Violating the Rulers’ Will

The day two million Muslims give their ultimate submission to Allah s.w.t. at the Wuquf congregation in Arafah is the day their Muslim borthers and sisters in Malaysia hold their breadth for deep prayers, as His Majesty’s Court of Appeal decides on the ‘kalimah Allah’ case.

Riong Kali news portal take on the subject matter:

“Allah” issue set to test Malaysia, regardless if Herald wins or loses tomorrow

OCTOBER 13, 2013

Whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s ruling on whether the Roman Catholic Church can use the word “Allah” in its weekly publication the Herald, it will definitely impact Malaysia and the international community, said PAS central committee member Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (pic).

Mujahid said no matter what the Court of Appeal decides, politicians will continue to raise the issue and Islamist parties like PAS will be tested in its call for the freedom of faith.

“Malays will be tested in their pursuit of defending Islam but at the same time complying with Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, where the freedom of faith is protected,” he told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Mujahid added that the theory that Christians proselytise Muslims will increase and they will be seen as the enemy of Islam.

The Parit Buntar MP said there were several issues which the appellate court would take into consideration, including Islam as the religion of the state and multi-racial dynamics.

He felt that the influence of the ruling party, Umno, may play a part.

“The issue also covers the freedom of the press, as Catholics were banned from using the word ‘Allah’ in their publication The Herald. But the High Court ruled that the ban was contradicting the notion of freedom, despite the publication being limited to Christians only,” WSJ reported Mujahid as saying.

“However, I think that the issue was given such a highlight for the purpose of political gain instead of exploring a brighter future in interfaith relations.

“Both Umno and PAS will be forced to play the racial and religious card for the purpose of wooing voters.

“But both parties also need to handle it more maturely because their actions will affect the interfaith and racial fabric of the country,” added Mujahid, who had visited almost 30 churches in his quest to promote interfaith dialogue.

He pointed to Somalia and Myanmar as examples where tragic acts of violence had been committed in the name of religion, which only ended up depicting a negative image of religion.

Dr Mujahid said politicians must find the political will to condemn citizens who use faith to promote violence and hatred among Malaysians.

The Court of Appeal ruling due to be delivered tomorrow is the result of a lower court judgement in 2009 which ruled that the Catholic Church had the constitutional right to use the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia editions of the Herald.

In early 2010, the same court ordered the Herald not to use the word while the government appealed the decision.

Last month, the Catholic Church argued before the appellate court that it should be allowed to use the word as it had been used for centuries by Malay-speaking Christians.

The government argued that the restriction on the use of the word was not in bad faith as it had been done from the internal security and public order aspect.

The government also argued that the word was specific to Muslims.

The Wall Street Journal reported that observers, including Dr Patricia Anne Martinez, feel tomorrow’s decision will go against the Herald, partly due to the current political climate.

Martinez, a Malaysian scholar of Islam who is a practising Catholic, said Umno had been using Islam for political mileage.

“There has been a lot widespread negative publicity about the use of the word ‘Allah’ and the Herald case,” she told WSJ, noting that Umno had also raised the issue while campaigning in the 13th general election in May to show it was championing the Islamic cause.

Muslim Lawyers Association vice-president Azril Amin said they were not oppressing non-Muslims nor were they stopping them from practicing their religion.

Azril, a lawyer representing the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council, said the government’s argument was that the proper use of the word Allah should be reserved for Muslims.

Editor of the Herald Father Lawrence Andrew said that he was not tired or worn down by the long legal battle. He said when justice is denied, tiredness is not a factor because you have to consider the commitment you have for the good of the people.

“We are just stating what is in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, which says we have the right to worship and to manage our religious affairs. So, therefore, we are basically fighting for religious freedom,” the WSJ quoted Father Lawrence as saying. – October 13, 2013.


The fact is that there is no such test. Suggesting otherwise is a depiction of the person’s failure to understand history of this nation in its current form and laws enacted and in place, was given birth to. By far, it is also a failure to comprehend the Federation of Malaysia Constitution.

This is not withstanding inadequacy to understand the principles and practices of norms and value system of the Malaysian society, particularly the Malays who are the majority.

Christian Federation of Malaysia challenging the use of ‘Kalimah Allah’ in depiction of God is nothing but a sinister agenda because it is about making the bible in Malay available to the Malays in Semenanjung. To use ‘Allah’ in depiction of God is to confuse the Malays, who already accustomed to Allah s.w,t.

