ALLAH- WHAT IN GODS NAME HAVE THE COURTS DONE?

The High Court of Malaysia’s decision in the Catholic Herald’s fight to use the word Allah is quite clearly provocative, deliberately precipitous, inflammatory and suspect.

DOES THIS DECISION MEAN THE JUDICIARY IN MALAYSIA IS NO LONGER CORRUPT?

One wonders if Malaysia’s legal fraternity, who together with the Catholic Church in Malaysia, once so willing to condemn the judiciary, will be consistent in their opinions held of the judiciary and now also condemn this decision as being the work of that same incompetent and corrupt institution for which they have nothing but contempt.

Or does incompetence and corruption have a different interpretation when they are the beneficiaries of decisions by the same ‘corrupt and incompetent’ judges?

WHATS AT ISSUE HERE

At the core of this argument is the controversial and provocative use of a word Muslims have for centuries in countries like Malaysia adopted, as their unique and inalienable right to reference God. Christians including the Catholics used Deo or God equally for centuries in places like Malaysia to refer to the almighty. Never Allah, for the perceived fear it would corrupt their spirituality.

Interestingly Catholics eschewed even the English language in Malaysia for centuries till Vatican 2. In its place on prescription was Latin. A language alien to many of its faithful who never quite understood a word of it at all.

The use of Latin as prescribed by the Vatican for centuries had been the subject of debate and irritation, let alone ridicule to many of the faithful. 

Observing masses of illiterate Indian and Chinese peasants bowing before an alter,  Latin chants and hymns playing out in  centuries old rituals originating from their own cultures now distorted in a European Mid Eastern form and imposed on them as worship was as much entertainment as it was faith.

WHY USE ALLAH AT ALL

At a time of much uncertainty and political upheaval, the Church an arm of the sovereign state of the Vatican has seen it fit to enter into the divisive domain of multi racial and religious politics.

One might legitimately argue that the church does have a role to play in defence of its faithful. But it would be hypocritical and unnecessary a point when, one considers the shifting positions of the Catholic church, an undemocratic and unresponsive theocratic state, interfering in matters that concern the internal affairs of another sovereign state, Malaysia.

The Church for centuries had a prohibition on the use of any other language than Latin. It eschewed anything remotely relevant to its many diverse adherents in an elitist totalitarian domination of the world and in what is often described as an extension of the Holy Roman Empire.

Their argument in this case is that the word Allah had been used for decades in many places including Malaysia and that therefore gives them a constitutional right to continue to use it  in reference to God regardless of the illogical circumstances and contexts to which it is applied today.

Why does the Church seek to only use the word Allah in its teachings and interpretation of the Bible? It is justly perceived by mainly Muslims as a sinister and deceptive exercise when applied particularly to Muslims from rural areas who could very easily be fooled into believing there is a nexus to Islam within the Church through its use of the word Allah?

Why would the Catholic Church not convert the language of the entire liturgy into Arabic from where the word Allah originates? Or perhaps the language of Malaysians, Bahasa Malaysia?

WHY IS MALAY AND ARABIC SO IMPORTANT NOW TO CATHOLICISM- OR IS IT?

For centuries under European domination of the peninsula, Malay was treated contemptuously as a lesser and therefore unworthy language limited in its use in its broken form when addressing the original inhabitants of the peninsula, the Malays. It was relegated to a level of insignificance at missionary schools and never was given any prominence till around 1968 for the same reasons the Church now seeks to capitalise on the use of the word Allah. A form of nationalism. In the case of the Catholic Church Vatican Nationalism.

The church equated and associated the use of the Malay language in its proper form as a bridge to Islam and therefore actively discouraged its use till now. Suddenly they appear to have fallen off their horses and seek to embrace A word “Allah” common to Malays but not to Catholics. Why?

The Pontiff, in the form of Nazi, former Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict not long ago called Islam evil and joined the west in an unholy chorus of anti Arabic (inspite of it having a relatively large constituency amongst Arabs) anti Islamic sentiment. Why now the backing for selective use of the dispised evil Arabic Allah? What is his real motive?

The Pope’s anti Islamic rhetoric we must recall was driven by the Vatican’s unquestioning support of  American foreign policy however flawed it was and for its support of its other sychophant, its new convert to Catholicism, Britain’s Tony Blair. 

Sadly that anti Islamic campaign now associated with the Catholic Church and its western allies turned out to be a campaign of mass murder with no justifiable cause, unprecedented in its savegery, contempt and disregard for human life in modern history. It turned out to be something reminsent of a modern day hi tech Spanish inquisition another holy, unjustified and bloody campaign run by the Catholic church.

Ratzinger and his ambassadors cannot now simply wash their hands of so much blood with a simple publicity campaign of “Reaching out to Islam“. They must repent with deeds. When will the Church’s politics and interference in the affairs of other states stop? When will Catholics become an example for others to emulate?

 A PYRRIC VICTORY A SINISTER PLOT

There is a political battle being fought out there for control of the hearts and minds of a large population of Sabahans and Sarawkians being engineered by both the Catholic Church and their rivals for souls. The American style evangelical Christians.

They  collectively, one not to be oudone by the other, will apply every Amway style of multi level marketing, sinister political and economic tools and bait, to rope in as many disgruntled Malays and Muslims and to galvanise them into a vote bank for the next general elections.

This practice is not much different to what they did to Indians in the rubber plantations and poorer Chinese offering them the incentives of a good Catholic school education of they did convert during the time  of the British. That practice endures to this day in India where it is meeting with stiff and violent resistance and quite rightly so.

Catholics often frown and campaign against Malays or Muslims proselytizing. At the same time suprisingly the Catholic Church appears terribly oblivious, insensitive and ignorant of the pain this same phenomenon and “virtue” inflicted by them on Muslims feels like. It is a practice equally offensive to Malays and Muslims. 

This would have been a different argument if the Catholics were seeking to use Bahasa Malaya in the entire liturgy to make it relevant to “Malaysians”. The question of language and identity so often and so unconvincingly argued by non Malays as being at the root of their grievances, their “heritage and identity as Malaysians” when it suits them, appears lost here to the Church and its non Malay supporters.  

What Catholics appear to be seeking here is an extension to that form of racism. That whatever non Malays and non Muslims wish to do in the name of religion has to be tolerated in the name of a half written constitution. On the other hand arguing against everything that the Malays as a majority in a democracy do as being wrong and racist.

TOLERANCE IS NOT STUPIDITY

Catholics must learn to reciprocate in kind to a people in whose country they have been treated with much reverence, dignity and respect over centuries. Tolerance is a two way street. Malaysia although fundamentally a Muslim state has, advocated for and advanced Catholic (and other religious causes and purposes) without the let or hindrance or religious intolerance like that imposed officially by the Thais, Burmese, Philippines, Australians, Chinese and more recently the Swiss on their migrant communities.

Much of the reason we are able to debate such issues and to read and write about it today it is often argued, is the result of a good Catholic education. Wrong! It is equally the result of Malay Muslim generosity in allowing the propagation of the faith, vernacular schools and other institutions to thrive and the general tolerance of the values of non Malays. A cursory glance off the streets of Malaysia’s cities bears testimony to this indisputable self evident truth.

It is a pity that in return for this generosity, all that the Catholic church is capable of and all that it has to offer its Malay Muslim hosts in return is an insult to the Malays and Malay Muslims in pursuing such a worthless and insensitive policy of religious provocation.

CONSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE

There is a flawed perception that the constitution provides blanket freedoms to religious practices and interpretations of religious doctrines. It clearly does not do. The state always has residual powers in preservation of its sovereignty, to amend or to ignore aspects of the constitution when it offends or becomes irrelevant. It happens everywhere, everytime in the commonwealth and elsewhere in the interests of self preservation and as an expression of sovereignty.

In this particular case, we have a foreign state in the Vatican, by its local operatives, the Church, seeking to undermine national policy (however objectionable it may appear to some) through the sinister use of the constitution of its host state to undermine racial and religious harmony.

The Catholic Church unlike Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and other religions, is unique in that its directives come from a foreign government, that of the Vatican. This provocation therefore is effectively state (or foreign) policy of the Vatican.

The Church cannot therefore be arguing that some constitutional religious freedoms (which are not theirs as a foreign state), inconsistent with its own behaviour over the centuries, has been violated here. It may not argue that using the word Allah alone is therefore somehow a constitutional right or a religious practice because it is neither. This is the Malaysian constitution and not the Roman or Vatican constitution. And neither of the latter have currency in Malaysia.

Continued pursuit of the subject matter of this action is clearly a provocation. The Church knows full well there is resistance from the majority, Malaysia’s 60% Malay Muslims and is a breach of convention. 

A valid counter argument to the Church’s position in this matter is, that this entire exercise is an unlawful interference by the Vatican in the affairs of another state by a foreign government, the Vatican. Additionally the Church in adopting its controversial position on the use of the word Allah, may inadvertantly be acknowledging the truth of the Quran which, if it is consciously doing may not be such a bad thing after all. 

The Catholic church itself is not paragon of virtue nor the best example of a protector of its many faithful when one considers it conduct in favour of the rich and powerful against the abused in South America for centuries.

Closer to home its backing of Lee Kuan Yews attacks against a former priest (Fr. D’Souza) who had the courage to stand up for the rights of the oppressed in Singapore a decade or two ago. It is but one of many examples of the politics of expediency the Catholic church practices at the expense of the teachings of Christ.

The constitution in such cases must be read down and not up as appears to have been the case with the Catholic Herald (for want of a better description of the case) insistence on the provocative use o the word Allah.

THE CALIBRE OF JUDGES DECIDING THESE CASES

In all of this one cannot help but wonder if the justices who decided this matter were of the same calibre of one retired justice NH Chan. NH Chan’s history of judicial incompetence and the embarassment of his analysis demonstrated in the Perak Constitutional Crisis, his record of illogical and substandard judicial decisions are sadly hailed by many leading lawyers (in Malaysia) including the much celebrated Appeals court judge Sri Ram Gopal as being exemplary and creditable.

