That had been the one of the principal reasons why Malaysia has jumped the divide from Tengku Abdul Rahman’s secular Malaya/Malaysia across to what it is now, an Islamic Malaysia with the national ideology of Islam Hadhari (plus ‘somnambulant’ governance).
The struggle for Allah and/or* God is never ending.
* use ’and’ if you believe your Almighty is different from the others
Therefore it was hardly surprising when we learnt from Malaysiakini that Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum declared that only Muslims can use 'Allah' to refer to their Almighty.
He claimed the word ‘Allah’ can only be used in the context of Islam and not any other religion, because it’s an Arabic word and therefore by default a Muslim word – ‘copyright reserve’ so to speak!
He said that its use by other religions will confuse people. But he didn’t say which people?
For example, kaytee is not in the least confused.
The organ of the Catholic Church in Malaysia, Herald, is published in four languages - English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil - and has a circulation of only 12,000, for
Because the Herald had used the ‘Allah’ word in referring to God in its Bahasa Malaysia section, it has been facing problems renewing its publishing permit.
The publishing permit known locally as the PPPA is a government tool to punish newspapers who haven’t or won’t toe the line. I've heard of one blogger who actually supports the PPPA - can you imagine that?
OK, so the ministry has instructed the publisher of the Herald to remove the entire Bahasa Malaysia section or the publishing permit will not be renewed when it expires in two weeks.
Malaysians have been educated in Bahasa Malaysia for eons, and the minister wants that BM section of the Herald excluded. How in the world will the BM-educated Catholics read the Church’s publication then? Why not just instruct the publisher not to use the exclusive word again instead of such a heavy handed punishment?
Indeed, when Johari was asked why the Herald has been being told to remove its Bahasa Malaysia section - rather than not to use the word ‘Allah’ – he couldn’t comment, saying he wasn’t sure. Hardly surprising – the entire cabinet doesn’t know sh*t.
Johari actually confessed: “I’m not sure about it, I have to check again.”
And who do you think he’s going to check with? His boss, the Swami of Somnambulation, or his subordinates, the Swarm of Sciolism?
All Johari could mutter was that, as far as he knows (he 'knows'? hahaha) the Herald had naughtily used the word ‘Allah’, and sure as hell (excuse the blasphemy) he won’t allow that.
Look, kaytee wants to be fair so I must ask the publishers and editors of the Herald why they had to use the ‘Allah’ word when an alternative and more commonly used word ‘Tuhan’ exists?
Yes, yes, we can go into semantics and argue that Allah is used by Christian Arabs ... yadda yadda yadda ... but my point is why use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God when we can easily anticipate the claim staking of the Almighty's name?
Some religious names are not unlike protest rallies – some people think they have a monopolistic propriety right to them (names as well as protest rallies).
Then Johari regaled us with his sad knowledge. He said that other publications, such as Buddhist magazines, do not use the word ‘Allah’ when referring to God.
Minister, puhleeeze lah, it would be better for you not to say anything and let people think you are ignorant rather than open your mouth and let them know it!
Buddhists don’t have a ‘God’ which has been why they don’t need to refer to monikers like Allah, God, Tuhan, Krishnan, Siva, Brahman, Thean Kong, Zeus, Manitou, Odin, Jupiter, etc.
But one would have imagine that it wouldn’t matter by what name the Almighty is called, because what is more important should be the piety of the believers.
For example, Minister Johari, have you shown goodwill towards your fellow men? Have you been charitable? That sort of stuff would be what the Almighty is interested in.
In closing I offer you my little piece on Magic of the 100th name of God:
I had a hundred names
with only 99 known.
Trust Isis and her wiles,
yes, a woman
and a lovely one too,
to pry the 100th out of me.
I now have a new one but
minus an 'L' as if that
would mean someone else,
like Odin, Manitou, Zeus,
rather than ole me, you
know who, don't you?
I call out to them, they
in the red and blue corners.
The names' the same, it's all mine
of course, whose did you think?
Butt out, sneered one;
Yes, the other concurred;
But they're all mine, those
names you're fighting over.
So what, did you patent them
like mapped gerome of langsat
and petai for exclusive use?
No? Then, buzz off!
Why fight over my names
when I am the same Bloke
for all of you guys and gals?
Hellooooo, didn't we say
to butt out of our turf wars,
on exclusive use of THE name.
Only she knew my 100th name
that bestows the most powerful
magic on those who know.
She was privy to my secret (100th)
name called Compassion, sometimes
known as, would you believe,
Also do read my blogging mate Lucia Lai's post herald, allah and the use of BM.