Sunday, August 08, 2010

If Hishammuddin regrets ‘Allah’ ban, the government must withdraw their appeal to Court of Appeal and put an end to this now

If Hishamuddin, the current Home Minister, regrets the actions of his predecessor with regard the 'Allah' issue, then reasonably he must just withdraw the Government of Malaysia's appeal against the decision of the High Court. That is is so simple. The fact that he who has the power, is not withdrawing the said appeal tells us a lot about Hishamuddin, and one wonders whether his 'regret' is even sincere, or merely something he wants to convey to Christians...non-Muslims in an attempt to win back some political support for UMNO-led BN.

What is he waiting for? For the Court to rule in favour of the Malaysian Government? [And considering the state of the Malaysian judiciary, we know they will most likely do so ....] And, then what? Oh, then there will be a further appeal...and even if the Government wins, do you think that a religious community will stop calling their god, 'Allah'?

As I have pointed out earlier, it is the State Enactments that are really causing these problems, and we note that the Pakatan Rakyat ruled States are also not taking steps to amend the relevant State Enactments to bring in in line with the position of PAS, DAP (and PKR?) - a position that states that no can can claim exclusive usage of the term "Allah", i.e. that Christians and others can use the word "Allah", etc...

Hishammuddin says regrets ‘Allah’ ban

August 01, 2010
Hishammuddin said his predecessor’s decision will have long-lasting repercussions. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today that his predecessor should not have banned the word “Allah” from being used by the Catholic Church.
The decision, he added, will continue to haunt his ministry “for a very long time.”

“In this ministry, it is a zero-sum game.  We are [now] in an uncharted landscape which will haunt us for a very long time.

“We should have let the sleeping dogs lie. It was triggered by those that believed that the word ‘Allah’ should not be used in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said during the Fourth Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit here.

Former home minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar had imposed the word ban on the Church’s newspaper, The Herald, two years ago.

Syed Hamid had temporary allowed the conditional use of the word “Allah”, only to rescind the government gazette later.

He had then cited fears that the use of word outside an Islamic context would cause confusion to Muslims.
Today, Hishammudin stressed that the Church appreciated the circumstances surrounding the ban.

“Church leaders understood fully that there are different levels of maturity and understanding in our constituents. The issue required wisdom and a decision but it is not as easy as you think.

“When you become a minister then you would find that it is difficult in finding a balance between the majority and minority,” he said.

The Catholic Church has since won a court ruling upholding its constitutional right to print the word “Allah” in its newspaper on December 31, 2009 but a government application to stay the ruling has dragged the case out longer.

The Court of Appeal has yet to indicate when it will move the case along. Several retired jurists said it cannot take very long, while one lawyer said it could take up to two years before the first hearing.

“We are looking at it and there is a court case and we are waiting for the outcome. There is [a] difference between acceptance and customs that have been used in the past in Sabah and Sarawak. The reaction from Muslims in the peninsular and Sabah and Sarawak will not be the same,” Hishammuddin said.

Supporters of the Church have argued that Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have used the word “Allah” for generations and it has become part of their cultural norms. - Malaysian Insider, 1/8/2010, Hishammuddin says regrets ‘Allah’ ban

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