Chan remains an icon to the defiance of the laws of reasoning, when one reads his decisions, his capacity for argument  and his grasp of legal issues apart from his embarassing inability to articulate himself with any form of conviction in English or Bahasa.

The constitution of Malaysia does not give license under the pretext of guarantees of religious freedoms to mischief or covert undermining of the peace and stability of the state. It is neither implied nor is it expressed in any form within the constitution. Yet this is clearly what the decision in this case implies.

WHAT THE CHURCH CAN DO TO FOSTER BETTER INTER FAITH TIES

In a demonstration of good faith, a belief in its own credo of Good Christian Charity and goodwill, the Catholic Church ought to withdraw the ridiculous and provocative demand now legtimised by a flawed decision and do so without further stretching tolerance too far. It should demonstrate that it ought not  to be allowed the sinister use of one Arabic word Allah which is clearly a thorn in the side of its Malay majority hosts.

The Church may do so without any embarrassment to itself if it acts immediately. On the contrary with one fell act of goodness and respect it would build a bridge of understanding likely to last forever as a monument to its credo, rather than for the blemishes in its record of insults, abuse, its betrayal of Malaysia to the colonials and the undermining of the cultural and religious sensitivities and heritage of Malaysia’s majority.

If this matter were to be put up for reviewe independently or, in the event the government chooses to exercises its rights as a sovereign state, exercising its reserve powers, the Church may likely find itself with a pyrrhic victory in its hands designed for fools by a constitution constructed by Christians. 

Gopal Raj Kumar

Comments
63 Responses to “ALLAH- WHAT IN GODS NAME HAVE THE COURTS DONE?”
  1. Ahmad Alfian says:

    Mr Gopal,

    There was a case some time ago in Singapore where a European couple (or was it American, I am not sure) went to a certain elite restaurant, ordered some meals and enjoyed them.When they got the bill, they got shocked: it amounted to thousands of dollars for something which shouldn’t really cost that much. They sued the establishment and went to court. The judge, however, ruled against them, saying that the fact that they sat down, ordered and ate tantamount to them agreeing before hand on the kind of transaction that was mutually agreed between buyer and seller. Strange ruling, but nevertheless the couple lost and the restaurant got their money.

    Or did it? It actually backfired on the restaurant proprietor: the case was highlighted day in and day out in Singapore papers, and so much publicity was done that the result was that the public had an extremely negative view of the victorious proprietor-cum-perpretator. The very next day the restaurant lost all its customers: they had all abandoned and boycotted the premises en masse: part due to the realization of how ridiculous their prices had been, and part due to their unwillingness to feed the greed and glutony of the restaurant owners. Soon after that, the establishment had to wrap up and went bankrupt.

    This perplexing case of the Allah name, Mr Gopal, no doubt is another case of winning battles but losing wars though not as palatable as the above semblance of foods and beverages. No doubt a single name change has been won in the courts but what kind of victory is this? At what expense? What kind of triumph is this that feed upon so much negative energy and vindictiveness, of trepidation and angst, of enmity and bad blood? How much victory would you care to admit if it had been at the cost of mistrust and suspicion, after so much tolerance, good relationships and harmony have been experienced by the christians and muslims in this country for hundreds of years? All religions would like to get more and more adherents, it is understandable, but the manner with which the catholics does it this time smack of exhausted tactics and burnt-out ideas. Don’t tell me after 2000 years of missionary efforts, THIS is the best you could come up with for expansionism in this part of the globe? I mean, why didn’t you think of this name-change tactic 2000 years ago. Oh yes I forgot. As Mr Raj has alluded here, the last 2000 years had been spent by the catholics in trying to convince the masses that the Triumvirate Godhood that the world over should be worshipping is NOT Allah.

    And as far as I could remember, Mr Raj, yours is the first writing that connects the involvement of the central Catholic church in Vatican city led by Ratzinger as Pope, to our local catholic chapters. And this too is baffling, because it leads to much bigger and more serious questions as was pointed out by one of the local Malaysian blogs sometime ago:

    A. Did the directive come from the Pope directly? If it did then forget Father Lawrence or Father Pakiam. The Pope is responsible for this whole exercise, thereby leading to the following:-

    (i) If it came from the Pope, it would be natural to ask for an official, Holy Decree that establishes that they do admit, after 2000 years, that Allah is the Name of that deity worshipped in the Old Testament, in the New, the One that sent Moses, Jesus and the series of prophets.

    (ii) And surely after admitting this, it would be no problem to start putting the name of Allah in ALL the bibles in the world and not just in the malay editions? And also, if it is not too much to ask, can it be requested that out of the thousands of public prayers that the Pope holds in Vatican city in front of thousands of people every so often, capture a video that the name of Allah is used by the Pope whenever he refers to God in its entirety?

    (iii) More importantly, if we now share the name of the Deity, surely it would be sensible to admit all of His teachings too. Since the abundance of the name Allah is to be found in the Quran, would the Pope now ascertain all of Allah’s statements in the Quran, including the verses regarding what this Allah thinks of Christianity?

    B. Now let’s say the Vatican did not have anything to do with this directive. It can then be concluded that the local Catholic chapter acted autonomously without any instructions from higher authorities. Though insensible if true, this could mean local catholics are propounding teachings not in accordance with established catholic dogmas and thereby eligible for excommunications. Fathers Lawrence and Pakiam are guilty of both not adhering to their own religion as well as trying to mislead people from another.

    Ahmad Alfian

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    • grkumar says:

      Ahmad Alifan (Syedi)

      it is a breath of fresh air to read such a highly educated, well thought out and analytical response to this posting. I am neither Muslim nor Catholic. I have though much to say about both religions but am muted into a deafening silence when challenged by your intellect and the strength of your lucid arguments.

      This blog was created with the view of encouraging and eliciting such responses as yours. To break that mould that says a Malay a Muslim cannot think or argue or analyse becaue he is an UMNO Putera or a Muslim fanatic.

      Today Gopal Raj Kumar the blog celebrates a milestone in that it can now boast a redership with an intellect as good and as challenging as yours.

      The issues you have raised are very very important and pertinent issues to this argument. Lets see if our brethren in the Catholic Church Father Pakiam and father Andrews can come up with a meaningful response.

      “What doth it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own soul?”. I tired Lim Kit Siang’s blog on th subject, the extent of their response was to censor the article (in shorter form of course). The same with the Malaysian Insider.

      Kit Siang’s was more colourful. It elicited abuse and name calling such as Blackie, Pariah and the like. These are the people who seek to form an alternative government. None with the erudite qualities of your response. Thank you indeed.

      All of us at Gopal Raj Kumar

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      • Ahmad Alfian says:

        Mr Gopal,

        You are, of course, too kind with your words. Your own previous writings, of which I had been a silent peruser, smack of the kind of intellect and citizenship that our founding fathers had envisioned. I am not sure to what age group you belong, but I miss the days (we are talking about 60’s and 70s) in which we did not have communal problems the magnitude with which we see now. Me and Nagendran, together with Cheng Leong, we would all climb Mak Limah’s Durian tree just because the bugger took so long to ripen. After that we would gather some sticks to bring down Mr Pragasam’s mangos which were again too green. We were, of course chased by Mr Pragasam but we just sweated it out and ran to the kampung’s brook for a really satisfying dip in the hot sun. Deepavali and CNY were excuses for all of us to gobble up the multitudinous culinary that otherwise would not existed anytime else, and both of us called Cheng Leong Glutton of Order 1 looking at the way he handled those ketupats during Hari Raya.

        During those days we never knew there existed the kind of misgivings and mistrusts that Indians, Malays and Chinese have nowadays. What politics have done that have driven us Bangsa Malaysia to the kind of communal mistrusts we now experience, God alone can answer. In those days, we even protected one another especially in matters of faith. “Woi Nagen, kau tak bleh makan tu laa… itu daging” just as Nagendran was about to munch that unsuspecting Briyani during one of our kenduris.

        When I read blogs like yours, I suddenly realize that all my hopes that there still exist people who, like me, still believe in a truly unified and harmonious without all the underpinnings of political pufferies, will again see the light of day. Thank you Gopal for being what you truly are: a true blue Malaysian.

        Alfian

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      • grkumar says:

        Anything is possible if we work towards achieving it. There are divisions and there are divisions. Some we choose and create for our own self preservation whilst others are imposed on us for the convenience and political expediency of professional manipulators. Politicians.

        India’s Congress party is but one example of that Machiavellian manipulation of its constituents using communalism to achieve its outcomes at election time.

        The Muslims and lower caste masses often being victims and props of a pantomime in blood by thugs paid to drive them to the protective arms of the Congress (I) party.

        Such things are common in places like India because human life in India as it is in China is a disposable and dispensible commodity.

        I too remember vividly and long for those days when what you so colourfully described here was actally the norm. A bit like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

        The serpent has to be killed or banished into a life of crawling on its belly to be trampled upon by all righteous men. Metaphorically of course.

        Malaysia’s strength is the cohesion of its community and the give and take it has always shared. Not the divisionss perpetrated in God’s name by outside forces. Not Arabs not the Vatican.

        Gopal Raj Kumar

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  2. arah says:

    My dear Gopal Raj

    Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to a common word between us and you: that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside God. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (Aal ‘Imran 3:64)

    5:17 (Malay) “Sesungguhnya telah kafirlah orang-orang yang berkata: “”Sesungguhnya Allah itu ialah Al Masih putra Maryam””. Katakanlah: “”Maka siapakah (gerangan) yang dapat menghalang-halangi kehendak Allah, jika Dia hendak membinasakan Al Masih putra Maryam itu beserta ibunya dan seluruh orang-orang yang berada di bumi semuanya?”” Kepunyaan Allah-lah kerajaan langit dan bumi dan apa yang di antara keduanya; Dia menciptakan apa yang dikehendaki-Nya. Dan Allah Maha Kuasa atas segala sesuatu.”

    Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread)
    5:17 (Y. Ali) In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: “Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every – one that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things.”

    As exclaimed by Moses (pbuh): “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4.

    “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God.”
    Isaiah 45:5.

