Sunday, January 10, 2010

Don't tolerate me, Don't ask me to compromise my rights, respect my right to use the word Allah

In view of the latest on the Allah issue I feel as a Malaysian I have to voice my opinions on the issue.

The first Malaysian Malay/Latin dictionary was published in the 17th century, 1631 to be precise, which contains the meaning of the word Allah, and the use of the word in the Malay Language which now referred to as the Bahasa in Malaysia goes back to the 17th century. Why the Latin dictionary, because Latin was then the language used for Catholic Masses throughout the world.

The judgment made by Justice Lau Bee Lan, was clearly written without any ambiguity , the judgment was based on our constitutional rights and herein lies the entire issue.

You can't claim to tolerate me when I exercise my constitutional right, you have to respect the proviso of the constitution that allows me to use it. The next word that is commonly used by UMNO is compromise. The constitution reins supreme and there is no compromise on Constitutional rights too. This compromise and tolerance has allowed UMNO to bulldoze all the races and religions of this country to achieve their selfish aims.

In East Malaysia we have 900,000 Malaysians who are Christians, they have been using the word Allah for a very long time, even before joining the federation. Their Bibles mostly brought from Indonesia contained the word Allah, and just in case there is an argument over language here, the only two original words in the Bahasa are Tanah and Air, everything else is either coined or borrowed and so too the word Allah.

Allah is God in Arabic and it predates Islam, it is the same word used in all Arab speaking countries to refer to God by all religions.

Allah became an issue here because some UMNO politicians decided to make it an issue. My Muslim friends used to be overjoyed by the fact that I used to refer to God as Allah, or when I said Insya Allah (God willing), now it is a something I am forbidden to do. My classmates in London, in 1972 taught me this word they were Palestinians, Libyans, Iraqis and Egyptians, they taught me the word Insya Allah. We used to eat at a Jewish sandwich shop near the school, and they used to tell me off for eating there although they used to eat there, I later found out that they ate there because they had no choice and Jewish food was considered Halal. I had a choice so they did not want me eating there. Their eating in the Jewish shop was a compromise.

Now we are hearing the words compromise, and tolerance being flouted on all corridors of the nation, and not because it is the right thing but because some politicians know they have made a huge mistake.

Whilst this cry for tolerance and compromise go on there is intimidation, more churches are being fire bombed and our Royal Malaysian Police are having a gala time, without a single arrest. There is no will to arrest, the Prime Minister himself had given the green light to demonstrate, and they had no say in the matter.

My right to use the word Allah is something that cannot be taken away, it is a right, it is enshrined in the constitution, nowhere in the Quran does it say, that we can't use that word, this is the creation of UMNO, it is not Islamic, they have made an issue of Islam which is not Islamic. The word Allah itself predates Islam.

Don't tolerate me or for that matter do not ask me to compromise, on the contrary respect my right under the Federal Constitution to use the word Allah.

May Allah bless this nation.