Press Release March 10, 2009: Usage of the word "Allah"/Hal Penggunaan Istilah "Allah"

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COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF MALAYSIA YOUTH STATEMENT OF CCM YOUTH ON THE USAGE OF ‘ALLAH’ 

MARCH 10, 2009

CCM Youth is disappointed and deeply regrets the Home Ministry’s lack of order and clarity in its handling of the restriction over the usage of “Allah”, which involves the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Roman Catholic Church’s publication The Herald-The Catholic Weekly.

The lack of order and clarity is obvious from the earlier prohibition by the Home Ministry of the use of Bahasa Malaysia in The Herald-The Catholic Weekly, which the Home Ministry later categorically denied issuing. Most recently, the Home Ministry gazetted an order allowing the conditional use of the word “Allah” by the Christian community only to rescind it, most suddenly, the following day. These incidents portray a very disorganised and irresponsible handling of what is an extremely delicate matter. This not only serves to jeopardise our country’s image but also undermines the credibility of the Government both at home and abroad.

CCM wishes to point out that the Christian community in Malaysia has been using “Allah” in its worship for centuries. It is, therefore, unreasonable for such a usage to be prohibited and outlawed at this time. CCM Youth is saddened and disappointed with the attitude of the Home Ministry, which has neither shown concern for, nor made effort to protect the rights and liberties of minority groups in Malaysia.

Claims that the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications could anger Muslims not only in the country but also throughout the world are unfounded. For example, “Allah” is freely used by Christians in Egypt without any objection from the Muslims there. We are confident that the Muslims here in Malaysia are mature, wise and open to mutual understanding in a multi-religious setting. Such claims are, therefore, irresponsible threats that can incite religious violence and must be stopped.

CCM Youth wishes to state, once again, that our national language, Bahasa Malaysia, belongs to all Malaysians and Christians of this country are citizens who also have the right to use it. The prohibition is, therefore, unjust and unjustifiable and is an act of open discrimination against Christians who are Malaysians and who speak Bahasa Malaysia.

CCM Youth urges the government of Malaysia to be more responsible, sincere and transparent in its handling of this issue and to stop this discrimination by the Home Ministry by withdrawing the restriction on the usage of “Allah”, for the sake of the freedom of religion of all Malaysians.

(signed)

DANIEL CHAI
Youth Secretary
CCM Youth

SOURCE: COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF MALAYSIA YOUTH

Mobile: +6012 237 6102
Email: ccmyouth@gmail.com

March 10, 2009

* * *

KENYATAAN PEMUDA MAJLIS GEREJA-GEREJA MALAYSIA DALAM HAL PENGGUNAAN ISTILAH ALLAH

*MAC 10, 2009*

Pemuda Majlis Gereja Malaysia (Pemuda CCM / CCM Youth) merasa hampa dan dukacita atas kekeliruan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) dalam hal penggunaan istilah Allah yang melibatkan edisi Bahasa Malaysia akhbar gereja Katolik The Herald-The Catholic Weekly.

Kekeliruan pihak KDN jelas kelihatan daripada kes pengharaman edisi Bahasa Malaysia akhbar The Herald-The Catholic Weekly yang kemudiannya dinafikan pihak KDN baik pun daripada insiden yang terbaru ini di mana pihak KDN yang pada asalnya memberikan laluan bersyarat untuk masyarakat Kristian menggunakan istilah Allah telah menarik balik konsesi itu secara mendadak.

Insiden-insiden yang disebut di atas memberikan satu gambaran bahawa pihak KDN bersikap kelam-kabut dan tidak bertanggungjawab dalam perkara yang sangat sensitif dan rumit ini.  Ini bukan saja menjejaskan imej negara kita bahkan merosakkan kewibawaan Kerajaan Malaysia di mata negara dan dunia.

Pemuda CCM ingin menyatakan bahawa istilah Allah telah digunakan untuk tujuan ibadat oleh masyarakat Kristian di Malaysia sejak berkurun lamanya.  Adalah tidak munasabah untuk penggunaan ini sekarang dilarang dan ditidaksahkan.  Pemuda CCM dukacita dengan sikap KDN yang tidak mengambil berat dan mempertahankan hak-hak dan kebebasan kumpulan minoriti di Malaysia.

Dakwaan bahawa penggunaan istilah Allah oleh penganut Kristian di Malaysia akan menimbulkan kemarahan umat Islam dan boleh membawa kepada tindakan agresif tidak benar langsung.  Sebagai contoh, di Mesir, istilah Allah digunakan dengan bebas oleh penganut Kristian tanpa apa-apa kemarahan umat Islam di sana.  Kami yakin umat Islam di Malaysia juga cukup matang dan berpengetahuan dan boleh saling faham-memahami.  Dakwaan tersebut merupakan ugutan yang tidak bertanggungjawab yang boleh membawa kepada keganasan keagamaan dan patut dihentikan.

Pemuda CCM ingin menegaskan sekali lagi bahawa Bahasa Malaysia adalah hak milik bersama dan penganut Kristian di negara ini juga warganegara yang berhak menggunakannya. Oleh sedemikian, larangan KDN ini  tidak adil dan berasas, malah, merupakan sesuatu penindasan atau tindakan diskriminasi terhadap penganut Kristian yang berbahasa dan berbangsa Malaysia.

Pemuda Majlis Gereja Malaysia meminta kerajaan Malaysia supaya lebih bertanggungjawab, telus dan ikhlas dalam pengendalian hal ini dan menghentikan penindasan oleh KDN ini dengan membatal larangan penggunaan istilah Allah, demi kebebasan beragama semua rakyat Malaysia.

SUMBER: PEMUDA MAJLIS GEREJA-GEREJA MALAYSIA (COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF MALAYSIA (CCM) YOUTH)

(ditandatangan)

DANIEL CHAI

Setiausaha Pemuda CCM
Pemuda Majlis Gereja-Gereja Malaysia

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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