    “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
    Exodus 20:3-5

    Jesus Christ (pbuh) said the following in the Bible:
    “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
    John 17:3

    “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?”
    John 5:44

    “The most important commandments,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, is one Lord’”
    Mark 12:29

    59:24 (Y. Ali) He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

    The name of God is Allah even in the Bible

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    • grkumar says:

      Yes but the bible was neither written in English ( of the Shakespearean variety you quote from) nor in Arabic. So therefore the words used are but derivatives and symbols adopted by different tribes (denominations) and in the name of peace were kept so to allow for the simple minds of man not to be offended with one another.

      Likewise the wisdom of god must ome though those who believ in him without provocation but out of love. Where the word Allah raises the spectre of disharmony then in Gods name give it up especially where there is an alternative to it. He will love you nonetheless. Maybe more for your sacrifice.

      Amen Amen Amen

      Gopal Raj Kumar

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      • satD says:

        GRK

        nice angle on the Vatican…

        Since all of us is aware that Tuhan is God in Malay…the word Allah which the Church is trying to say that it is the valid term in Malay for Centuries……is it so?

        Quick question….if Islam came to our shores prior to Christianity…..and if the first missionaries actually went to the ground asking for what the locals call their God……would it be Allah as in the Islamic Allah……as for the term allah in Arabic Bibles ….well it Arabic….not Malay..

        wrote about it sometime ago here

        http://satdthinks.blogspot.com/2009/02/dear-allah.html

        I’ll share with you here based on my own personal experience living in Jakarta…where the Al-Kitab is translated and shipped to Malaysia……They dont call Allah as is “All-Lah” but more of Tuhan “A-lah” ……notice how different the actual pronunciation…

        They’ve made the first move…..lets see how far they wanna push this….

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  3. It is not some ‘sudden urge’ as you put it, in Mahathirs own words:

    “I accept the term ‘Allah’ had been used in Sabah and Sarawak before the two states joined Malaysia but it is difficult to stop them from doing so now… but in the peninsular, we have not heard of such practice”

    Christians in East Malaysia have been using the term Allah for centuries and to now take that away is like taking away their land, their heritage..their rights.

    We are merely standing up for what is right, and it is the Government that is stiring the hornets nest, it is the Government that is dragging this matter and blowing it up.

    Get your facts right.

    Plus haven’t you heard of Al-Islam journalist walking up into a Church and Desecrating the Eucharist? It is akin to Catholics tearing up a Quran in the middle of Mosque. Catholics have remained calm and cool heads have prevailed, so to make Catholics out as the ‘insensitive bunch’ is both ignorant and grossly inaccurate.

    Catholics have welcomed Khalid Samad to Church, yet A X Jayakumar can’t speak in Mosque. Who is the insensitive one here? The Government that choose to violate the status quo or the Catholics who are fighting for our rights?

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  4. katdog says:

    Interesting. Then i guess Malay Christians should be made to use A-lah instead of Allah. Hmmm…but that would still be a problem as Malay bibles imported from Indonesia would still use Allah, and no one in Malaysia produces Malay bibles. So it would be odd that the Malay bible uses Allah, but the other christian publishing uses A-lah or Tuhan.

    The best solution would be for the government to encourage locally printed ‘official’ Malaysian Malay bible that uses the term A-lah or Tuhan, whichever is deemed appropriate, then the problem will be solved. The Christian newspapers can use the selected term and there would no longer be any disconnect between the Malay bible and the local publishing.

    But i imagine that using the term ‘Tuhan’ will probably be still a bit difficult to swallow for the Malay christians. For them, ‘Allah’ means ‘Almighty God’ and ‘Tuhan’ only means ‘god with a capital letter’ and therefore is not deemed an appropriate translation. ‘A-lah’ seems the better way to go.

    But all this squabbles over terminology is a bit ironic as Islam and Christianity shares the same god. It is only the interpretation on the manifestation of God. The Christians believe Jesus to be a manifestation of God on Earth. Islam however only recognizes Jesus to be a Prophet of God. However, essentially, whether prophet or man-god, both religions agree that he came from the one true God, Allah.

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    • grkumar says:

      You cannot compel anyone to use or not use any particular name unless it is likely to cause friction and disturb the peace. Then it is the duty of government to intervene. The word Allah is from the semetic languages and Catholicism is a white wash of a variation to the Jewish teachings of the 1st century. It went to Rome to gain its present day legitimacy and became an integral part of the Roman Empire in an even more revised form as the older empire perished.

      The word Tuhan is the equivalent of the word Lord or Kyrie (in Greek and Latin) Khudat (Urdu) or Bhagwan (Hindi) Aria (Sanskrit). It is the article before the noun. It was considered inappropriate (and still is) by the people of the sub continent to refer to God the Almight in an unprotected or unguarded form. Therefore it was always preceeded by the article Baghwaan or Khudat or in Malay Tuan (Sir or Lord).

      An Indonesian bible has as much relevance or authority as the Australian dictionary of English. Apart from monkeying the Oxford English dictionary and adding gratuitously common usage words like Dinkum, Bonzer etc from their local and very parochial vocabulary which no one esle is interested in it is not an authority in English. Looks and sounds like it but not quite the same.

      It is not about the variations you mention to the word Allah or A- lah. It is about a provocation brought about by the Vatican as a sovereign state misbehaving through their small minded faithful behaving like lap dogs in pursuit of something so unnecessary.

      If they had been in constant consultation with the ministry of culture and religion, the Catholic church would have found a lot of common ground begining with the resistance to the invasion of Iraq, recognition of the rights of the Palestinain people (The original people of Christ not those Polish, Russian and Yukrainian converts who displaced the semites of the region) and the localisation of the liturgy to be more meaningful to the Malaysian Catholics.

      No. Instead Father Murphy Pakiam and his accolytes have gone to the Vatican to protect them in an atmosphere of bellicose and staunch anti Islamic fervour to bloody the nose of the Malays who many in the Church believe displaced them as the preferred citizens under the British without adequately being compensated forr it. The shoe is now in the other foot and it does not fit.

      The Church still has some room to manouver in and redeem itself from its unworthy position. The victory is not based on any constitutional right but an ill conceived judgement. Butt then again what can we say. At least we are united one thing. The bar and the judiciary are certainly not as competent as it ought to be.

      GRK

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      • katdog says:

        But this issue is likely to cause friction and disturb the peace. This is precisely why the government is intervening to prevent the local publisher from using the term Allah.

        Which is why, instead of just banning the publication, in the interest of unity and peace, i think the government should work out a win-win situation. Offer the Christians to use an alternative term which is palatable. Tuhan is clearly not appropriate to refer to Allmighty God. Besides, since Malay bibles are imported from Indonesia, this will lead to further problems. If Allah is disallowed for use in Christian publications, then the import of Malay bibles from Indonesia may face the possibility of being halted. With no one printing Malay bibles in Malaysia, how then are the Christians supposed to get their bibles? This is equivalent to denying the Christians their Quran Holy Book.

        Unfortunately the path that we are following right now, eventually someone will end up a loser. And since this is an issue concerning religion which is sensitive, it is dangerous to have any loser parties.

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  5. anas says:

    “Offer the Christians to use an alternative term which is palatable. Tuhan is clearly not appropriate to refer to Allmighty God”

    The English had been using God and god in their bible for many centuries . God refer to the Almighty God while gods can refer to the lesser god. I believe it would not do much harm if the verse directly translated to Tuhan for God and tuhan for god.

    e.g Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

    “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD!” (Deut. 6:4)

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  6. syamsul says:

    indeed a good analitical view…

    i agreed with you..

    why so despreate to use the word ALLAH?

    Does not your follower dont understand GOD = TUHAN??

    Does the VATICAN agreed on this??

    Why need to create uneasiness among Malaysian? Certain issues we try not to argue one of them is religion of others so why Catholic Church and HERALD do it? Do they think they are in Israel?? Dont you check history in Malaysia where dont play down with ISLAM because you will find that whole MUSLIM will start rising to PROTEST!!

    I think the WHOLE MALAYSIAN CRISTIAN should stand out and call for VATICAN to come out with their STANDING in this ISSUE!!

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Thank you for your comment Shamsul. The Vatican will be guarded in its response and its support if it dares to support this campaign by the Malaysian Catholic Church over the use of the word Allah because it will mean the pope will have to declare his hand. If he does it will be the Vatican a sovereign state encouraging dissent and rebellion and promoting religious strife in another country and interfering in their internal affairs. It won’t hopefully go that far.

      The evidence tells us this is nothing more than a provocation by the church whose head, Ratzinger the Pope, recently referred to Islam as evil.

      GKR

      Like

  7. GRK,

    Very well articulated, especially the Vatican angle. Protestantism emerged because of subject matters like this. That is when the majority in this type of action by the Church, decide to breakaway.

    Interestingly the Church in China has Bishops but are not recognised by the Vatican. A very lengthy link is here http://www.usccb.net/church-updates/UnderstandingRCCinChina.pdf. The point I am trying to make is that one’s religious practise must be in tandem with the social and political environment he resides.

    What I firmly believe is that the Church here is being pulled by its nose by POLITICIANS with not so hidden agendas. The faithful will always follow and trusts whatever the Archbishop decides. In this case, the Vatican may or not be aware (I believe it must be aware) of the situation but will intercede when the situation becomes untenable. Either way, being silent or ignorant of the matter does not show a sincere reconciliatory attitude with Muslim brotherhood, which it promulgates.

    As always and not only restricted to this case, it becomes extremely dangerous when POLITICIANS are behind actions that solely benefit their agendas and not for its true intention. More so when the action has religious ramifications.

    The action is truly frivolous. I do not understand how the judgement could have passed without any qualification by the learned Judge. Which means to say, citing the Constituition she had no choice but that the party to the action could easily avoid any distress and grievance by just using the word ‘Tuhan’ in the Herald.

    Thank you
    Freddie

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Thank you for embellishing the article with your comments. It actually adorns the inconvenient truths we believe the article carries and attempts to convey to its readership.

      There is much more to come. We did not want to pursue the “Politician invovement” angle at first. But we have sufficient evidence to show that the DAP and members of Keadilan and lawyers from within the Malaysia Bar (suporters of the opposition) and at least one from Singapore had an agenda to push behind the scenes.

