RPK has lamented on this, which I detected in one post of his where a visitor challenged him on issues he had actually explained comprehensively in that post, wakakaka.
I too suffered front the same experience. In my posts Now, who are the Arab wannabes? and The Church & Allah I wonder at Malaysian educational standards and/or the lack of reading (and comprehension) skills of my visitors, including those who read my posts published by Malaysia-Today, when they sermonized to me (wakakaka, excuse the unintended pun) about the etymology and history (during Dutch colonial Indonesia) and the Court's ruling in the use of the word Allah, without reading that I had actually written, as follows (extracting from the two posts mentioned):
Given the experts’ etymological and historical clarifications on the Allah word, I am in no doubt that Father Lawrence Andrew is on strong legal grounds to use it ... and indeed we know that the court has supported his stand. […]
Legally, High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan had ruled as unconstitutional the Malaysian government’s ban of the use of Allah as the Bahasa equivalent of the word God in the Catholic Herald. […]
I'm afraid on a personal basis, kaytee isn't all that supportive of the Church’s insistence on using the Allah word to represent/indicate/describe their Christian God in the Malay language. […]
But I have always believed that religion is about faith and morality and not legality or for that matter, political approval. Thus I find it unfortunate that the Father Andrew and the Catholic Herald had taken the issue to the courts. Surely on a matter of religious faith and knowledge, there are numerous other names of God it could have use beside Allah. I view its arguments for the use of Allah as seemingly based on obduracy and legality rather than any plausible unavoidable reason.
I then went on to detail my challenge to Father Lawrence Andrew’s arguments.
Apart from shooting down Father Andrew’s arguments that the Allah word is vital because the Tuhan word is inadequate for serving the message in some biblical passages, I also voiced my sympathy for the Muslim community’s concerns for the reason I know the Christian Church has an evangelistic mission ...
... and endowing it with a Bahasa version of the Bible (al Kitab) which uses the Allah word to refer to the Christian god would be akin to asking lil’ Johnny to mind the cookie jar to ensure it’s not raided, a totally unrealistic expectation.
I have been and still am deeply concerned that the potential (and actual realization) of the issue of Christian proselytizing of Muslims, will destabilize further the already shaky politically-affected inter-communal relationship, with all its attendant unpleasant consequences, ...
... of which we obtained an ugly glimpse of when a mufti sms-ed his followers to stop a fabricated case of a church in Perak proselytizing Muslims.
On New Year’s day I had a chitchat with my matey, Ong Kian Ming whose Malaysiakini article Allah row - what's the name of the game? I had challenged.
Kian Ming was his usual gentlemanly self where he kindly took on the task of explaining to me the logistical problems involved in switching from al Kitab’s Allah word to what I have suggested, to wit, Yahweh, Elohim and a host of other Hebraic appellations that the Christian god is better known by in the Christian world.
I've been impressed by Kian Ming’s masterly grasp on the logistic issue, though it must be noted too both of us didn't touch on the Church’s evangelistic angle. Unfortunately due to pressing prior engagements I was not able to continue discussion with him on the topic.
But nonetheless, the point I wish to make is that while I didn't and still don’t support the Church’s intention to use the Allah word, I have never questioned its legal rights (thus far, until the government’s appeal is known) to use that word in its newsletter, the Catholic Herald, and al Kitab.
I am taking the trouble to reiterate this because (a) of the poor reading skills of some visitors wakakaka, and (b) the thrust of this new post.
This new post refers to an article in The Malaysian Insider, namely, Non-Muslims must not use ‘Allah’, says Selangor Sultan.
|HRH Sultan Selangor|
MAIS informed us HRH Sultan Selangor has decreed that the word Allah is a sacred word specific to Muslims in a fatwa gazetted 3 years ago, and thus must not be used by any non-Muslim religion in Selangor.
Look mateys, there must be no doubt that while HRH is a constitutional monarchy, he has a role which entitles him to issue direct decrees, that is, those on Islamic affairs in his state of Selangor, as he is the head of the Islamic religion in Selangor.
And on such Islamic issues, it has been claimed that he would be advised by the Menteri Besar (MB).
It has been precisely this factor, that of the MB of a state or his deputy advising HRH on Islamic affairs, that in March 2008, immediately after the general election, we saw Khalid Ibrahim, then appointed MB of Selangor, tap dancing away from appointing his deputy.