Article 3.1 & 3.2 of the Federal Constitution

Article 3.1 & 3.2 of the Federal Constitution

The Federal Constitution is very clear. Islam is enshrined not only as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia but positioned in Article 3 of Part 1, where Islam has been definitive characteristic of this nation, along with other the name, states, territories and the supreme law.

Despite the Federal Constitution allow the freedom in practice of faith other than Islam, that liberty is bordered only to Non Muslims. This is defined clearly in Article 11(4).

These and the provision for Syariah Law and Court, formed part of the Treaty of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu inked on 21 January 1948 between HRH Rulers and High Commissioner Sir Edward Gent representing His Majesty King George VI. This is the treaty that replaced the Malayan Union and became fundamental basis when the Federal Constitution was drafted by the Commission headed by Lord Reid for the Kemerdekaan and the birth of the new and sovereign nation on 31 August 1957.

HRH Malay Rulers, UMNO representataives, Menteri Menteri Besar and British High Commissioner at the Federation of  Tanah Melayu Treaty, inked on 21 Jan 1948 at King's House, Kuala Lumpur

HRH Malay Rulers, UMNO representataives, Menteri Menteri Besar and British High Commissioner at the Federation of Tanah Melayu Treaty, inked on 21 Jan 1948 at King’s House, Kuala Lumpur

The position of Islam as the Religion of the Federation is one of the conditions when HRH Rulers agreed that upon achieving Merdeka, this nation would be ruled by the rakyat in a democratic system of Constitutional Monarchy. Suggesting otherwise in any form or connotation is simply violating HRHs’ will.

Simply put, that is durhaka. Professing it further to a point of serious contention, manipulation grossly out of context and provocation is just seditious.

Especially when one of HRH already pronounced in his titah that “Allah is exclusively for Muslims and Non Muslims are prohibited from using the sacred word”, earlier this year.

The Malay NGOs showing the support, outside the Palace of Justice in August

The Malay NGOs showing the support, outside the Palace of Justice in August

It is wrong for someone like Martinez to suggest that UMNO used to the ‘kalimah Allah’ issue for political mileage in the 13GE campaign. UMNO as a nationalist party had been struggling for Islam as part of the definitive component of the Malays, ever since the incorporation of the party as the amalgamation and consolidation of 29 Malay NGOs in May 1946.

UMNO was an integral part of the series of consultation and negotiations between HRH Rulers and British High Commissioner since 1947, to replace the Malayan Union.

Al Kitab; The Malay bible

Al Kitab; The Malay bible

In a nation where a Malay has been defined by the Federal Constitution, the Malays comprises of over 60% of Malaysians. The Malays have tolerated and accommodated Christianity since 500 years ago and had no issues to live together with the Christians in a typical Malaysian community. The Malays have respected the Christians and Christianity.

This is because all along Christianity had been professed only to the Non Malays and the scriptures and literatures have been made available and freely in their mother languages and/or English only.

However, lately it has become a nuisance to that societal equilibrium when Malay bibles have been made available in Malay communities in Semenanjung. Adding insult to that, there have been Christian activists prosetylising the Malays.

That is not acceptable.

All of these facts would just aggregate that the sense of respect and the values of togetherness fostered as defined by the principles of Rukun Negara have been violated. These violations are not mere tests but more of provocation and making the situation aggravated, when the matter is taken to the courts for a legal tussle.

These provocations and insults of Islam and value system of the Malays would simply translate to the same moves against HRH Rulers. HRH Rulers are absolute figureheads as enshrined by the Federal Constitution and respective State Constitution on matters pertaining to Islam and Malay traditions and heritage.

*Updated 1115hrs

The Federal Constitution prevailed. Court of Appeal unanimously decided that Home Minister acted appropriately four years ago.

Published: Monday October 14, 2013 MYT 9:54:00 AM
Updated: Monday October 14, 2013 MYT 10:37:05 AM

Govt wins appeal, Herald banned from using word ‘Allah’ over public safety


PUTRAJAYA: Catholic weekly The Herald will not be allowed to use the word “Allah” to refer to the Christian God, ruled the Court of Appeal.

The panel, lead by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali, overturned a High Court decision and unanimously ruled Monday in favour of the Government’s appeal, saying that the minister had not acted in any way that required a judicial review.

The court also found that there had been sufficient material considered by the minister in taking action under the Printing and Publications Act 1984.

Thus the panel set aside all orders made by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in conjunction with its allowing the Church’s judicial review back in 2009, with no order as to cost.

The three-member panel, which also included Justices Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim, each prepared their own judgements, though Justice Mohamed Apandi read a brief summary, saying the full judgement was over 100 pages long.