      We oughted Raja Petra Kamaruddin when he joined forgers of that mysterious letter over Teoh Beng Hocks death. The police were about to swoop in on him when a leak warned him to do a runner.

      We simply did not want to let this opportunity go when once more watchful and disgruntled insiders fed us with information when power struggles begain to silently emerge giving this whole issue a new life of its own outside what was oriingally intended.

      It is a Keadilan and DAP driven affair. We are unequivocal in our assertions in this regard

      Gopal Raj Kumar

      Thank you for your comments and your insights.

      Like

  8. GRK,
    The first para should read thus and not as earlier commented.
    “Very well articulated, especially the Vatican angle. Protestantism emerged because of subject matters like this. That is, when the majority who disagree in this type of action by the Church, decide to breakaway.”

    Thank you
    Freddie

    Like

  9. Perhaps after reading this you will understand how East Malaysians feel about the issue. And if you never heard of any Christian using the word Allah to refer their God, well come to visit Sabah or Sarawak to see/hear for yourself.

    Why is your Allah not my Allah?

    http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/121232

    Like

  10. Non_Partisan says:

    Having perused the main article and comments that follow, I conclude that this is merely political play.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      could well be. in every respect it could well be a poltical play.

      question. What party would God belong to if he came down to earth?

      GRK

      Like

  11. arthansa says:

    A very good article. Now these people is questioning the usage of Allah in state anthem like johor and selangor.

    Like

  12. Are You Gonna Go My Way says:

    After participating in this debate about ALLAH and watching each party put forward arguments whether pro or against and whether from non muslim or muslim I come to a conclusion that freedom of speech and total democracy won’t work when it comes to sensitive issues like religion.
    Religion is about faith and not logic. Law is about fact. We simply cannot use fact and logic to determine faith.

    We attain faith only after we get to know God. People get to know god and have faith through all kind of experiences and processes during their lifetime. Your experience before having faith with your god and my experience with my god are not the same. It could well be the same god but you look at it from your angle and I from my angle. Same god, different faith.

    Like what I’ve just said, no amount of argument and court procedure can determine faith. That’s why KDN have the power to determine the action to be taken for sensitive issues such as this. Ban, Banishment, ISA whatever it takes.

    Having been with KDN for few years and having seen most sensitive file there, I’m not afraid to say that I support ISA.

    Like

  13. Non_Partisan says:

    Why would “God” need a party? Why would “God” want to align with or belong to any man-made party?

    Then again, what would I know. I do not believe in a god or supreme being, neither do I believe in “Creationism”.

    Like

  14. SmallPrawn says:

    Dear Sir,
    A well written article I should say, although what started as a thought provoking article from one side of the coin turned more into a Catholic Church (read vatican) bashing.
    Perhaps its good if you can research into the various issues which the Church here in Malaysia has put up with all these years then maybe what you said about tolerance being a two-way street will ring much clearer.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Thank you for your comment. Although I am somewhat perplexed by your remark “…..a Catholic Church (Vatican) bashing.”..
      The article and the comments attached to it are in context. You cannot have the Catholic Church without the Vatican. They are inseparable especially in circumstances such as this. If you keep an open mind about whats written here, the timing and the tone of the issues raised by the Herald’s pursuit of its use of the word “Allah” and the context in which it has been raised, then you may well come to a conclusion which is rather different. You may well conclude (like many of our readers) that the Church has been on a Muslim bashing exercise like the Bush’s and Blair’s of this world.

      GRK

      Like

  15. remo says:

    Mr.Gopal,

    I tink this discussion is useles.U noe y?God is one.He is known in different names in different religion.Tatz all.If somebody says god,it means they are referring to Allah,Jesus,Lord Shiva and all god we pray.So,whenever we want to refer to a god specifically,we must refer them with their name only like what Kristian people had did.It is same as we refer u as Mr.Gopal rather than human.u gt my point.And strictly,if anybody uses god’s name just to make funny out of him or just for fun,they deserved to b punished.thatz all….

    Like

  16. GRK,

    It has now come to this. Was it unexpected? Not in the very least.

    While I firmly believe that the perpetrators of these dastardly acts are not representative of the majority of my Muslim brothers, in the end it was seen coming. By me at least.

    Let those unseen hands now ponder at their folly. But they won’t, for this was what was intended. Archbishop Packiam and Father Lawrence, you ponder your actions. This is the end that is justifying your means.

    I will not stoop to intimidation of any kind but all this could have been avoided.

    GRK, my prayers are that matters do not escalate further and for my church drop this ridiculous and reckless endeavour.

    Peace be with you
    Freddie

    Like

  17. SmallPrawn says:

    GRK,

    I believe all this hoopla came about when the government wanted to revoke Herald’s publishing permit because of the use of the word “Allah”. Thus it is not as if the church brought this issue up at a specific time of their fancy.
    Of course if we are to dwell upon the what-ifs and maybes, then you can as you have done, associate Muslim bashing around the world to this issue of fighting for the rights of our Malay speaking brothers and sisters in Malaysia.
    The main gist of the issue is to allow our above mentioned brethen their right to continue using “Allah” as part of their daily spiritual life. All their bibles, hymns, prayers and liturgical services are conducted in Malay and it has been so for ages. Banning of the word does not only affect Herald in its publication, it affects all the other Christian publications which are in the Malay language. (eg. bibles, hymn books, prayers, and etc.)
    So now, what about being sensitive to their needs, what about their rights? If they had a different word for “Allah” all the way back then and suddenly we want to change it now then my Muslim brothers and sisters have the right to be angry.
    Maybe we should not make the assumption that it is a much bigger conspiracy than what it really is. If we are to do that, I’m sure there could be assumptions along the same vein for the other side of the coin. Why only now this rejection in the usage of the word?
    Although this word do not directly affect me in particular , sadly the consequences, reactions and repercussions to this issue does. Having said that, I for one would like someone to stand up for me like how the church is doing for our BM speaking brothers and sisters. Therefore to that end my prayers are with them.

    Like

    • SmallPrawn,

      Scenario 1, The Home Ministry issues a show cause letter, vis a vis the use of Allah, to the Herald.

      Did the publisher reply, discuss and propose an amicable compromised solution acceptable to all parties?.

      Scenario 2,Home Ministry is adamant and insists irrevocably.

      Had the publisher exhausted all other channels of appeal?

      Scenario 3, Publisher ignores show cause letter from Home Ministry

      Does the Home Ministry have any other choice?

      Scenario 4, Publisher agrees not to use Allah and use Tuhan for Peninsular issues but retain the Allah for the East Malaysia issues.

      Would the Ministry reject the proposal?

      In all scenarios how did the matter result in a court action, and with it, the wide publicity that ensued?

      The point is that there could have always been means, alternatives and avenues the publisher could have taken to resolve the matter. With foresight and seeing the sensitive nature of the matter (now proven), the publishers could have taken it on the chin and comply. After all, the issue was solely for the Herald and not all other publication as you suggest.

      Choose a scenario and make an interpretation consequent to present circumstances.

      Thank you
      Freddie

      Like

  18. Kevin says:

    Christians should just stick with using Tuhan, or if the term isn’t sufficiently deified, TUHAN. Isn’t the word for the Christian god, God? I believe this is the case for the European languages (Dios, Dieu, Gott), which was where Christianity spread to the world. Why use Allah? If it has been used for years then it is time to provide a more accurate translation given the local context. Do the supporters of using Allah for God also want the first of our rukun negara to read “Kepercayaan kepada Allah”? I certainly don’t. I always appreciated the fact that it was Tuhan not Allah, which spoke about the freedom of religion that the constitution guarantees.

    There are so many more important issues right now like crime, education. Meanwhile in their religious fervour a small segment of society can’t bring themselves to use the proper word as understood by most Malaysians.

    Like

  19. SmallPrawn says:

    Freddie,

    “After all, the issue was solely for the Herald and not all other publication as you suggest.”

    So you mean to say the ban is only for Herald? Thus it is wrong for the Herald to print and use it but then it is ok for our brothers and sisters to continue using this word in their prayer books, hymnals and mass? Isn’t that contradictory to the core of the argument that Allah is only to be used by the Muslims?
    Well, if what you say is true then I agree with you that your given scenario could have been a better way to go but frankly I don’t really see the possibility that they would ban just Herald from using it based on the reason that they’re giving.

    Cheers;

    Like

    • SmallPrawn,

      “So you mean to say the ban is only for Herald?”

      That is the facts of this case http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/political-news/1018-new-developments-allah-dispute-pushed-to-may-28.html

      ” Isn’t that contradictory to the core of the argument that Allah is only to be used by the Muslims?”

      This is another issue altogether. If the Herald issue had been resolved, then this issue would be moot. There is no contradiction. What is common knowledge is that the usage of Allah in East Malaysia has been a long standing practise. So lets not confuse and complicate matters as the issue had always been with the Herald.

      ” frankly I don’t really see the possibility that they would ban just Herald from using it based on the reason that they’re giving. ”

      What was the reason and who is giving? Whatever the reason, Scenario 2 applies.

      Everything can be resolved and it is always one step at a time. Is not patience a virtue?

      I have this policy in life, whatever happens in the past is already past BUT we can do everything we possibly can to salvage any given situation, for the betterment of our future.

      In our diverse multi racial and religious country, understanding and tolerance had always been the cornerstone of our unity. Many issues had been resolved through civil discourse.

      Sensitivities of our neighbours had always been our prime concern, whatever colour or creed.

      Thanks for the Cheers
      Freddie

      Like

      • grkumar says:

        We will respond to the overwhelming, the avalanche of letters we have received shortly. We are unable to repsond to each of thes letters individually.

        Much of these letters to us we must sadly add have been peppered with generous lashings of invectives. All from Good Catholics at that too.

        The issue here as argued by the Herald and decided by the High Court was one of religious freedoms under the Constitution. That is the question at issue in this matter and the core of the debate about the use of the word Allah by the Catholic Herald.

        There seems to be a misunderstanding of what religious freedoms are available under the Constitution and why the use of the word “Allah” by the Catholic Herald does not fit into the meaning of ‘religious freedoms under those provisions of the Constitution that protects religious freedoms.