DAP, the second largest component of the informal (winning) coalition in Selangor, had nominated sweetie Teresa Kok to be the deputy MB.
... whilst the neighbouring State of Perak also saw HRH Regent sidelined Ngeh Koo Ham of DAP (the Pakatan party with the most number of ADUNs) and picked instead Nizar Jamaluddin of PAS (the Pakatan party with the least number of ADUNs) to be the state’s new MB. Mind you, HRH's choice, for whatever reason, turned out to be a serendipitious one for us.
It was alleged that Muhammad Munir Bani, the Selangor sultan’s private secretary, had advised Khalid Ibrahim about the palace's ‘preference’ for a Malay (and, alas, not a Malaysian) deputy MB.
However, Muhammad Munir denied reports that HRH wanted ‘a deputy from a particular race’ (meaning 'Malay'), although he added the sultan was the religious head for Islam and Malay culture, and thus the MB has the task of assisting in these duties, which in his absence would also have to handled by his deputy.
In that most unbelievable zigzagging explanation, Muhammad Munir, after denying HRH wanted a Malay deputy MB, in the same breath averred that it was only proper a Malay (not a Malaysian) be the deputy MB.
Following that, Malaysiakini reported in Expert: No legal need for Malay deputy MB that Prof Abdul Aziz Bari, a constitutional expert who lectured law at the International Islamic University Malaysia, was consulted on the matter.
Prof Abdul Aziz dismissed Muhammad Munir’s claims that the deputy MB should ideally be a Malay to assist the MB in Islamic and cultural duties.
The Prof said: “The Sultan of Selangor does not need the menteri besar or the deputy menteri besar in matters pertaining to religion and Malay custom.”
According to the Prof, the sultan, as the head of Islamic matters and the Malay adat, is the person in charge of such matters in the state, and not the MB or his deputy.
He said: “Matters cited by the palace are entirely within the sultan's jurisdiction. As the sultan may act on his own discretion on these matters, the constitution provides that a council may be appointed to assist him. This is what is commonly known as religious councils or majlis agama, which looks after the religious department or the jabatan agama. In the other four states and federal territories, the Agong will have the same establishment.”
Prof Aziz also commented that a prolonged delay in the appointment of a deputy MB was unnecessary and might even be unconstitutional.
But when asked whether the appointment of a Deputy MB had been postponed or scrapped altogether, Khalid Ibrahim side-stepped the issue by stating the need to explain the matter (what?) properly to the people (who?), and that he would do this after the executive councillors had been sworn-in (why?).Nonetheless, out of respect for HRH, regardless of whether the allegations attributed to him were true or otherwise (as some Malaysians have a bad habit of dropping big names including HRH's for their own agenda), the triple-C (Chabor, Christian and Chinese) Teresa Kok was not appointed as deputy MB.
In HRH’s latest fatwa, which has been entirely within his royal prerogative as the head of the Islamic religion in Selangor, that non-Muslims must not use the Allah word, I wonder whether HRH was advised by MB Khalid Ibrahim, or MAIS, or that HRH had acted on his own?
According to The Malaysian Insider, MAIS secretary Datuk Mohd Misri Idris said HRH had instructed MAIS and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department JAIS to take stern action against any Muslim or non-Muslim who questioned or belittled the edict issued and gazetted according to Selangor laws.
But just how will JAIS or MAIS do that to non-Muslims when neither has any jurisdiction over non-Muslims?
If I may be so bold as to add, alas, while we respect and love HRH, unfortunately his Islamic fatwa cannot be applied to non-Muslims. If I am constitutionally and legally wrong on this point, please correct me immediately and I will apologise most profusely and humbly implore HRH for a royal pardon.
Now, whoever has advised HRH on this matter, whether it's Khalid Ibrahim or MAIS, and if my take on constitutional law is correct, then that advisor (Khalid Ibrahim or MAIS, or both) has/have provided bad bad bad advice to HRH, who undoubtedly loses face as the Church group, quite legally, insists that despite royal decree, Protestant churches say will keep using ‘Allah’ - and we haven't even come to the Catholic church yet.
Off with their heads?
Hmmm, I wonder whether sweetie Teresa Kok as a triple-C deputy MB could have done better in advising HRH on this issue?