There have been various calls from many readers on us to write on this the issue of “religious freedom” “ALLAH” and other related topics/issues.
We would not want to give too much opinions on this subject as it will only aggravate the situation and also create too much tension.
Let us be very straight on the issue especially to those who sees this as an avenue to showcase their RELIGION and FAITHS for their own selfish means or to remain relevant in society. Also for POLITICAL POINTS AND SURVIVAL….oh Plzzzzzzz…
Do you think “GOD IS VERY HAPPY WITH ALL THIS ARGUMENTS IN MALAYSIA ON THE USAGE OF “ALLAH”?
You have answered that correctly………..
No,no, no and now please for GODS SAKE please stop being too ungrateful to the MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY. There is Religious freedom in Malaysia and we need not make too much of a “Huu Haaaas ………..(if this pierces your heart please remember we are not a Christian Nation unlike the Philippines…you can say what you like about me and I know my FAITH is strong and GOD IS THE ONE AND ONLY ALMIGHTY CREATOR WHO PROTECTS ME AND MAKE ME STRONG..thank you )
The day Abdul Taib spoke up for Christians in Sarawak
Posted on November 16, 2013, Saturday
WHENEVER the ‘Allah’ issue hogs the headlines, Sarawak and Sabah can also expect to be in the spotlight.
Over the past weeks, all of us must have had an overdose of ‘Allah’ – I mean the dispute over the usage of that almighty name. I find it seriously appalling how we, Malaysians, can really go overboard in our quarrels over the use of a term.
It has been said that Malaysia is the only country in the world where its citizens are at loggerheads over ‘Allah’. Hey, are we not supposed to be a proud nation of well meaning, sensible and cultured people? Are we not supposed to be understanding and tolerant folk able to live in peace and harmony despite our racial and religious differences?
What happened? Instead of showing others who we really are – a nation of proud Malaysians who are decent and caring people – we chose to display our ugly side. If others describe us as a nation of idiots, don’t blame them. We probably deserve to be called silly names.
It was most unfortunate that the people of Sarawak and Sabah were innocently dragged into the nasty equation as well. It’s well known to us in East Malaysia that we’ve never had a problem over religion – Never!
I have said this many times in this column and I will not hesitate to repeat it because it’s something so uniquely Sarawakian. As a Sarawakian, I’m always proud to make this known and clear to all.
Many Christians were very happy with Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud when he defended their right to continue using the name ‘Allah’. The Sarawak Chief Minister spoke rather eloquently on the issue recently.
In his own words: “To us (Sarawakians) there is no issue. We have lived with people of different races and different religions for many decades, even before Malaysia. The ‘Allah’ ruling will not be binding on Sabah and Sarawak. We cannot alter the status quo in Sarawak.”
The Chief Minister further said that on visits to the longhouse, he would source a Muslim cook to prepare his dishes using the ingredients which the longhouse residents had bought. His childhood at the mission school had prepared him for being with Christians and he was not perturbed when they made the sign of the cross, or prayed.
Indeed, Taib’s speech resonated with many Malaysians and I must thank our CM sincerely for speaking out for Sarawakians in such a strong, yet honest, manner.
The CM’s words were particularly gratifying not only because he is the chief executive of the state but because he is also a Muslim. It shows that the man knows more of his great faith Islam than the many pretenders in Malaya.
Now, I wonder why the likes of Ibrahim ‘Comedian’ Ali and his cohorts in Perkasa and elsewhere never dared to rebuke Taib? Did they agree with Taib after all? Or are they withholding their fire out of respect (or fear) for the Sarawak CM who also heads the religious organisation Perkim? That makes Taib an authority on Islam too.
But the most conspicuous difference between Taib and his brothers in the faith in Malaya is that he is a Sarawakian Muslim. Because Taib is a Sarawakian, he understands the ‘spirit of tolerance’ better than those in Malaya. This is something we cannot dispute. Thumbs up for Taib.
It’s a shame that Taib’s counterpart in Sabah, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, has stayed silent over the ‘Allah’ issue. Is it just because he is an Umno man and his party’s stand is clear – No ‘Allah’ for non-Muslims. If that is the case, then we Sarawakians must count our blessings again that Umno has yet to set foot in Sarawak. I don’t think we, Sarawakians, ever want our beloved state to be ‘Umno-nised’. No, no way!
This week as the Kuala Lumpur Catholic Archdiocese filed an application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court against a decision which allowed the government’s appeal to ban its weekly publication the Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, the churches of Sabah and Sarawak also made its stand clear.
Christian leaders in the two states have vowed to carry on using the word ‘Allah’ even if it means being prosecuted under a Home Ministry directive allowed by a court ruling.
They also accused Putrajaya of trying to mislead Christians from East Malaysia into believing that the Court of Appeal ruling was only applicable to the Herald.
They said they will speak up on this issue as this is what their respective congregations expect them to do.
Catholic Bishop for the Keningau diocese in Sabah Datuk Cornelius Piong said Sabahans, especially the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut natives, have been using the word for generations and will continue doing so.
“Who is going to stop us? Even God allows us to use the word,” he said, calling the move to restrict the use of the word illogical.
The Association of Churches in Sarawak has urged Putrajaya to show more commitment to recognising religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak.
The group’s chairperson Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok said thus far, Putrajaya had only displayed “ad hoc benevolence” whenever religious freedom cropped up.
“We need tangible commitments from the authorities to respect and uphold the freedom of religion, guaranteed by the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the nation,” Bolly said in a statement this week.
These are legitimate demands from Christians in Sabah and Sarawak. While we are happy that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has reiterated that the court ruling only applies to the Herald and that the 10-point policy stays, some of his cabinet members have been giving conflicting statements.
Therefore, the Prime Minister has to put his own house in order on the matter and as Sarawak Christians have requested, show more commitment to recognising religious freedom in East Malaysia.
Perhaps, Najib could quietly seek Taib’s advice on how to resolve this long-standing issue. In this case, Taib certainly knows better.