After seven days of defeaning silence, the Prime Minister has finally spoken on the Allah issue, saying that Christians in East Malaysia can continue using the word.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) said Putrajaya will honour its 10-point solution made in 2011 that churches in Sabah and Sarawak could continue using the word and urged all groups not to politicise the issue as they were playing with fire that could eventually burn them.
Speaking at the 28th congress of Parti Bersatu Sabah, led by Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, he stressed that the Court of Appeal decision in upholding the Home Ministry’s ban on the use of Allah did not affect the Christians of Sabah and Sarawak.
Under the 10-point solution announced in 2011 by Datuk Idris Jala, it was agreed that bibles in all languages can be imported into the country, including Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia.
The 10-point solution also states that bibles can be printed locally in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
Last week, the Court of Appeal upheld the Home Minister's ban of the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the Catholic weekly, Herald.
The decision spooked Christians in Sabah and Sarawak as many felt that the ban was not exclusive to the Herald but was binding to all Christians.
Several constitutional lawyers argued that although the decision was for the Herald, a judge in deciding the matter had ruled that the word Allah was not an integral party of Christians in their worship.
Hence, they said, the Court of Appeal ruling covered all Christians.
The Star Online reported Najib as saying that people in Sabah and Sarawak should not feel threatened as they could continue doing what they have been practising so far without restriction.
Najib also said that there was always a solution to any problem so that the country’s harmony was maintained through good relations between all races and religions.
"When we have a problem, we have to solve it. It is not difficult to achieve solutions to any problems. You do not have to know rocket science to find a formula for harmony. The solution is just rational thinking," he said.
"Muslims should not hurt the feelings of non-Muslims and non-Muslims should not hurt the feelings of Muslims," he added. - MI - October 21, 2013.