KUCHING: It may be too soon to tell what repercussions — if any — the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the ban on the use of the word “Allah” in the Catholic publication, The Herald, will have on Christians in Sarawak, particularly the natives.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman said he he could not confirm yet if the Court of Appeal’s decision would have an effect on the state.
“I cannot confirm until we have the final written decision from the Court of Appeal. Only then will we be sure. For the time being it is better for all to be calm, especially us in Sarawak. I am sure the Government will find a fair decision on this,” he said.
The decision yesterday came as a shock for many Christians across all denominations.
Archbishop of the Anglican Church in South-East Asia, Rt Rev Datuk Bolly Lapok said the decision was “not only insensitive to Christians in Sabah and Sarawak but is an aberration to the spirit of muhibbah which the Government has been trying to promote among all Malaysians”.
He added: “For an outsider to say that the use of the word ‘Allah’ is ‘not integral to the Christian faith’ is irresponsible.
“In the meantime, Christians in Sabah and Sarawak continue to reverently worship their Allah until the Kingdom comes.
“What are you going to do about it?” Rt Rev Bolly, who is also the Bishop for Anglicans in Sarawak and Brunei and the Sarawak Association of Churches chairman, said in a statement
The Sarawak Ministers’ Fellowship (SMF) said it was “deeply shocked and disappointed” at the decision.
The Fellowship would await and study the reasons for the judgment before deciding on what to do, the statement said. - THE STAR