Statement by Dr. Chen Man Hin in Seremban on Wednesday, 13th January 2010:
The claim by the Home Ministry Secretary General Mahmood Adam to foreign dignitaries that the use of Allah by Christians could cause confusion among Muslims in Malaysia and encourage religious conversions, which is illegal in Malaysia, has damaged the reputation, integrity and sincerity of Malaysian Muslims
Most Malaysian muslims, including Anwar Ibrahim and Hadi Awang will not share the sentiments of the Home Ministry official. Malaysian muslims and christians have been living together for several centuries, in relative peace and harmony, and have progressed and prospered.
In a plural religious society, minor frictions may exist, but these were kept to a minimum by inter-faith dialogues. However,there exist underlying fears that the muslims might want to islamise the country and suspicion that christians might want to convert muslims to their faith.
Muslims and christians have been living side by side in this country for centuries, and they all pray to Allah who is the God to christians, muslims and jews.
In Sabah and Sarawak there are christian natives who have been praying to Allah for centuries, in the same manner that jews, christians and muslims have been praying to Allah for centuries in the Middle East. Incidentally, the word Allah is arabic for God.
Foreign dignitaries and the whole world are puzzled why the Malaysian government is opposing the use of ‘Allah’ by Christians in Malaysia
The whole muslim world in the Middle East, Africa and Indonesia allow the free use of allah. The odd man out is Malaysia.
The natives of Sarawak and Sabah are also unhappy that they are being deprived of the use of Allah, a custom which has been handed down by their for centuries past, very much before the formation for UMNO and the independence of Malaysia.
In view of this, it is obvious that the Malaysian government has no leg to stand on on this issue. Their lame excuse is that to allow the use of Allah by Christians would confuse Muslim Malays who could then be easily converted to Christianity.
Umno’s confusion theory is an insult to Malaysian Muslims who are devout muslims and true to their religion, and do not change their faith. If the use of Allah by non-muslims could confuse muslims, how is it that islam could thrive so rapidly while living with the jews and christians in the Middle East?
The muslims of Malaysia should not fall prey to the falsehoods spread by Umno. Their confusion theory is conceived to further their political survivial, and not for the benefit of muslims.
* Dr. Chen Man Hin, DAP Life Advisor