BN is destroying religious harmony in Malaysia by irresponsibly and deviously exploiting Islam for selfish political gain

BN is destroying religious harmony in Malaysia by irresponsibly and deviously exploiting islam for selfish political gain by allowing the word 'Allah' to be used by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak in their worship, including in the Malay-language bible Al-Kitab, but not in Peninsular Malaysia. This is the only conclusion to be made from Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Joseph Kurup surprising announcement as reported by Sin Chew Daily today on the cabinet decision yesterday.

Joseph Kurup said the cabinet decided to fall back on the 10-point solution because this issue has created much dissatisfaction and worry among Sabah and Sarawak Christians. The 10-point solution allows for the importation into and printing of Bibles of any language in Malaysia including al-Kitab which uses the word 'Allah'. The question arises then is what about Sabahans and Sarawakians working in Peninsular Malaysia - are they permitted or banned from using 'Allah' in Kuala Lumpur or Johor Baru?

Clearly this Cabinet decision shows that the Home Ministry's decision to ban the use of the word 'Allah' in the Catholic publication, "The Herald" is not based on protecting the sanctity of Islam. Instead the proposed ban on the word 'Allah' is a naked attempt to openly and directly infringe on the rights of non-Muslim of freedom of religion so that UMNO can score political points with Muslims and Malays.

By permitting Allah to be used in Sabah and Sarawak, this is clear defensive electoral strategy designed to protect BN's political interests there as there are fewer Malays and Muslims in both states. BN is not bothered about religious harmony or religious values. If they are concerned about religious values they would have taken steps to combat and punish corruption. Instead corruption in Malaysia has deteriorated to such a level that Malaysia is declared as a world champion of corruption.

Many international Muslim commentators have also condemned the ban of the use of the word 'Allah' for Christians or non-Muslims. Indonesian daily Jakarta Post said there is no monopoly on the use of the word 'Allah' and the Emirati newspaper The National from the Middle-East published an editorial condemning the Court of Appeal decision as "wrong", arguing that 'Allah' is freely used by non-Muslims in the Arab world.

Lim Guan Eng DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan