Finally, ‘Tuhan’ is God

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).

CFM Hari Merdeka ke 56 message, pg 1

CFM Hari Merdeka ke 56 message, pg 1

CFM Hari Kemerdekaan ke 56 message, pgs 2 & 3

CFM Hari Kemerdekaan ke 56 message, pgs 2 & 3

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

2013-08-22 18:29

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.

Al Kitab; The Malay bible

Al Kitab; The Malay bible

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.

Article 3.1 & 3.2 of the Federal Constitution

Article 3.1 & 3.2 of the Federal Constitution

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’.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 23:00  Comments (18)  

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  1. The way i see it, this whole issue could have been dealt with on the grounds of the word Allah is exclusive to the malays (where one must be a muslim) because it is the malays who read, pray and practice in arabic.

    Im not sure on the status of the word Allah. Is it a part of the malay vocab? If not, then the matter is solved. Because i think the malays view it as gods 1st name and not as a word. Enlighten me, anyone?

    So if the christians or any other faith wish to practice in bahasa, you do so but use the exclusive word for god in malay which is tuhan and not some arab word.

    The original bible wasnt sent down in arabic, was it?

    • In as much as my name is Isa, I say that the word Allah is a part of the Malay vocabulary. Been so since Islam came to this area in the 13th century – to Aceh first, and Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Melayu are basically the same.

      The first Sultan of Malacca, formerly the Hindu prince Parameswara, adopted Islam and, like happened everywhere in ancient and even in the earlier part of modern history, all the ruler’s subjects followed suit. By the 15th Century, Islam has been entrenched in Malacca, where not only locals but also foreigners congregated.

      Kamus Bahasa Melayu yang di keluarkan oleh Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka mengesahkan bahawa Allah ada lah perkataan Melayu dan menjadi sebahagian dari Bahasa Melayu. Di ms 19 Kamus tersebut tercatit

      Allah Ar Tuhan, = perkataan yang berasal dari bahasa Arab, bermakna Tuhan.

      The Christian Arabs have very right to use the term Allah because it’s their language. But not the non-Arabs in Malaysia – they have no bloody right to use kalimah Allah when the term Tuhan is sufficient to refer to their God which takes the form of the Trinity of God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

    • That the earliest usage of Allah by Christians in this region, as claimed by them, was in the 16th Century, is no basis to claim that they can use the word in their Bible in Bahasa Malaysia called Al Kitab.

      That the Muslims in this area did not object to it at that time or even later is no basis to claim the right to use the kalimah Allah. In this country not many Muslims were educated and had not the means nor the authority to stop its use until after Merdeka.

      That the Constitution Article 3 states “Islam is the religion of the Federation” and no other religion is mentioned but may be practised in peace means that all citizens – even non-citizens – must respect the Constitution and recognize that Islam has a special position and that there are other laws enacted in pursuit of that provision of the Constitution.

      When the Muslims, in pursuit of Article 3 of the Constitution, and in accordance with other laws enacted in connection therewith, objected to the use of kalimah Allah by non-Muslims, the Christians must cease using the kalimah Allah.

      • I am a Christian, and I object strongly to any attempt by any Christian in Malaysia to covert Muslims to Christianity by any means, since this seems to be the concern of some with regards to the Allah issue.

        The Alkitab pictured in this posting should not be referred to as the Malay Bible, since it is printed in Bahasa Indonesia. I do not think that there are bibles printed in Bahasa Malaysia. Please correct me if I am wrong.

        Having said that, is it true that Indonesia, the largest Muslim population in the world allows the word Allah to be used in the Alkitab published in Indonesia?

        Are religious authorities in Indonesia not concerned that Indonesian Christians might use this fact to convert Indonesian Muslims? Might the Indonesian Muslims not be confused by the fact that Christians in Indonesia also use the word Allah to refer to God? I ask this because we have seen that these are concerns voiced by Muslims in Malaysia on the issue of the usage of Allah.

        Is there a difference between Muslim leaders in Indonesia and Muslim leaders in Malaysia in terms of how they feel about the issue of the usage of Allah?

        Do Muslims in Indonesia follow a different mazhab from the Muslims in Malaysia?

        Is there a difference between the faith of the Muslims in Malaysia and the faith of the Muslims in Indonesia?

        Muslims in Indonesia constitute approximately 88% of the total population, and the religious leaders could quite easily tell the Indonesian Christians to stop the use of Allah in the Alkitab since it is meant exclusively for Muslims. Strangely enough, this hasn’t happened. Why?

        The issue is a sensitive one, but, there must be some readers here who could provide a factual, non-emotional response to the questions above, as I honestly do not have the answers.

      • Agreed. Even with the constitution and what nots, issues like this will continue to haunt us.

        There will always be those who will continue to question the position of the malays, the word Allah and so on.

        This is what happens when people forget. These ingrates who actually have a place to call home, who we persecute not in name of faith are coming to bite us.

        We, the malays are too nice and accomadating. We are the best host in the world and this is what its boiling to.

        Lets see what happens next

      • This is for Seriously? down below. Cant see the reply button at the end of your post.

        Have you ever heard of house rules?

        If it is objected, in this case the usage, and there is an act or law or whatever that supports the objection, dont you think that should be that?

        I fail to see how indonesia comes into this. Good for indonesia but you are in malaysia and if a section of the populace objects, and there is ample and sufficient grounds in writing, what more do you want?

      • Seriously?,

        I wish to commend you for the responsible attitude you take, objecting to any attempt by any Christian in Malaysia to covert Muslims, in line with the laws of the country, especially the highest set of laws, the Constitution.

        You appear to have bona fide interest in answers to the questions you raised, so let me make an attempt at providing some answers:

        The fact that the Alkitab pictured in this posting is printed in Bahasa is not relevant but the perceived intention of bringing that Al Kitab to Sabah and Sarawak (correct me if I’m wrong on this) is the issue. The natives of Sabah and Sarawak, especially those in the interior bordering Indonesia or those exposed to the Indonesian language by pronunciation similarities etc – the intention of those bringing the Al Kitab is the concern of Muslims in this country. I have not read emphatic or convincing denials by those concerned on the allegations that the intention was/is to convert the natives.

        Similarly, the fact that Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, has not objected to the use of the kalimah Allah by non-Muslims is not relevant to the case in Malaysia. The reasons include the fact that there is only about 10% non-Muslims in Indonesia whereas there are over 30% in Malaysia. Any conversion in Indonesia does not change the status quo much, if at all, unlike in Malaysia.

        More importantly, the Indonesians don’t have a Constitution like Malaysia which states unequivocally that Islam “is the religion of the Federation”, and stated almost at the very top – as Article 3 of the Constitution. Meaning, right from the day independent Malaya was born, Islam was on the lips, the minds and in the behaviour of the majority of the population. A strong factor leading to this was the history of the country where Islam had been the prevailing religion since the 15th Century. We can discuss that historical aspect another time but for now suffice to say that religious fervour exists among Muslims in Malaysia.

      • Seriously?,

        Maintaining the status quo in the religious affiliations of the various communities in this country is important. I know it from the horse’s mouth since long ago – the Director General of the Jabatan Orang Asli saying that the department doesn’t allow any one to enter the Orang Asli settlements in the Peninsular to convert the Orang Asli to any religion. Not even to the Islamic religion, despite Islam being the religion of the country.

        As far as Muslims go, the laws in Malaysia are quite clear – no proselytization. Indonesia may not have such laws. The Indonesians are of the same mazhab – Sunni Muslims. No difference in interpretation of the faith but there are differences in the laws of the two countries. Civil laws – those which are in the highest set of laws of the country – the Constitution, and other laws to administer the religion, enacted by Parliament in pursuit of what are written in the Constitution.

  2. There was no issue for centuries as raised by the Christians. Why they raise it now, 2013 ?

    • The issue is some Catholic clergy are attempting to islamise Christianity. Obviously the CFM message above was written by members from other Christian sect who use common sense and I dare say is the correct use of words. May peace be upon all Malaysians.

    • Maybe because they now need a rallying point – the last Pope resigned because unable to solve the multifarious problems the Christian world has been facing with the sprouting of so many Evangelical churches especially in the US.

      He didn’t say so in those words but it can be read from the carefully worded statement he made. The Pope as Head of the Catholic Church has no power over the other Christian denominations, the Protestants, especially the mushrooming Evangelicals.

      And the new Pope seemed to concentrate on Latin America now. Christians in this region maybe feeling left out. So they try to attract attention by raising an issue which should be an issue if they had respected the Constitution of the country which states – very high on the agenda i.e as Article 3 – that Islam is “the religion” of the country.

      • Correction:

        “by raising an issue which should be an issue ” should be read as “by raising an issue which should not be an issue”.

  3. I think the word tuhan used in that message is probably due to 1. the word Allah is still being disputed in court so there must be some kind of gag order on its usage; and 2. they have always maintained its for their Herald or whatever publications meant for their congregation, so they are just being consistent here.

    That said, I agree with your opinions on this issue.

  4. Big Dog,

    You wrote:-

    “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.”

    I agree with what you say in the paragraph above but not in the paragraph below it.

    This is clearly politically motivated and has the hallmarks of lawyers all over it. I have also noticed the presence of NGOs at a Roman Catholic church after Sunday worship.

    Having spoken to Christians of different denominations, including some Roman Catholics, there is no universal acceptance the Allah and the Christian God are the same.

    Many years ago, a Christian colleague who is a member of a lesser known protestant evangelical church in Malaysia told me that Allah of the Muslims and God of the Christians are not the same.

    This Christian website in Canada has a topic:-

    “The pagan origin of the word, “Allah”.”

    It goes on th say:-

    ” It certainly doesn’t prove Allah is the same as the God of the Old or New Testament. It does not prove that Muslim’s worship the same God as Christians. If this correspondence proved the Muslim god was the same as the Christian God, then because pagan religions also have generics that correspond to “the god” (Allah), this correspondence would also prove that Allah is the same god as the Buddhist god, for Buddhists also refer to their god as “the god”.”

    This website is also quite antagonistic to Islam. Scroll to the bootom for the infographic.

    http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-allah-pre-islamic-origin.htm

    There’s a lot of information with regards their argument over this issue.

    Based upon the first commandment in the Ten Commandments Moses received, worship of “pagan” gods is a sin, so why does the Roman Catholic church and the CFM insist on using the word “Allah” for God.

    Christianity believes that if one is not baptised and accept Jesus as his or her saviour who pardons him or her of the inherited sin of Adam and his or her own sins, then his or her soul will burn in hell for eternity after death.

    Thus according to Christianity, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and all others, however pious and repentant they may be, are condemned to burn in hell.

    So why then insist on using the word “Allah” for God in Christian literature, when “Allah” is supposed to be a pagan god?

    This article, “Mohammed: The man and his faith,” has an interesting statement”-

    “At the time of Mohammed’s appearance Arabian paganism was tending very strongly toward that type of belief which has been called polydaemonism. Divine beings, as a rule, were not such clearly defined and individual entities as in the higher polytheistic religions. They were beings after the fashion of the European fauns, gnomes, and earth-spirits, and were usually differentiated only by their different dwelling places. As in European folk-lore every home has its house-cricket, and every forest its spirit, so, according to Western Semitic belief, every country had its special divinity, a Baal or an El. The local divinity could inhabit external objects of nature, and in Semitic thought, as expressed especially in sacred stories, it could also inhabit trees or springs. In Canaan the sacred tree might be replaced by a wooden pole, an ashera, which was often erected near the altar. ”

    Especially note, “…so, according to Western Semitic belief, every country had its special divinity, a Baal or an El.”

