CHRISTIAN FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA
(PERSEKUTUAN KRISTIAN MALAYSIA)
Address: No. 10, Jalan 11/9, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Telephone: (03) 7957 1278, (03) 7957 1463, Fax: (03) 7957 1457
THE RIGHT OF NON-MUSLIMS TO USE THE WORD “ALLAH”
TO SPEAK OF GOD
The Christian Federation of Malaysia expresses deep disappointment and regret with the statement of the Honorable Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Y.B. Datuk Dr. Abdullah Zin, as reported in the newspapers (The Star and The Sun) of 4th January 2008, that the Cabinet has decided against the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims in their worship and in their publications.
It is wrong to prohibit certain sections of the Malaysian public against the use of a particular word in their daily prayers or in their publications.
The word “Allah” is of ancient lineage originating from the Middle East and used by both the non-Muslims and Muslims for centuries all over the world. The word “Allah” is a pre-Islamic word used by Arab Christians before Islam came into being. The Holy Quran itself admits that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the one and same “Allah”, (Surah 2:62, 2:133, repeated in Surah 5:69, and again in Surah 22:17).
Bahasa Malaysia, the language of all Malaysians, has incorporated the word “Allah” which denotes the One and Almighty God into the language. Therefore, we maintain and we have always told the Government that we have the right to use the word “Allah” whether in our Bahasa Malaysia publications or otherwise. We urge the Government, in recognition of the universal heritage of religious terminology like “Allah” and others and in the context of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, to recognize and uphold the right of all Malaysians to the continued use of the word “Allah” and appropriate religious terminology without restrictions.
The restriction against the use of the word “Allah” by all Malaysians will put the country in a bad light in the international community.
Bishop Dr. Paul Tan Chee Ing., SJ
Chairman, Christian Federation of Malaysia
5th January 2008