Press Statement by MCA Central Committee member Sdr Loh Seng Kok (Deputy Chairman of MCA Publicity Bureau) on “Allah” term
10 January 2013
Press Statement by MCA Central Committee member Sdr Loh Seng Kok (Deputy Chairman of MCA Publicity Bureau)
In view of recent controversy over usage of the “Allah” terminology which was ignited once again by DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, allow me to set the record straight. My discourse and committed view on the “Allah” issue are as follows:
1) The Federal Constitution is the Supreme law of this country.
2) The prevailing law with regards to the usage of the “Allah” terminology has been decided by the High Court via its judgement on 31 December 2009. Based on this ruling, the usage of the word “Allah” is not exclusive for Muslims.
3) All quarters should respect the High Court’s decision which ruled that pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, it is not an offence for non-Muslims to use the word to non-Muslims for the purpose of religion and there is a pending appeal by the Home Ministry.
On 11 March 2011, MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had also released a press statement acknowledging that “In Sabah and Sarawak, the use of Bahasa Malaysia in the practice of Christianity has long been a common tradition. The national language is commonly used for the learning of the religion. It is used in the study of the Bible, in sermons and also in prayers and is common in Sabah and Sarawak.”
The MCA President had expressly declared that “Any restraint on the use of the Bible in the national language is tantamount to taking away the non-Muslim rights of freedom of practising one’s faith.”
Recognising that the Prime Minister’s Department on 2 April 2011 then released a 10-point solution which allowed the Bible in all languages including Bahasa Malaysia to be imported and printed locally, we urge all quarters to stop politicizing the “Allah” terminology and recognize this 10-point solution alongside with abiding with the High Court’s ruling on the “Allah” terminology. Any further debates on this issue will not benefit any quarters but paradoxically and unhealthily will polarize the nation.
Not only Christians, but Sikh and Hindu communities affected by prohibition
Forbidding non-Muslims to use “Allah” will also render the sacred texts of the Sikhs and Hindus i.e. the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the Veda illegal as these holy scriptures also contain references to “Allah”. Any prohibition will prevent the Constitutional rights of Sikhs and Hindus from practising their faith, and thus contravenes the Federal Constitution.
Why does DAP limit “Allah” to Christians only?
Meanwhile, considering that the political secretary to DAP’s Secretary General Lim Guan Eng ie Zairil Khir Johari had released a statement that Guan Eng had only asked Putrajaya not to deny the rights of Christians in East Malaysia to use “Allah”, we wonder why Guan Eng limits this right to Christians only and not ask that it be extended to his chairman Karpal Singh who is part of the Sikh community, the Hindus, Orang Aslis on the Peninsular and the Baba-Nyonya community who use “Allah.”
LOH SENG KOK
Member of MCA Central Committee,
Member of MCA Presidential Council,
Deputy Chairman of MCA Publicity Bureau