Malaysia Only Country To Restrain Use Of 'Allah' Word

Malaysia is the only country in the world where non-Muslims are being restrained from using of the word ‘Allah’, claimed Catholic Lawyers’ Society president Joy Appukuttan.

Urging the country to respect the rights of the minority, Joy said there is no basis or justification for one religious group or the executive to dictate another group's choice of words in religious books or publications.

“Each religious group has their own views from a theological standpoint on the use of the word ‘Allah’.

“There is no basis for one religious group to deny another of their constitutional guarantee of religious freedom and the right to educate its believers in the way that they determine, as set out in Articles 11(1) and (3) of the federal constitution,” he said.

“The ‘Allah’ issue has been heavily politicised, as Malaysia is the only nation in the world where non-Muslims are being restrained from the use of the word ‘Allah’,” he said.

He pointed out, in a statement, that Malaysia has many legislation for those who utter, injure, disturb or trespass against any religious communities, as prescribed under Section 295 to 298 of the Penal Code.

He was commenting on the prohibition on the use of the word among non-Muslims in Selangor.

Joy said the federal government, on April 2, 2011, had announced a 10-point solution that included the import of bibles in all languages and that there is no limit be set on printing or the choice and references of words used.

Hence, he said any restrictions imposed would contradict the federal government’s stand, as reflected in the announcement.

Understand each other's faith

Pointing to the landmark Herald case, in which the Kuala Lumpur High Court had on Dec 31, 2009, declared the blanket ban on the use of word Allah on non-Muslims “as illegal”, he said the court recognises the non-Muslims right to the use of the word.

“We call on all parties to respect the constitutional rights of the minority religious communities and allow them to profess, practise and manage its own affairs including the continued use of ‘Allah’ and not impose their own views, inhibitions, restrictions or control on other religious communities.

“We also call on all parties to work towards better understanding of each other's faith in order to preserve peace and harmony. The inter-religious committee set up by the federal government should take heed and act to bring together all religious groups to achieve greater understanding and respect.”

He added that the rakyat’s constitutional rights to religious freedom should not be sacrificed at the expense of political expediency.

Recent News

1 year 8 weeks ago
1 year 10 weeks ago
3 years 25 weeks ago