Sunday, 25 January 2015

The "Allah issue" in Malaysia, a comment (as at Jan 25, 2015)

This is a decent recap and epilogue to the "Allah issue" saga. 

For me to write anything of length is a waste of time. So I'll keep it short. 

1. It would seem that there is indeed a difference with how the word "Allah" can be used in Peninsular Malaysia as opposed to Sabah & Sarawak. Legally, I can see how this is possible. Sabah & Sarawak has a special position in the Federation of Malaysia. This point, therefore, makes sense. 

2. The point about Article 4(4) Federal Constitution is also valid, i.e. "proceedings for a declaration that a law is invalid on the ground mentioned in Clause (3) ... shall not be commenced without the LEAVE of a JUDGE of the FEDERAL COURT; and the Federation SHALL be entitled to be a party to any such proceedings, and so shall any STATE that would or might be a party ..."

Procedurally, the argument that there was a flaw in the Catholic Church's suit is sound. The other pending cases would probably fail for this reason as well. 

3. Unfortunately, the issue is still stuck in limbo. We are certain that "Allah" cannot be used by the publication "The Herald" and that the 10-point solution has not been rescinded. That's it.

Here's the cheeky possibility: What if the Catholic Church applies for a permit to publish "Herald 2"? Issuance (if any) of the permit will most certainly contain the same condition that the word "Allah" cannot be used. The Church then files another suit in court, this time following the proper procedure. The court is again asked to decide. We're back to square one. 

So, would the Catholic Church in Malaysia do that? 
Part of me hope it does. I fervently believe with my intellect that Christians have a historical, linguistic and theological right to use the term "Allah". 
Another part of me hope it doesn't because there has been an "undisclosed understanding" that has been reached on a "gentlemen basis" and that "understanding" will be kept hereon forth to maintain the peace, and the unique Malaysian way of life. 

4. Lest we forget, Christians in Malaysia still have churches. We can still worship freely. We are not being persecuted to the point where we are killed, unlike in other parts of the world. This is a blessing. 

The only legal impediment we have is that we are not allowed to carry out the Great Commission fully. But then, we are to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We have never questioned the wisdom of Article 11(4) Federal Constitution. 

We can still, within our slightly limited capacity, be the salt and light for Malaysia, as is our duty. 

If you wish to read further:-  
for "The Great Commission," see
for "Render unto Caesar," see

And that's all I have to say about that.
Life has to go on. 

I wish you well. 
I wish you peace. 

Jason Kay 
25 Jan 2015

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