UPDATE: 22nd January 2010:
Kerajaan Kelantan TIADA halangan bagi masyarakat bukan Islam negeri itu menggunakan kalimah ‘Allah’, baik dalam pertuturan maupun dalam buku-buku agama mereka. Read here for more---End of update ---
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today said that non-Muslims are allowed to use the word “Allah” in three states — Penang, Sabah and Sarawak — and the Federal Territories.
He said this is because OTHER states have enactments on Islam which PROHIBIT the use of the term by NON -Muslims.
and Visitors Coming to Malaysia
Can Use "ALLAH"
Contrary to public opinion, the Minister in charge of L aw and Parliamentary Affairs Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz thinks the court is the only way to bring an end to the “Allah” debate. Read here for more
While his Cabinet colleagues, including fellow Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, have been pushing to bring religious leaders to the table to settle the simmering stew, Nazri says it is too late for a dialogue.
“It’s too late. I’ve mentioned it many times,” Nazri said when asked his opinion on the best way to resolve dilemma, which appears to be pitting the Malaysian Muslim community against the non-Muslims.
Nazri did not reply when asked if he had read for himself the written grounds of judgment by High Court judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan which was released last week.
Instead, he noted that the judge is not a Muslim, and had ruled over a matter that concerned the “akidah” (faith) of the Muslim community.
“You must study the psyche of the Malays. The Chinese can be Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, no problem, but the Malays, the RACE itself is defined in the Constitution.
Who is a Malay? In the Constitution, a Malay is one: a Muslim; two: speaks Malay and three: practises Malay culture.
In the Constitution, there can’t be a Malay who is not a Muslim.
Anything at all, any suspicion will confuse the ordinary Malays. They become so protective because Malay and Islam cannot be separate.
In the Borneo states the people had embraced the “1 Malaysia” concept a long time ago, unlike in the west where racial lines are still very apparent.
I’m very liberal, I’m very confident, but if I try to explain to them... no way.
If everyone prays to Allah, they’ll all be Muslim. It’s a good ploy for Muslims to convert non-Muslims . "
(Adapted from Peoples' Parliament blog)
Foot-in-mouth minister Nazri Resign
Excerpts: Read here for more
Political analyst and constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari argued that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri must resign if he chooses to express a different stance from that of the government on the contentious issue.
Abdul Aziz was referring to Nazri's announcement last Friday, that Christians in Sabah and Sarawak could use the term 'Allah', but that the practice would not be extended to those in the peninsula.
Abdul Aziz said that under the concept of collective responsibility, a minister must remain silent even if he or she does not agree with decisions made by the cabinet. Those who wish to differ will have to resign.
Deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin had said in London last week that the government will abide by the ruling.
Abdul Aziz said,
“From the constitutional point of view, Nazri may just be making clear the government's stand or policy. However, this has no legal effect as the matter now stands before the Court of AppealNazri, however, is not the only minister to have contradicted the official stand on the issue.
Nazri (left) has no power to vary the law as laid down by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. It is quite absurd. One cannot see how his formula can be applied, more so when Nazri does not have (jurisdiction to intervene).”
Neither the palace nor the government has the right to interfere with the judiciary.
The government has been named as a respondent in the dispute over the use of 'Allah'. By extension, Nazri is a member of the government."
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had initially indicated that it was all right for Muslim groups to protest the 'Allah' ruling.
Following the police chief's clarification against demonstrations, Hishammuddin 'clarified' his remark.