        Keep watching.

        GRK

        Like

  20. Take it on the chin and COMPLY?????

    My goodness.

    What if tomorrow the Government comes and say that Indians can’t wear Sarees during deepavali because it will confuse the Muslims?

    Or that Chinese can’t wear red during Chinese new year. Or that red packets of Ang Pow are too similar to Duit Raya and the practice needs to be stoped before the Malays become confused.

    There is a line that must be drawn so that the Government can’t go around dividing people.

    We’re fighting for the right to use a word? What other country you know has this stupidity. And you’re basically asking us to take it on the chin.

    Condemn the firebombs, these are the guys that are causing the problems.

    The Government is causing the problems, it is stirring up religous sentiment. It wasn’t an issue until recently, and prevent further problems to a publication that is for Catholics we had to act.

    There is no alternative…..the gazette would have been used to ban Christian Bibles and who knows what else.

    How can people stand idly by and watch a government slowly erode the rights of a minority.

    “Take it on the chin”???? you make me sick.

    Like

    • Keith Rozario,

      I take it that you have read ALL the commentary between SmallPrawn and me. This being the case, then you have not grasped the gist of my position.

      While my first comment by which you have taken offence, did not have an elaboration, the follow up reply to SmallPrawn explains my position ie CIVIL DISCOURSE.

      The examples that you provide by, while being hypothetical, is far fetched in its analogy and is typical of phobia thinking that is pervasive among those of your ilk.

      See, now you bring up a racial issue, albeit as an example, to a matter of freedom of expression of a publication (which had religious ramifications) and in the process agitate your own good self.

      As elucidated to SmallPrawn, lets not tie one issue to another. Take everything one step at a time.

      As far as the bombings are concerned, I have also condemned these actions at other blogsites.

      I may hasten to add that the action of our Church have embroiled other Chriistian faiths. One which experienced the worst damage. Need I elaborate here?

      For your kind information and coincidentally, I had a very frank and open discussion with a prominent blogger from Sabah (from the PKR) who is actively defending religous freedom over there. The discussion and explanation of my position did not elicit a response as emotional or acidic as yours.

      On the contrary, the discussion was very open and opinions were respected both ways.

      Thank you
      Freddie

      Like

    • grkumar says:

      Keith Rosario
      Your views on this isue are combative and highly emotional. “What if the government made sarees illegal and red packets etc etc….”, well then there would be a fight over it I suppose and for it to be resolved, cool heads must prevail. But that alone will not guarantee any favourable outcome in a place such as Malaysia is polarised and divided along religious and race lines.

      Your analogies are somewhat outlandish. These are two religions which have their genesis in the old semetic religion and theology of Judaism. There is no analogy therefore in your examples. But you may ponder such “left of field” propositions as it is your right.

      “Take it on the chin?” no just don’t scream too loud over a self inflicted wound. It does no one any good.

      Read the critique of Bee Lian Lau J’s decision in this matter first and inform yourself of what the real issues are.

      There is too often a mistaken belief that the Constituion of Malaysia is and provides for the same rights and obligations as the Westminster constitution provides for Britons and other Anglo Celtic settled peoples the world over. What we inherited in Malaysia was the framework minus some critical tiools to go with it (like proper definitions).

      To alter it, you require better trained judges. That can only come about with better trained lawyers eexposed to as wide a range of competition in the field as is possible. Thats not present to the closed shop in Malaysia and its lawyers as a result are an embarassment to the country and to the profession.

      In concluding I commen you the article here Bee Lian Lau- What was she thinking.

      It deals with the constitution and the provisions of the constitution relevant to this issue which she appears to have misread, misinterpreted or simply misunderstood. Or more honestly put, could have simply not understood the issues well enough.

      Regards

      Gopal Raj Kumar

      Like

      • Keith says:

        The analogy is spot on, if the government can stop you from using a word, there’s little else it can’t stop you from doing.

        The reply is acidic, because you choose to stand idly by and watch our rights erode.

        Ours is not the British systems or the Americans, but the last time I checked the constitution guaranteed my right to use the word.

        If Sabahans and Sarawakians have been using it for centuries and even before the inception of Malaysia, that suggest that this is the status quo and not some insult (as you imply).

        Tolerance is not stupidity, but submission to this trampling of my rights….. is stupid.

        Indonesians don’t seem to take offence with Christians in Indonesia calling Allah, neither did the Muslims of Sabah and Sarawak.

        I don’t understand where you’re coming from in suggessting that our existence is dependant on Malay-Muslim generosity? How about the existence of Christianity in Sabah and Sarawak, is that also a result of Malay-Muslim generosity? If the Indigenous people of the land choose Christianity, what can the Malay-Muslim do?

        We survive because we thrive in our Diversity, a diversity that requires effort to maintain. It’s not easy being peaceful. BUt the Malaysian PEOPLE have maintained it for years, with help from our government (of old).

        Those efforts are undermined by the Government that seeks to replace the status quo with it’s own intrepetation. Remember, the status quo is that Catholics WERED using the word Allah.

        So if my reply was acidic, then yes it was because it’s just so stupid that people like you believe we can submit so much of our freedom to the ilk that is UMNO.

        Like

  21. Ramli mohd yunus says:

    Mr Gopal,

    I admire your well written and intelectual articles.

    May God Bless Us.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Mohd. Yunnus

      Not many people amongst Malaysia’s Catholic community it appears would agree with you.

      I am however quite content to accept your compliments as a reflection of your tolerance and your acceptance or rejection of the points raised here.

      Either ways you do yourself credit.

      Gopal Raj Kumar

      Like

  22. awangselamat says:

    singh peoples are more insulting……(from google)…..

    “I observe neither Hindu fasting nor the ritual of the Muslim Ramadan month; Him I serve who at the last shall save. The Lord of universe of the Hindus, Gosain and Allah to me are one; From Hindus and Muslims have I broken free. I perform neither Kaaba pilgrimage nor at bathing spots worship; One sole Lord I serve, and no other. I perform neither the Hindu worship nor the Muslim prayer; To the Sole Formless Lord in my heart I bow. We neither are Hindus nor Muslims; Our body and life belong to the One Supreme Being who alone is both Ram and Allah for us.”

    -Guru Arjan, Guru Granth Sahib, Raga Bhairon page 1136

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      We have all a right to expres ourselves. But above our private rights come the rights of the nation which is why the constitution determines where our rights stop and the rights of others begin.

      Sikhs believe they are from the land of the pure. Christians like Catholics believe that unless you are baptised you cannot go to heaven and so on and so forth. These are matters and difference to which are best kept to ones person and not to inflame public sentiment where the public is as diverse and sensitive as those in Malaysia.

      Gopal Raj Kumar

      Like

  23. Yang Farina says:

    Dear Mr Gopal Raj Kumar,

    Thank you very much for a well thought out article. I too agree that if the Catholics want to show how good a neighbour they are then please retract the usage of Allah.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Nina
      there may not be that Chemistry (only joking) to initiate such Christian goodwill at present. The Catholic Herald and the Archdiocease of Kuala Lumpur have walked into a trap of their own making and if their vanity can be supressed in their pyrrich victory it may happen. I pray it will. I pray that their ‘holy spirit’ will guide them into making a magnanamous gesture in putting forth the hand of friendship and admitting to perhaps overreaching thesmselves in their crusade.

      In so doing there may be another 200 years of Muslim Christian ,utuality and respect devoid of the anti Arabism and anti Islamic propaganda thats poisned otherwise good cordial relations.

      Gopal Raj Kumar

      Like

  24. Yang Farina says:

    Yes Gopal Raj Kumar,

    To me it is more important to maintain harmony and friendship in Malaysia, Malaysia style. We do not need anyone to tell us how to live our lives since we have been doing it well for the last 52 years. Thank you for your friendship.

    Like

  25. Omar Michael says:

    Hi Gopal,

    If I was a believer in God, I’d be praising Him at this very moment for blessing you with such stellar literary and analytical skills.

    I may disagree with the conclusion you have come to, but I concede that the path you have taken to reach it is perhaps the most articulate and well thought out I have stumbled upon yet.

    So why do I disagree? Maybe I am an idealist. Maybe my head is stuck up in the clouds – but my support for the universal usage of the term “Allah (regardless of what faith you belong to) stems from an undiluted passion for human rights.

    When I strip away all the theological, political, linguistic and historical arguments tailing this issue, what I see is a group of people wanting the right to continue using a term they have been accustomed to since they were old enough to recall their first memory in church.

    I’m not talking about Christian leaders or gatekeepers. I’m not talking about opportunistic evangelists or politicians.

    I’m talking about the everyday Christian person on the street who yearns for the freedom to use whatever terms they choose behind closed doors in a land that already, in some ways, treats them as second-class citizens.

    Why should they be denied of this?

    In your about section, you state that you “identify only with the human race”.

    If this is truly the case – which I believe it is – then I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from when I say a return to core values like respect, tolerance and trust is perhaps the only way to make every party involved reach a satisfying conclusion to this issue.

    The Muslims should trust and respect the Christians enough to believe that they are NOT using “Allah” as a method of confusing their more gullible brethren.

    The Christians in turn should respectfully reach out to the Muslims and assure them that they are indeed committed to transparency and the adherence of the boundaries both parties have previously agreed on (i.e. no direct preaching to Muslims, etc.).

    This will no doubt be challenging. By the very nature of their religions alone, Muslims are hardwired to be protective of their intellectual and physical territories, while Christians have a lifelong dedication to spreading the word…

    Yet it seems necessary to me that these theological road bumps be cast aside at least for a while in the name of human rights.

    In other words, I suppose I’m saying that the Muslims need to back down, and the Christians need to accept their victory with a very prominent display of grace and goodwill.

    Easier said than done, but as I said – I’m an idealist.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Why do you feel yo are a second class citizen in Malaysia? is it because of the NEP? there are many many pursuits in life which do not require government hand outs or approval. It is incumbent on eaach of us to pursue the best options for ourselves to our own abilities.

      In India they have the OBC (Other Backward Castes) privileges like the NEP. In the UK, Britain and in Australia they have whats known as positive discrimination (simply meaning that the whites continue to be the BUmi Putera’s there but through their women this time). In Singaopre as in China or Taiwan the Chinese comes first. In exceptional cases an Indian or Malay is appointed. But as in Singapore it is national policy and enshrined in statements by Lee Kuan Yew that an Indian will never be prime minister of that state. Nuff said.

      Wherever we land, we should make the best of what is available to us and not expect any favours from anyone. Because it something is given to us, it is a favour. Thats why it is called a favour and not a right.

      Our parents generation and that of our grandparents bargained and approved the constitution. It was not imposed on anyone. If we failed to exerrcise our rights at independence we cannot blame anyone else for that failure.

      Forgive and be charitable. You will find greater relief in that than you will in being a combatant n an unwinnable war over God.

      Amen

      Gopal Raj Kumar

      Like

  26. Omar Michael says:

    Gopal,

    I find it interesting that you chose to pick on that particular “second-class” statement.

    But after reading your response, I must ask with all due respect:

    Do you actually LIVE in Malaysia?

    While it may be true that there are many pursuits that do not require the meddling of the government, there are also countless inescapable aspects of life that constantly remind us of the ongoing racial inequality.

    Have you tried buying a house in Malaysia, only to see your Malay neighbour getting it for 5 percent cheaper than you?

    Have you tried to put money in the government’s investment vehicles, only to be told the allocations for your race have ran out?

    Have you ever had no option but to prematurely send your teenage child into the workforce, because you can’t afford a private education for him or her?

    Have you ever experienced the racism of the police force? (I am Malay, and upon being stopped by police I have been released because on that day they were “only catching Chinese people”)

    If property purchasing, investment, education, and even our public institutions are unable to practice equality, how are non-Malays NOT supposed to feel like second-class citizens?

    Your comparison of the Malaysian situation to other countries is moot. We do not need to look elsewhere to know that what’s going on HERE is not right.

    You tell me to forgive and be charitable. Well I do want to be charitable. As I said earlier, I am Malay – and I would give up all my special rights in a heartbeat to ensure equality for all my Malaysian brothers and sisters.

    Your adherence to the status quo worries me my friend. I do hope you come to realize that change, and the modification or even deconstruction of old institutions can sometimes be a good thing.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Omar I will try to answer each of your questions as well as I possibly can without offending you.

      I do not live in Malaysia. I was not in Viet Nam in the 1960’s yet I do know there was a bitter war that was fought there. I have not died yet but I am able to on scientific evidence understand it is not something I am ready or prepared to experience yet (not of my own hand at least). Whats the point you make here?

      As to being reminded of racial inequity it happens everywhere including in a place like India (the cradle of civilization) where Indians (like me) have no place regardless of our merit and we are reminded each day of it.

      I chose not to live there as I did make a choice (regrettably in some respects) not to live in Malaysia some 20 odd years ago. I am reminded of my lesser being status in Australia like my relatives in the US and in the UK each day. It is a fact of life. But you live better and have better opportunities if you look hard enough in Malaysia.

      The Chinese of Singapore and their leaders have outcast the original inhabitants of that place as they have the Indians. Yes they will argue Malays have better economic standtards in Singapore. So to does my neighbours poodle eat and live better than millions of Chinese, Africans and Indians. And its a mere dog!!!

      In Fiji the Indians have assisted the colonial power Australia to do the same thing to indigenous Fijians in their own country. The list goes on.

      Next point? No. but I have observed a relative trying to get her child into medical college in India only to be told to pay US$100K in advance.

      She eventually won a scholarship to study the same thing at John Hopkins university USA. All for free.

      Another had to go to India to study medcine because the university had to cover its costs by admitting rich Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese students in their private placement quotas. In another the course was “full”.

      It is only when someone makes an issue of it and the papers think it worth writing about, you get to hear of it. Otherwise it goes unnoticed.

      Try Singapore if you are Indian or Malay. They have a silent policy of the same sort based not on development of underdeveloped Chinese but on their belief in their racial superiority. That policy applies to the public service and jobs as well.

      On Housing: I have observed many Chinese obtain houses on discount in Malaysia (clients of mine) so that it would appear there is demand sending others scurrying to buy into the development. The Towkay then hikes the price to recover the concession he gave his Chinese clan.

      So its not unusual. If a Malay gets a five percent discount, the goverrnment is underwriting development, the Chinese man milking it and the Indian being shut out by Samy Velu who we kept in power by not doing anything for decades.

      With respect to my children yes I have had to do that because by the time we arrived in Australia free eudcation was out of the question and I was gainfully unemployed. I washed cars with my children, was the garbage man at McDonalds whilst they were humbled by that fact having to work inside the place.

      I have also lived in a train rail car in the sidings whilst I had no home. Its all taught me something. Never complain. No one is listening. Do something for yourself and you will be thankful to yourself.

      I will not indulge you with more of whats really whinging even if you are Malay. In fact especially because you are Malay.

      I keep hearing of this Chinese girl who got 9 distinctions (in one version) in her SPM, but was failed in Bahasa purposely. Well well. Who is she and where does she live?

      The other version is that she was denied a place at a Malaysian university. Please give me her details. I assure you she will be admitted complete with a scholarship if she can be found.

      Cheers

      Gopal Raj Kumar

      Like

  27. Omar Michael says:

    Hi Gopal,

    Bear in mind that I too do not wish to offend you, so I hope you will take my points as nothing more than ammunition for our discussion.

    Firstly, why do I ask if you live in Malaysia, and why is it relevant?

    Let me put it this way – you did not have to be in Vietnam in the 60’s to know there was a war. You do not have to die to know it’s not something you want for yourself.

    But – if you were a Nam veteran, or if you had died and come back to life, any claims you had on these subjects would be a whole lot more credible as opposed to someone who is outside and looking in.

    But let’s not dwell on the subject of credibility for too long.

    I am young. 26 years old, to be exact. Perhaps I am young enough to be your son.

    And so I speak from the perspective of Malaysia’s globalized new blood.

    We may live in Malaysia, but in all other aspects we are citizens of the world.

    We use universal truths as yardsticks, as opposed to politics and at-times misguided political correctness.

    We are mindful of our country’s history, but we refuse to be crippled by its mistakes and imperfections.

    We are inspired more by how things should be, as opposed to how things are.

    And in the case of Malaysia, the way things are, are far from where they should be.

    Your rhetoric centers around being grateful, and not complaining for the lot we are given.

    But please – do not mistakenly label a vision for improvement as a lack of gratitude.

    Any sane Chinese, Malay or Indian person in Malaysia will tell you they are infinitely grateful for the opportunities they’ve been presented with, and the relatively comfortable standard of living they are accustomed to.

    What a non-Malay can NEVER be grateful for, however, is the fact that he or she pays the exact same amount of government tax, but receives less rewards and safety nets for doing so.

    We have the NEP as one of the main catalysts to thank for that. But has the NEP helped anyone? Has it even helped the Malays?

    I don’t need to pull out any statistics for the clear answer to that question.

    Across the globe, the issue of minorities remains an incredible challenge – sometimes in unexpected ways.

    In America, for example, it’s normal for some irresponsible African Americans to attribute all their misfortunes to their race.

    “Is it because I’m black?!” they would say.

    Well sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.

    But should the marginalization of black people continue, simply because a number of them choose to play the race card at inappropriate times?

    Of course not. Because no matter how ungrateful or opportunistic a minority tends to be, modern day human rights dictate that they MUST be given the exact same rights and privileges as the majority.

    The. Exact. Same. Rights. Down to a tee.

    And really, what makes Malaysia any different? Why must our minorities stay silent as they are allowed to enjoy a mere 90% of the privileges conferred by a Malaysian citizenship, as opposed to 100%?

    We must move away from divisive policies. It is the only solution to a level of peace and a sense of belonging that goes beyond the surface level.

    Like

  28. GRK and Omar Michael,

    What strikes me most is the manner in which the comments and replies have been rendered. The exchanges have been both civil and intelligent.

    Your comments En Omar, are thought provoking. I commend you (if you are indeed a Malay, no offence) to be willing, to give up your rights for the benefit or in the interests, of the non-Malays like me.

    Allow me to give my life experience, to complement the replies GRK has given, in respect to your queries and comments, on equal rights for the other races.

    I have 5 other siblings and Dad was just a clerical officer in the Health Ministry. While my brothers and sisters are doing fine, we were not able to fulfil our parents dream (as with all parents) to reach the higher academic level of college or university. But it was not wont of any policy or obstacles to our rights. Our results were not up to the par to qualify.

    I have no doubt that if we had good academic results to get to college or university, my parents would have ensured that we got there. My mom especially. God bless their souls.

    I am just a form 5 GCE O level. Yet, we still have good jobs and because we work hard to be where we are.This is not to say that we do not have hardship. But who doesn’t? And when we did, we did not go around blaming all and sundry, we blamed ourselves.

    Pertinently in life and at the end of the day, it is we ourselves who determine our destiny and future, to be in hardship or ease.

    My point is, despite the lack of a higher education, we are able to raise families (4 married siblings) and enjoy the comfort and luxuries the country has given. This shows that opportunities are there for everyone.

    Well, you may say that it could be better. I may agree with you. Then again I could say that it is hypothetical. And then we will agree to disagree. But the arguments will continue unabated because it is a matter of different opinion. Opinions are just like durians. If you love durians, they are the best fruit in the world. If you abhor it, no matter what amount of convincing, you will still dislike it. At least you can still buy durians in our country.

    Maybe it is the upbringing we had. We are thankful to god for what we have. Also, should we not, be thankful for and to the country where we live (and die) for what we have?

    It may be simplistic for me to say so but there is no need to blame this or that (the NEP for example) for any hardship or missed opportunity, on the system.

    That being said, the recent GE 2008 has allowed us to observe and measure the manner, ability and capability of an opposition coalition to run a government, albeit on a state level. That says much for our country’s political freedom, that the opposition is able to wrest 5 states from the ruling party.

