Consistency should be an element of parties staking a claim and in the determination of the right on the dispute. However, this is proven to be otherwise for Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM).
In their Hari Kemerdekaan ke 56 message in Bahasa Melayu, CFM used ‘Tuhan’ for God instead of ‘Allah’.
That is very interesting because they have inadvertently contradicted themselves. They could use ‘Tuhan’ instead of ‘Allah’, to depict God. They could have avoided the controversies arisen for going to the Kuala Lumpur High Court for a claim to the right of using kalimah ‘Allah’ in place of ‘Tuhan’, to depict God.
It is clear these Church leaders have a sinister agenda to explicitly misuse the ’10 point solution for Allah’ as per agreed by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, which then was meant for the Non Muslim Bumiputra of Sabah and Sarawak.
This is what transpired in Court of Appeal five days ago.
Appeal Court rules ‘Allah’ controversies need to be resolved
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 22 (Bernama) — The controversies over the usage of the word, ‘Allah’, in the Catholic weekly publication, The Herald, was a live issue which needed to be resolved, ruled the Court of Appeal here today.
A three-member panel led by Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin ordered the government’s appeal against a High Court ruling to allow The Herald to use the word “Allah,” to proceed on Sept 10.
The panel, also comprising justices Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim and Datuk Rohana Yusuf, unanimously dismissed the Catholic Church’s application to strike out the government’s appeal.
Abu Samah said former home minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had made an affidavit and explained that the usage of the word, ‘Allah’, was not part of the 10-point solution.
“Hence, it does not apply to this case. The subject matter (the appeal) is not rendered academic as there are still live issues and controversies to be resolved,” he said.
Earlier, Porres Royan, who appeared for the church, submitted that the government’s appeal should be struck out because there was no controversy or dispute on the use of the word, ‘Allah’, in the Catholic publication.
He said this was because the 10-point solution signed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and addressed to the Christian Federation of Malaysia chairman Ng Moon Hing had allowed Christians to use the word in their bibles in the language of Bahasa Indonesia/Bahasa Malaysia and indigenous language of Iban, Kadazan-Dusun and Lun Bawang.
“We say the government has changed its position in respect to the use of the word,” he said, adding that it was a collective decision by the Cabinet and that the 10-point solution had addressed on the use of the word, ‘Allah’.
“The effect of it is that the word (Allah) can now be used in the Bahasa Indonesia/Bahasa Malaysia and other indigenous bibles and these bibles can be imported and printed,” he said.
“If the Cabinet has given its approval to allow the use of the word in the bible, it must follow that the word can be used in the publication,” he said.
Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan, representing the home ministry and the government, however argued that their appeal should not be struck out as there were live issues to be considered.
“The (striking out) application filed by the applicant (the church) is frivolous and ought to be dismissed,” she said.
She said the issue before the High Court was related to the home minister’s discretion under the Printing, Presses and Publication Act concerning the printing permit of The Herald, while the 10-point solution dealt with bible issues.
Lawyer Mubashir Mansor, representing the Terengganu Islamic Religious Council, submitted that the judicial review at the High Court confined to the administrative decision of the home ministry dated Jan 7, 2009.
Therefore, he said the 10-point solution could not be taken into consideration because the solution came after the High Court handed down its decision on the church’s judicial review application.
Mubashir said, “The April 11, 2011 letter of the prime minister did not touch on the subject matter of the appeal. He did not say that The Herald could use the word, ‘Allah’.”
Lawyer Hanif Khatri Abdulla, representing the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (MCMA), contended that the Cabinet’s direction was specifically to the import and export of the physical bibles but did not touch on the contents of the bible.
He said Hishammuddin, in his affidavit, had given the explanation as to why the 10-point solution was issued, what was considered and what was not.
Hishammuddin had said in his affidavit in reply to an application by the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to set aside the government’s appeal, that the Cabinet, in deciding on the 10-point solution, did not make a decision on the use of the word, ‘Allah’.
He (Hishammuddin) said the Cabinet decision on April 11, 2011 was only to find ways to overcome problems relating to the import, printing, distribution and the use of the Bahasa Malaysia bible in the country.
Obviously CFM is realising the sinister agenda, which include an objective of protelysation of Malay-Muslims. Even if they are unable to protelyse the majority of Malay-Muslims, who constitutes the majority of Malaysian populous, the systematic and structured attempt would just invite more controversies.
Never mind that it is unlawful, which is clearly uncompromisable and enshrined in the Federal Constitution. on top of that, HRH Rulers have started to issue titahs on the exclusivity of ‘kalimah Allah ‘ for the Muslims and prohibition of the use it in the depiction of God.
All the controversies would simply be one of the opportunities to use their international media network in condemining the Malaysia authorities, in the tone of “Oppressing the minority” and “Denying universally practices human rights”.
This actually could be seen as the strategic move of weakening the Malays.
In this Hari Kemerdekaan ke 56 message also CFM requested that there would be equality for professing Christianity. That is also contravening the Federal Constitution as in the definition clause of this nation, Islam is stated as the ‘Religion of the Federation’. That translate that the position of Islam in Malaysia is up and above other beliefs.
If CFM is really sincere for the message of peace and stability, then they should leave things as status quo and adhere to the spirit and practice of the Federal Constitution and acceptable norms and values in the society. The first 50 years of this sovereign nation is free from religious controversies because there were no errand individuals with sinister agenda, of minority trying to overpower and dispose the position and rights of the majority.
The controversy should be resolved soon. This Hari Kemerdekaan ke-56 message is a proof that the Christians need not to use ‘kalimah Allah’ in their literature in Malay. Other Non Muslims should also not ‘Pelt around peebles because they live in a glass house’.