    The writer, a religious schollar, later makes a statement which contradicts what this website alleges:-

    “The fact that Jews and Christians also acknowledged Allah as the only true God is likewise significant in interpreting Mohammed’s conception of the relationship of the religions to one another. That all nations, even though with greater or less purity, or with varying degrees of whole-heartedness, worship the same God, and therefore must at various times have had a knowledge of His will, became the natural pre-supposition of the doctrine of revelation which Mohammed developed, prompted by influences whose origin we shall seek to establish later.”

    http://www.bible.ca/islam/library/islam-quotes-andrae-menzel.htm

    So there seems to be no agreement within Christianity on whether Allah of the Muslims is the same as the God of the Christians.

    I once asked a pious Roman Catholic friend why, based upon the above, his church insists on using the word “Allah” for God when he himself does not accept Allah as same as the Christian God and he somewhat agreed that perhaps teh chucrh should not be pushing for it.

    Some Roman Catholics, including a blogger distanced themselves from churches where the parish priest or priests have become too secular political during mass.

    There was a case where a member of the congregation in a Roman Catholic church in Petaling Jaya told the priest to keep “his dirty politics” out of his sermon and the priest complied.

    I believe there’s a secular political agenda behind all this which has nothing to do with Christianity or the interests of the Christian community.

    On the one hand, Christians complain that the authorities are dragging their feet on approvals for them to build churches but on the other, by creating such controversy, can tey expect the authorities to be more accommodating to their requests.

    BTW. Whilst I believe in God, I am neither a Christian, Muslim nor Jew.

    As the scholar Tor Andrae wrote, “every country has its special divinity, whether Basl or El,” so different tribes or nations in the Middle East and Mediterranean had its different suprement deity or deities at different times, and much of the differences they attributed to their deity or deities appears to have been influenced by the politics and conflicts betwen them at the time.

    For example, the story of Moses and the Israelites versus the Egyptian Pharaoh also includes conflict between the God of the Israelites versus the God of the Egyptians.

  5. Article 11(4) of constitution prohibits proselytising of Muslims.

    If the intention of church is to convert Muslim into Christian, then the appeal by Home Office, Religous Depts, and Muslim NGOs should be accepted.

    It has to be proven

  6. Unitarianism is a religious theological movement named for its understanding of God as one person, in DIRECT CONTRAST to Trinitarianism, which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one being. Thus, Unitarians contend that main-line Christianity does not adhere to strict monotheism as they do, maintaining that Jesus was a prophet, and in some sense the “son” of God, but NOT God himself.

    Unitarianism and Jesus (a.s.) the Prophet of ALLAH Al-Ahad As-Samad:

  7. Why don’t the powers-that-be ask the Al-Azhar University for a definitive opinion on this subject?

    The Singapore Straits Times, in a report on the planned Al-Azhar branch in Malaysia, described Al-Azhar as “moderate……the most prestigious centre of Islamic and Arabic learning, with hundreds of Islamic teachers in Singapore among its alumni, including (Singapore’s Mufti) Fatris (Bakaram) and former Mufti Syed Isa Semait.”

    An opinion, or a ruling, from Al-Azhar would be difficult to rebut.

    Btw, can someone refresh my memory on the words of the Johor State Anthem? I remember singing it in the 50s and 60s……

  8. Ultimately, the question is about authority. Who has the authority ? The Pope ? The RC Archbishop ? The majority population ? Now this matter is left to the Courts. Being religious in nature, the judges will be inclined towards their respective beliefs I supposed. So there can never be a decision acceptable to all unless one party or the other give in. IMHO the matter started in Indonesia four centuries ago when one fellow used Allah instead of Tuhan and it’s has passed down.


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