My good friend and fellow initiator for the Micah Mandate Goh Keat Peng wrote a very important piece after the Court says ‘yes’ to Allah for Christians and Cautious celebrations over ‘Allah’ judgment. Please take some time to read and reflect on his thoughts. It will be a good way to start the new year.
As we go into a new calendar year with its opportunities and challenges, there is a quality of character we as individuals, civil society and nation can do with.
If I may for a change use a big word: Equanimity
It means: “mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.”
Yesterday on New Year eve, when I received word of the Malaysian High Court ruling which in effect lifted the home minister’s ban against the Catholic Church publishing the word “Allah” to refer to the Christian God in its weekly paper, Herald and that the term is not exclusive to Islam.
I sent the following SMS to the Christian and Sikh leadership as their communities have been most affected by the ban for all these years as well as other friends on both sides of the parliamentary divide:
“In Allah we trust. I urge calm and quiet thanksgiving. Our worship, prayer and service continue. But let us neither speak nor act provocatively. Let us be considerate of the feelings of others as well. May the wisdom of God guide us. Goh KP”
Among those who replied to my SMS were the following leaders and friends:
“Thanks. You are right.”
– Paul Tan, Catholic bishop of Malacca and Johore.
“Thank you for good advice. That is exactly what we are doing. May God guide us all.”
V. Hacharan Singh, Sikh Gurdwara Council president.
“Amen. May Allah help us to be patient and humble always and guide us to what is pleasing to Him, and good for us in this life and the next.”
– Aminah Ferrer
“A message of wisdom. Thanks. Happy new year.”
– Syed Husin Ali, senator and deputy PKR president.
“Am of one mind with you on this.”
– Hermen Shastri, Council of Churches of Malaysia general secretary.
– Tan Kong Beng, Christian Federation of Malaysia executive secretary.
– Anwar Ibrahim, Leader of the Opposition in Malaysian Parliament
“Excellent message! May Allah grant us guidance and blessing. May we live in peace, harmony and understanding!”
– Wan Azizah, PKR president
Catholic Archbishop Murphy Pakiam called just before midnight and conveyed the following message to all Malaysians:
“While we are happy and relieved by the court decision, I think it is a major step in the right direction for the real Islam,which is a great and International religion. It will also go a long way in restoring confidence on the international scene for Malaysia as a moderate Islamic country – at least striving to be so. On the local level it is one more step forward in implementing the One Malaysia concept. I am grateful to the relevant authorities.”
Under God and by His grace, may equanimity rule our hearts and minds, drive our agenda and ensure justice and peace throughout the land.