In Sarawak, angry reactions to 'Allah' ruling by Dukau Papau
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
From Malaysiakini : In
reacting angrily to the Court of Appeal ruling against the use of
‘Allah’, Sarawakians have crossed political and spiritual lines to
display rare unity in the defence of religious freedom.
Hundreds of comments have appeared in newspapers, news portals and blogs, and on Facebook and Twitter. Some
expressed regret that Sarawak had been betrayed into joining Malaya,
Sabah and Singapore into forming the Federation of Malaysia, while
others called for a ban on leaders of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia, Perkasa
other religious fanatics from entering the state.
Yet others told
Christian Dayaks and Malaysian Chinese to quit the BN as a mark of
protest. Christians account for more than 70 percent of the population
of 2.6 million in the state.
Other comments include: Jeffrey Kitingan, State Reform Party chairperson
is not the Court of Appeal ruling but the non-action and continued
policies of the Umno/BN ruling regime that will cause the ultimate
demise and break-up of Malaysia unless (the prime minister) and Umno/BN
show a genuine and sincere all-encompassing transformation of government
and politics of inclusiveness and reconciliation.
PM and his federal government need to be reminded that the issue
started with the then home minister in banning the reference to ‘Allah’,
arising from discretionary powers under the Printing Presses and
Publications Act 1984. It was an unequivocal act of the ruling (federal)
From there, the downward spiral of race relations
quickened with Umno’s political strategy to play the ‘race and religion’
card to regain its Malay heartlands. It shook the very foundation of
the official ‘Malaysia - Truly Asia’ and the PM’s own ‘1Malaysia’
rhetoric and hollow slogans.
There is no other possibility, other
than a most probable break-up of Malaysia if the race and religion
division is allowed to continue. The federal government has
forgotten that it is the government for all Malaysians and not only the
Malays or only in the peninsula. It has forgotten that it is not
the Federation of Malaya that they are ruling but the Federation of
Malaysia where the founding fathers of Sabah and Sarawak were promised
Religious freedom is so important that the
natives in the interiors of Sabah erected a Stone Monument, known today
as the Batu Sumpah, in Keningau, to etch into perpetuity such freedom. If not for these promises, there is no Malaysia today.
use of 'Allah' in the Borneo states, or even in neighbouring countries,
pre-date the formation of the Federation of Malaya and the Federation
of Malaysia. There has been no turmoil or any threat of racial
On the contrary, in Sabah and Sarawak, there has
been tranquillity of racial and religious harmony without the rhetoric
There is no need for a Muslim-Malay NGO to
declare that ‘Christians are our brothers and sisters’ because in true
life in Sabah and Sarawak, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers,
husbands and wives are Christians and Muslims and of other religions ...
Lest it be forgotten, no Christian Malaysian is questioning or
challenging that Islam is the official religion of the federation. It is
the treatment of the minority faiths and the actions and policies of
the ruling government that is the root cause of marginalisation and
If the PM accepts the reasoning of the
Muslim NGO, it is time to start disengagement talks and allow Sabah and
Sarawak to depart Malaysia and the peninsula can revert back to
Persekutuan Tanah Melayu by itself.
There is no point in
retaining Sabah and Sarawak within the federation when the ultra-Malays
in Malaya keep trying to break it up and without any appropriate
response or with the silent acquiescence from the federal government. James Masing, Parti Rakyat Sarawak president
judges of the Court of Appeal have made two faulty judgments based on
ignorance of Sarawak and Sabah socio-religious conditions - the Bisi
Jinggot native customary rights land case and the ban on the use of
‘Allah’ in the space of two months.
We cannot afford to have
members of the judiciary, the interpreters of our legal system, to be
ignorant of aspects of the case in which they are tasked to make
judgments. Political masters must take this matter seriously.
John Brian Anthony, DAP central committee member
is no more religious freedom in Malaysia and our forefathers’ concerns
over religious freedom during the formation of Malaysia 50 years ago
have now come true.
Muslims think this land is entirely theirs, and as such they do not
respect the rights of Christians to practise their religion.
Dayak political leaders who are Christians should resign from the BN in
order to send a clear message that to the ultra Muslims that this
country does not only belong to them.
It is sad day for Malaysia when the prime minister is so weak that he cannot hold Malaysia together after this.
Muslim brothers here have no problem at all with using the word ‘Allah’
in our worship and prayers. (We have been doing so) freely for the last
165 years and suddenly we are told that we can’t use it in case we
might confuse our Muslim friends.
If this is not an infringement of the constitutional rights of the Christians, I don’t know what is.
Archbishop Bolly Lapok, Association of Churches Sarawak chairperson
an outsider to say that the use of ‘Allah’ is not integral to the
Christian faith is excessive, utterly irresponsible and grossly
demeaning, to say the least.
The Church does not need an apologist from outside to decree what is integral or not regarding Her faith. The writer, who uses a pseudonym, is based in Sarawak.