Christians in East Malaysia to use the word “Allah”.
According to Zairil, several news reports had falsely accused Lim of urging the federal government to allow Christians in Peninsula Malaysia to use the word “Allah” in the Alkitab.
“He (Lim) only asked that it be allowed in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible that is used by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak.”
“Furthermore, the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible can only be found in Sabah and Sarawak and not in Peninsula Malaysia.
“Therefore, the issue of usage of the word “Allah” in Peninsula Malaysia does not arise at all,” Zairil said.
Zairil pointed out that the word “Allah” was commonly used by Christians in neighbouring Indonesia and has been used for decades by the Bumiputera Christians in East Malaysia that converse in the Malay language.
Christians form 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million-strong population, with many of them in east Malaysia using the Malay language and the word “Allah” to refer to their God.
In recent years, the Christian and Muslim religious communities have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the word “Allah”, with the latter group arguing that its use should be exclusive to them on the grounds that Islam is monotheistic and the word “Allah” denotes the Muslim god.
A legal tussle over the use of the word “Allah” remains unresolved, with the Catholic Church still barred from publishing the word in its weekly newspaper, despite winning a High Court decision on December 31, 2009.
This is due to the Home Ministry filing an appeal in 2010 against the High Court’s decision, which have since stagnated in the courts as no date has been set for its hearing.
Last year, shipments of the Alkitab, the Malay-language Bible catering to the Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Bumiputera Christians, were blocked or confiscated at ports, before the government finally bowed to pressure and released them.
PAS is trying not to be too loud on their opposition for the ‘Kalimah Allah’ issue. Their grassroots and particularly the majority which are unanimous for the Majlis Syura’s stance on the subject matter, are hopping-mad not tolerating PAS’s position on the matter.
The spat between then PAS Selangor Commissioner Dr Hassan Md Ali against DAP’s Kongsi Godfather Ronnie Liu on the ‘sale of beer’ in Selangor two and half years ago is very clear. Again, the two Excos plus DAP Empress Dowager of Selangor Teresa Kok were on combative mode, on the JAIS anti-protelysation raid at Damansara Utama Methodist Church on 3 August 2011.
Then there is the Hudud issue. PAS Central Committee had to bring back the subject into PAS’s mainstream ‘struggle’ to portray their relevance on issues which are closest to the hearts of the Malay majority in the hinterland, PAS’s mainstay of power.
And the more recent, the ‘khalwat’ and ‘unisex saloon’ cases in Kelantan, which irked the hell out of the Non Malays, especially the Chinese.
This is not withstanding that DAP would not ever accept PAS leading the Premiership in the event of Pakatan Rakyat’s ability to have simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat. PAS grassroots expressed their desire to have their President Dato’ Hj Hadi Awang as Prime Minister in the recently concluded PAS’s Muktammar, held in Kelantan.
It is obvious even though PAS and DAP needed each other’s niche political support during the general elections, they cannot possibly worked together for the betterment of the rakyat and nation. They have opposing aspirations, ideology, wants, needs and most of all, on their methods of resolving issues.
These unresolved issues and controversies between the two parties are real and ‘clear and present danger’. Neither willing to compromise. Compromise translate to PAS would lose their ‘Islamic’ elements and characteristics and DAP shedding the anti-Malay/Islam and Chinese Chauvinist agenda and characteristics. In essence and practical sense, both of them have been trying their best to lie and put up a fake front of working together.
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Tenang DUN by-election in February 2011 is a proof that DAP did not even try to bring out the Chinese votes for PAS’s candidate. It is clear Johor DAP would not work for PAS.
They do nott and never willing to understand each other. They cannot tolerate each other. Far from able to accept and accommodate each other. Their deep and practical distrust of each other would never bring progress for Malaysia in any sense. And that is an undeniable fact.