    I am digressing but coming to the point, our country is relatively young as compared to the matured(?) democracies of the western (not to mention some in the eastern) world. In the ideal world that you are desirous, the country will evolve no doubt, politically and socially, in this direction. It will take time but it will still be imperfect. There will never be a perfect world.

    In the meantime,the government will take leave of present events cognizant this subject matter and take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

    Herein lies a dilemma, for BOTH liberal ( if I may) Malays like your good self and the conservative Malays, it is a divided stance of opinion. However, to both school of thought it IS a sensitve issue, as has been patently expressed.

    But the die has been cast by the Herald.

    Thank you
    Freddie

    PS

    Keith Rozario, please count your blessings. In the words of my late mother, we should be thankful for little mercies.

    Regards
    Freddie

    Like

  29. orangair says:

    The whole country is now consumed of this controversial issue. An average man on the street like me is not much bothered by it except that I will not stand the disgraced intent of the unseen hands the brings about this very sensitive matter to open. It can be done quietly, can it not ? So we all don’t have to know that is negotiated. Anyway it does not apply to the entire population, only in Sabah and Sarawak they say. If Herald can solemnly guarantee it that the bible they are printing will only be distributed to members of its congregation alone, so let it be and the KDN will have an additional job by it.

    To the Muslims equating Allah to another is fundamentally a no no. That is why the Muslims are angered. The “Allah” that is to be used in the bible carries an entirely different meaning in the context of Christianity God(s). If The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit can be removed from the believe, then please let’s share our God Allah. I feel that way. I don’t know about the ulama and I will not be confused. Who are the confused one now and the bigger question is why now and who ‘s play is this ? Try tell the Christ followers Isa Ibn Maryam was never crucified for sins of Mankind, how would they react ? And yes the Muslim faith is not questionably weak in that this publication will confuse them. Never. They will know any word that does not come from the Qur’an. If they are unable to know, then how can they be Muslim.

    You write good, GRK. Fair view.

    I have always believed the unseen are always at play over something like they want to erase everything good about this country. This ungreatful (if are qualified to be called) citizens.

    My wish is that we can have this country like when we were poor in the 60’s and 70’s and working hard. Wealth and comfort have irreversibily clouded our brains that we cannot any longer listen to logic.

    Bring this to a discussion my friend.

    The majority here only wants to hear a promise yeah the government will look after our interest. Just a promise ! That’s enough. This will give them comfort and prevent them from taking their might to the streets. But if the provocations keep coming to them, what are the chance that they will stay cool.

    A large percentage of the majority never actually benefit from the government policy like made to be believed by many and the majority know it too. So we pray hard that Muslim majority keep going to their moques and continue to have patience over whatever alleged on them. If we pit them and they have nowhere to turn, hah we have it. We don’t want that.

    Like

  30. Orangair

    you too write well. What touches me about your posting is the absence of hate. But like all good things in life it is never recognised by those to whom it should make a difference. “Like pearls before swine”.

    When you say you wish for a return of the days when we were poorer, I think you mean a return to days when we had less money and material goods but were in fact richer.

    Today we worship through TV the religion of everything material that comes from the west. There is no depth to anything. People in general are shallow. They go to university and get a degree but no education. They pray but not to god, they make love but do not in fact love and they say the nicest things but without meaning it.

    Our politicians need to assure the Malays that their position is secure. They need to do it now. I do not hear the voice of leadership in UMNO which is aproblem.

    We do not have one leader capable of standing up now. Mahathir is not PM anymore. Razak spent too much time in England and Hishamuddin has a few more years to go. In the end it will have to be a “no compromise” situation I believe.

    The church elders are drunk with the flawed judgement of one incompetent woman. A bit like what happened to Adam in the garden of Eden. Fr Lawrence and Bishop Pakiam like Adam were given an apple (the judgement) by Lau Bee Lian (eve) to eat.

    Time for the big man to come and send them out of the garden. Hopefully not literally.

    GRK

    Like

  31. Rizwan says:

    there are many dirty, filthy hands trying to unsettle this beautiful country.

    Like

  32. grkumar says:

    A Response to Keith Rozario’s Comments: (Mine in capitals)

    The analogy is spot on, if the government can stop you from using a word, there’s little else it can’t stop you from doing.

    THERE IS BUGGER ALL YOU OR I FOR THAT MATTER CAN STOP THE GOVERNMENT FORM DOING WHERE IT HAS THE POWER THE AUTHORITY AND THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT IT WANTS TO DO IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS CONSTITUTIONAL AND SOVEREIGN POWERS.

    THATS WHAT THE CONCEPT OF SOVEREIGNITY IS ABOUT.WHAT’S YOUR COMPLAINT? THE GOVERNMENT INTRODUCED MALAY AS THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE, MADE THE PAYMENT OF TAXES LEGAL, HANGS PEOPLE WHO ARE GUILTY AFTER TRIAL OF PEDDLING DRUGS OR COMMITING MURDER INSPITE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATION IT HAS TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE LIVES OF ITS CITIZENS AS BEING A PARAMOUNT DUTY UNDER THE CONSTITUION.

    The reply is acidic, because you choose to stand idly by and watch our rights erode.

    IT REEKS OF PUTRID IGNORANCE BUT IS NOT ACIDIC. DONT FLATTER YOURSELF.

    WHAT RIGHTS DO YOU SPEAK OF THAT HAVE BEEN ERODED? I HAVE ASKED THIS QUESTION OF DREAMERS LIKE YOU BEFORE. WHAT RIGHTS OF YOURS HAVE THEY THE GOVERNMENT ERODED? AND PLEASE POINT IT OUT TO ME IN THE CONSTITUTION WHICH IS AVAILABLE ON THE NET IF YOU CAN OR IF I HAVE LIKE MANY OTHERS MISSED IT.

    I HAVE ASKED THIS QUESTION OF TOMMY THOMAS, THE MALAYSIAN BAR AND THE NUTGRAPH AMONGST OTHER PROPONENTS OF YOUR EMOTIONALLY CHARGED BUT UNSUBSTANTIATED AND UNSUSTAINABLE CLAIMS IN THIS REGARD. AND NO ONE HAS COME FORWARD WITH ANY SUBSTANCE. THE NUT GRAPH INSTEAD CHOOSES THE CONVENIENT PATH OF CENSORING ME AND MY COMMENTS IN THIS REGARD. SO MUCH FOR THE FREE SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION THEY ADVOCATE.

    IT MAY BE TOO MUCH OF THE HOLY COMMUNION WINE THAT DRIVES YOUR ARGUMENTS.

    Ours is not the British systems or the Americans, but the last time I checked the constitution guaranteed my right to use the word.

    YOURS IS THE SAME SYSTEM AS THAT YOU INHERITED FORM THE BRITISH. YOUR IGNORNACE IN THIS RESPECT IS YOUR BURDEN TO CARRY. THE AMERICANS TOO HAVE A COMMON LAW SYSTEM ALTHOUGH THEY DIFFER IN MANY WAYS HAVING BECOME A REPUBLIC AND HAVING ESTABLISHED A BILL OF RIGHTS FOR THEMSELVES.

    AGAIN I ASK YOU TO SHOW ME WHERE IT IS THAT YOU HAVE A RIGHT AS YOU CLAIM IN THIS REPSECT IN THE SYSTEM OR CONSTITUTION THAT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN VIOLATED OR TRAMPLED AS YOU CLAIM.

    If Sabahans and Sarawakians have been using it for centuries and even before the inception of Malaysia, that suggest that this is the status quo and not some insult (as you imply).

    REALLY? WHAT STATUS QUO. FORCIBLE CONVERSION BY THE BROOKE FAMILY WHO RAN SABAH AND SARAWAK LIKE A PRIVATE FEIFDOM WITH MISSIONARIES ON THE SIDE TO JUSTIFY THEIR INHUMANE ACT OF FORCIBLE CONVERSIONS AND CONFISCATION OF LANDS? SABAH AND SARAWAK ARE MALAYSIA. THERE IS NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. AND ITS INHABITANTS BY ALL ACCOUNTS MALAYS. AND CHRISTIANITY WAS IMPOSED ON THEM BY THE WHITE RAJAHS.

    IF THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT CHRISTIANITY SPREAD THROUGH ITS PEOPLE THERE, WELL THERE IS NOTHING TO LAWFULLY STOPPING THEM DOING SO. THERE IS AMPLE PRECEDENT IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD AS TO HOW TO STOP THE PROPGATION OF FAITHS LIKE ISLAM (THEY DO NOT LIKE) AND YOU CAN READ ABOUT THAT TOO. WHATS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS ALSO GOOD FOR THE GANDER.

    OKAY SO THEY DID IT FOR CENTURIES AND THAT JUSTIFIES IT. FOR CENTURIES MALAYSIANS SPOKE ENGLISH AS THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE AND AS THE NATIONAL LANGAUAGE AND CHINESE WERE PAID WITH OPIUM BY THE BRITISH. WHY NOT QUARREL ABOUT THESE FEATURES OF HISTORY AS WELL NOW THAT THATS BEEN ABOLISHED? OPIUM IS ADDICTIVE. IN ECONOMIC TERMS IT WOULD BE BRILLIANT TO STOP WORKERS DEMANDING RIGHTS OR EXTRA PAY WOULD IT NOT?

    ON AN OTHER FRONT EXPANDING YOUR ARGUMENT, THE INDIANS BURNED THEIR BRIDES IN THE PRACTICE OF SUTEE AND PRACTICED LAWFULLY CASTEISM. WHY NOT CONTINUE WITH IT NOW? CASTEISM IS EFFICIENT FOR PRESERVING LOW COST LABOUR. ECONOMICALLY IT CAN BE JUSTIFIED. IT WENT ON FOR CENTURIES DID IT NOT?

    THE CHINESE BOUND THE FEET OF THEIR WOMEN TO STOP THEM RUNNING AWAY FROM THEIR OPPRESSIVE MARRIAGES WHY NOT RE INTRODUCE IT NOW TO PREVENT DIVORCE? A FOOLS ARGUMENT KETIH ROZARIO. A FOOLS ARGUMENT.