“Our common finding that the usage of Allah is not an integral part of the Christian faith. We cannot find why the parties are so adamant on the usage of the word,” he said.

The panel found that such usage of the word would cause confusion and that in the interest of public safety, the court chose to grant the Government’s appeal.

“The welfare of an individual or group, must yield to the interest of society at large,” said Justice Mohamed Apandi, adding that this should be read alongside the constitutional freedom of religion.

Senior federal counsel Suzanna Atan represented the Government, while lawyers Porries Royan and Annou Xavier acted as counsel for the Church.

Annou told reporters that they will only be able to confirm in several days time if the Church would appeal to the Federal Court.

The Home Ministry and Government were appealing against the Dec 31, 2009 High Court decision in allowing the church’s judicial review to lift the Ministry’s ban on the use of the word “Allah” in The Herald to refer to the Christian god.

On July 9, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur had filed an application to the strike out the Government’s appeal although it was later unanimously denied by another Court of Appeal panel.

The church, led by Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, had filed the judicial review on Feb 16, 2009, naming the Home Ministry and the Government as respondents.

They sought, among others, a declaration that the decision by the Home Ministry on Jan 7, 2009, prohibiting the use of the word ‘Allah’ in The Herald was illegal and that the word ‘Allah’ is not exclusive to the religion of Islam.

The weekly, published in four languages, has been using the word ‘Allah’ as a translation for ‘God’ in its Malay-language section, but the Government argued that ‘Allah’ should be used exclusively only by Muslims.

Published in: on October 14, 2013 at 01:30  Comments (25)  

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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles…. […]


  3. I am glad, “salus populi suprema lax” and “salus republicae suprima lax” reign supreme in this country.

    There is no reason (other than simply being unreasonable) for the very loud minority hardliner and opportunist, chauvinistic politician to insist on imposing their will on the majority. There is limits to freedom of expression.

    The decision is just and timely, so lets move on with our lives in peace.

  4. Please allow me to c&p this comment from elsewhere:

    Catholic weekly The Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew disagreed with the Appeal court ruling that the use of the word “Allah” was not integral to the Christian faith. He said, “In the Middle East and Indonesia, Allah is a term used by both Christians and Muslims. You cannot say all of a sudden that it is not an integral part.”

    But, I say Father Andrew, we are living in Malaysia, man. We are governed by the laws of Malaysia, the Constitution of Malaysia and the Courts of Malaysia. Not the Middle East, not Indonesia. Like Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim said to the misbehaving fellows at Dataran Merdeka on Merdeka eve 2012, if you don’t like this country, Berhijrah lah. And the Minister of Home Affairs said to Anwar and gang not accepting the PRU13 results, if they don’t like the system in this country as codified in the Constitution of the country. go and live in countries whose system they like.

    And please don’t talk about conditions hundreds of years ago, Father Andrew. When the Portuguese won the war in Malacca, the Malays/ Muslims had no say. When the Dutch and later the British ruled, the same. During the 80 years of British colonial rule, we could not spiak. When the High Court ruled, we also could not spiak. Now our Appeal Courts spiak. Please respect that. You people’s turn not to spiak.

    Follow what your counsel Selvarajah says. Go to the the Federal Court. Sure they will “decide according to law and established principles of constitutional law,” Meanwhile, accept the Appeal Court decision, stay quiet and be responsible people. You must not sensationalize this matter.

  5. Time to strengthen the Constitution to be more protective of Islam and Malay rights. Otherwise, this sad episode will never end.

    • I think no need to strengthen the Constitution. Just strengthen UMNO. Get rid of the so-called liberal fellows, Like Najib and Khairy. Replace them with those who will seriously protect and promote the rights and the interests of the Malays. Including Islam, the Special Position and the NEP.

      Get the Minister in the PM’s Dept in charge of Religious Affairs to call all those Muftis, members of Majlis Fatwas, Directors of Jabatan Agama etc to a conference and decide on firm actions against proselytizing like the attempt by DUMC, take firm actions in conjunction with the Police, etc.

      UMNO leaders are not liberal if they do not adhere strictly to the Constitutional Article concerning the position of Islam. Come on, Najib, Islam is “the religion of the Federation” and said so in Article 3, man. And no other religion is mentioned. Surely that is enough for the government to take a position that Islam has priority over other religions.

  6. The Malays hv a saying “Sebabkan nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga”.

    “Sekor kerbau bawa lumpur, habis terpalit sekandang”.