    DO YOU STILL WANT THE WHITE MANS RULE SO DESPERATELY THAT YOU HAVE NO DIGNITY THAT WHAT HAPPENED A HUNDRED YEARS AGO MUST IN YOUR VIEW BE REINSTATED TO SATISFY A MINORITY LIKE YOU?

    IF IT HAPPENED FOR CENTURIES THAT OF ITSELF DOES NOT JUSTIFY IT NOR MAKE IT RIGHT NOR MAKE IT WRONG FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO RECTIFY WHAT THEY THINK OUGHT NOT TO ENDURE IN WHATEVER FORM THAT WRONG MAY PRESENT ITSELF. AGAIN THATS SOVEREIGNITY. YOU CLEARLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT MUCH LIKE LIKE BROTHER PAKIAM AND BROTHER LAWRENCE DON’T.

    CATHOLIC PRIESTS HAD THE PICK OF THE CROP OF LITTLE BOYS LIKE YOUR KIDS. IT IS A PRACTICE STILL TOLERATED IN SOME CHRISTIAN COUNTRIES WHILST THE ENLIGHTENED ONES AMONGST THEM FIGHT AGAINST IT. IS THAT NOT BETTER VIEW OR A BETTER COURSE OF ACTION TO TAKE. I MEAN ACCORDING TO YOU IF IT HAPPENED FOR CENTURIES IT OUGHT TO BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE.

    DEFLOWERING A VIRGIN STILL HAPPENS AMONGST GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITIES. SO WHY NOT ALLOW THE USE OF THE WORD ALLAH BECAUSE IT WAS USED FOR CENTURIES? WERE THE CATHOLICS SO IGNORANT THEY COULD NOT CONVERT THEIR ENTIRE LITURGY INTO BAHASA? OR WAS IT BCAUSE THEY HATED AND DESPISED THE USE OF BAHASA AS THE LANGUAGE OF A LESSER PEOPLE?

    Tolerance is not stupidity, but submission to this trampling of my rights….. is stupid.

    YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT YOU CLAIM YOU HAVE. TELL ME WHAT RIGHT DO YOU ASCRIBE TO BEING YOURS FROM THE CONSTITUION AND SHOW IT TO ME PLEASE.

    Indonesians don’t seem to take offence with Christians in Indonesia calling Allah, neither did the Muslims of Sabah and Sarawak.

    THEY DON’T SEEM TO TAKE OFFENCE TO A MILITARY GENERAL ANHILATING 3,500,000 OF HIS PEOPLE HE DISAGREED WITH EITHER. HE SPARED THE CATHOLICS WHO WERE ANTI COMUNISTS AND CATHOLICS IN A MAINLY RICH CHINESE COMMUNITY IN INDONESIA. THEY BY THE DOCTRINE OF CATHOLICISM WILL GO TO HEAVEN WITH HIM AS ONLY CATHOLICS ARE ENTITLED TO. I FOR ONE WILL NOT IF THATS WHERE CATHOLICS LIKE YOU OR THOSE WHO SUPPORT THAT BUTCHER GO.

    INDONESIANS DO NOT TAKE OFFENCE TO MANY THINGS LIKE SUMMARY EXECUTIONS WITHOUT PROPER TRIALS EITHER. SO IF ITS THAT GOOD LET ME SUGGEST SOMETHING TO YOU. TAKE A TRIP TO INDONESIA AND EXPERIENCE IT AS A PORTUGUESE OR SOMEONE OF PORTUGUESE EXTRACTION. THEY MAY MISTAKE YOU FOR AN EAST TIMORESE AND MAKE A MEAL OF YOU.

    I don’t understand where you’re coming from in suggessting that our existence is dependant on Malay-Muslim generosity?

    YOU DO NOT REQUIRE HALF A BRAIN TO UNDERSTAND THIS BIT. HISTORY AND COMPARISONS WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS AND THEIR HOSTS OUGHT TO ENLIGHTEN YOU. I WON’T INDULGE YOU FURTHER. YOU OUGHT TO COME PREPARED WIT SUBSTANCE WORTH ARGUING ABOUT. A BIT LIKE THE KARPAL SINGH EPISODE IN THE TEOH BENG HOCK HEARING. WATCH IT ON THE AG’S WEBSITE. ITS A MUST FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO KNOW HOW THE LAW AND PARTICULARLY LAWYERS OUGHT NOT TO OPERATE. BUT SADLY SUCH BEHAVIOUR AND LACK OF ETIQUETTE HAS BECOME A STAPLE AMONGST MALAYSIAN LAWYERS.

    How about the existence of Christianity in Sabah and Sarawak, is that also a result of Malay-Muslim generosity? If the Indigenous people of the land choose Christianity, what can the Malay-Muslim do?

    THEY ARE MALAYS AND WERE MUSLIMS FIRST BEFORE CHRISTIANS ARRIVED. THE FACT REMAINS THAT A MUSLIM MALAY DOMINATED GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN IN CHARGE SINCE 1965. WHATS YOUR PROBLEM?

    We survive because we thrive in our Diversity, a diversity that requires effort to maintain. It’s not easy being peaceful. BUt the Malaysian PEOPLE have maintained it for years, with help from our government (of old).

    DREAM ON. THE CHINESE HAD NO PLACE TO GO TO AND AUSTRALIA OR THE UK CERTAINLY DID NOT WANT THEM EXCEPT FOR TARGET PRACTICE WHEN THEY WERE ALL REFERRED TO AS COMMUNISTS. THE INDIANS WERE COOLIES ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. MALAYSIA OFFERED AN ALTERNATIVE.

    Those efforts are undermined by the Government that seeks to replace the status quo with it’s own intrepetation. Remember, the status quo is that Catholics WERED using the word Allah.

    SCREW THE CATHOLICS. THEY ARE A MINORITY IN A DEMOCRACY AND THE WORD ALLAH IS DISTURBING OR HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DISTRUB THE PEACE AND HARMONY WITHIN THE STATE. THE GOVERNMENT HAS A CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATION TO ACT TO STOP ITS USE FOR THOSE SAME REASONS. READ THE CONSTITUTION YOU FOOL. OPEN YOUR EYES.

    So if my reply was acidic, then yes it was because it’s just so stupid that people like you believe we can submit so much of our freedom to the ilk that is UMNO.

    YOUR RESPONSE IS NOT ACIDIC. ITS PRE PUBESCENT AND IMMATURE. IT REFLECTS THE IGNORANCE THAT DRIVES YOUR ARGUMENT.

    GRK

    Like

  33. Dear GRK,

    It has been enlightening reading your blog and the comments and your replies therein.

    “SCREW THE CATHOLICS”???

    Up to this point. I wish you all the best.

    Thank you
    Freddie

    Like

    • Ahmad Alfian says:

      Dear Freddie,

      By punctuating the argument by sardonically quoting GRK’s “screwing” phrase here, you had hoped that you could escape GRK’s very factual and very blistering replies by trying to pull in empathy from readers over his supposedly “rude” remarks.

      Well let me tell you. This is the internet. Faces of anonymity rule the waves, and short of extreme rudeness like what happened with Aduka Taruna recently, people are quite free to express things the way they think apt, especially if ordinary dispositions could not convey truths to stubborn people like you irrespective of how factual the presentations are given.

      SaTD has given in his blogsite PureShiite a full rebuttal of the name of Allah case both linguistically as well as historically and one can see that the issue is wrought with errors right from the time they had written the name in the case of both the Arabic language as well as the malay language for the consumption of East Malaysians. Therefore the antics of this Rozario fella harping on an issue that is already settled remind me of a dead horse but refusing to lie down.

      One more thing. Like the bible’s “We are Legion”, I understand that GRK is not one person but perhaps a team of writers. But I do wish that all you spellcheck your articles first before putting up, because some of you are spelling bees but some are just baaaiiiiirrd spellers!🙂

      Alfie

      Like

      • Alfie

        I find GRK’s post and replies highly coherent and
        incisive.

        You assume too much.

        For your info, except for the blip, I am agreement to his reply. What is there for me to escape from? The reply is there for all and sudry.

        And, I do not need others to emphatise. Anyway, isn’t empathy, for or against, the whole point to comment.

        In direct contrast to your diatribe, GRK has been magnanimous in his response to my comment.

        He has kept my faith and has my deepest respect for that.

        Thank you
        Freddie

        Like

  34. Well Alfie thanks. And Freddie, it certainly was not something meant to be taken literally. If it were taken literally then heaven help all those who read into such things as you do. But your views are all the same welcome and help contribute to the diversity of proper debate.

    The spelling errors I admit are unforgiveable and an irritant to many. Moreover it does not add to credibility and for this we ask your forgiveness.

    We write on the run and edit our work where required in the wee small hours of the morning. Singapore in all its sinister forms does not support our blog. And neither does UMNO or PKR (Pakatan?). We do what we can with our personal and meagre resources in time. And we have no regrets at all for our gamble.

    We are likely to now ratchet up the tenor of our articles and essays published on our blog, considering the Nutgraph where we contribute freely to open debate (as they see it in their limited view) regularly have decided to invoke “Policy” as an excuse for censoring our comments.

    They tend to favour the Malaysian bar and all its allies in the opposition and will not tolerate any ocntrarian argument to the halloed names of these institutions. At least not from us.

    GRK

    Like

  35. Harry says:

    Gopal Raj Kumar,

    Excellent blog which I stumbled on to, for the very first time, today.

    Interesting issue, though I, as a protestant living in Canada, will simply stand by and observe it with mere curiosity.

    Keep up the good work.

    Harry
    http://harry.cckerala.com
    Listen to songs in various languages

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      It matters not what your religion is. But thanks for the compliment and keep coming back.
      Visit Ninitalk a great Malaysian blog and pass on the invite to friends in Canada.
      It is relevant and will be interesting for those who do not quite know much about the other Malaysia.
      A malaysia which many non Malays have long been estranged from.

      Ninitalk is the labour of love of a cultured linguist, academic and a great writer and social commentator Halimah Bte Mohammed Said.

      Gopal

      Like

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  1. […] Tan’s comment, which I’m deconstructing, was made in response to blogger Gopal Raj Kumar’s remark that Nut Graph had “decided in its infinite wisdom that the Barisan government; a government […]

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