    The Malays never had animosity against the Christians. In fact, they are indifferent about Christianity and the church system.

    However there are a few wolves wearing sheep’s clothing with malice in their mind, amongst the flock. They systematically provoke and inch their way, using all sorts of avenues which incl ‘intelectual discourse’.

    The provocations get more intense.

    Then they brought in sinister politicians into churches. That warrants more political overtone in church events, which include Sunday mass.

    And of course they started to proselytise the Malays into Christianity, which is clearly against the law.

    When CFM challenged the Home Minister’s ruling based on PPA, that is nothing but political and with a deep undertone of malice.

    Court decision would naturally encompassing across the board. Even those who kept quietly on the fringes and totally abstained from the debate.

    Reactive statements by Father Lawrence Andrew or Sarawak Minister James Jemut Masing would aggrevate the matter worse.

    What the Christians should hv done right from the start and congregated together, study the Home Minister ruling and weigh all permutations of outcome before going to High Court.

    “Nasi sudah menjadi bubur”. Even Tuanku Sultan Selangor issued a strong titah.

    Its time for the Christians to get wiser BEFORE the event!

    • Agree fully that it’s the politicizing in the Churches that has caused the heightening of feelings. Agree also that the Minister n the PM’s Dept in charge of religious affairs should take the initiative and direct all the authorities concerned to take firm and positive action to ensure no such things continue.

      Maybe it’s the Evangelical churches that’s fanning the embers that had once cooled down. They are the ones appearing to be competing for new members to their churches to enlarge their coffers that they live on, that they have seen in the US afforded the founders to live in comfort and luxury.

      Activities to curb them include municipal authorities that may check their licenses to operate, whether they conform to building laws and by laws. Religious authorities on their own may not have the gumption to act but the Minister surely can call everybody concerned to discuss what powers they could use, who, how and when to use them.

      I’m disappointed that such a Minister has not been seen to be performing a really useful function in the past.

  7. Chistianity is not synonymous to Malaysia. The religion of Malaysia is Islam. SO Allah is defined as to how the Malay practised and not as Indon or arab practised.

    In Malaysia, Malay is synonymous with Islam. Not necessarily in Indonesia and Middle East.

    For heaven sake, God is tuhan in Malay lah!!!!

    • If not mistaken lim GUANG eng started the issue…….and now…..baling batu SEMBUNYI TANGAN…seem that the lims are good at making provocations.

  8. Assalammualaikum
    Allahuakbar Allahuakbar Allahuakbar laillahahillahuwaullahuakbar
    Allahuakbar walillahilham
    Selamat menyuambut Hari Raya Aidiladha maaf Zahir dan Batin,





    TO THIS.




  11. These Herald people should be told in their faces that the Arabic wordrwhich means god is il’lah, not Allah. Allah is a specific name which is the one and only God and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is the Messenger of Allah. Any justifications given by these people premised upon freedom and rights are just blatanthexcuses to push the envelope further and to impose their human ego on Islam and the Muslims. Therefore, their actions are wrong and are detrimental to peace and stability in this country.

  12. Corrections on typo : ‘…word which means…’
    and ‘..just blatant excuses…’

  13. Correction : should read.. ‘ the Arabic word which means god is il’lah. Allah is a specific name which is the one and only God and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is the Messenger of Allah.’

  14. […] did not consider the Federal Constitution, laws of this land, norms and values of this country, will of HRH Malay Rulers nor take into consideration what HRH Sultan Selangor’s reminder titah on the matter, dated 9 […]

  15. […] statement by Prime Minister Najib affirm the commitment of the Federal Government of upholding the position and will of HRH Rulers on “Allah is a word exclusively for the Muslims and Non Muslims are prohibited from using […]

  16. […] statement by Prime Minister Najib affirm the commitment of the Federal Government of upholding the position and will of HRH Rulers on “Allah is a word exclusively for the Muslims and Non Muslims are prohibited from using […]

  17. […] This is also very much the will of HRH Rulers. […]

  18. […] other wonderful news for the year was that on 14 October the Court of Appeal unanimously decided against the High Court ruling for the Catholic church publication The Herald four years […]

  19. […] Article 3.1, Islam is not only religion of the Federation of Malaysia but Islam is a defining characteristic of this nation. That was based on the Federation of Malaya Treaty inked between HRH Rulers and representative of […]

  20. […] Federal Court decided against The Herald Weekly highly controversial and politicised appeal to allow them to use ‘kalimah Allah’ in the publication and upheld the Court of Appeal judgment against the Catholic Church’s weekly. […]

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