to absence of clear guidelines
KINABALU, Jan 9 (The Daily Express) -- Parti Bersatu
Sabah Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said
when he was Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
in charge of national unity, he had advocated a consultative
approach to address issues surrounding the use of the word
'Allah' by Christians.
the time of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad,
Christians, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, continued to
use the word, subject to requirements including that it
is to propagate Christianity among Christians only.
due to the absence of clear guidelines, there were inconsistencies
with cases of authorities curbing the import of Christian
materials and Bibles, to the extent of Christian materials
and books being seized from bookstores.
caused unhappiness among those concerned.
ministers including myself, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and (former
MCA President) Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting held advisory meetings
with Christian leaders advising them to use the consultative
approach to address the matter.
stand on a consultative approach to avoid legal option,
but to instead focus on having clear guidelines on the use
of the word, or in respect of the importation of religious
materials containing the word, was unfortunately not accepted.
My own strong view was that the legal option and its likely
outcome will never satisfy all parties and hence, there
is likely to be no winners because of the sensitive nature
of the subject matter," he added.
also stressed that the Christian and government leaders
had appealed for space and consideration to allow Sabah
and Sarawak Christians to continue using the word 'Allah'
as this was their practice even before Malaysia was formed.
the matter has been brought to court, we have to allow the
court process to run its course for an amicable solution
to be obtained," he said.
said called on the Christian community in Malaysia to continue
to show that they valued peace and tolerance, while everyone
must be sensitive to the religious practices of their fellow
Malaysians and treat each other as brothers and sisters
who come from the same Creator.
the attacks on churches in peninsula, he urged Malaysians
of all faiths to remain calm and level-headed as no good
would be gained from irrational reactions over the issue.
call for level-headedness and moderation. We will gain nothing
by going to the streets or inciting feelings by provoking
or attacking religious properties. If we let uncontrolled
personal sentiments reign, the 53 years of independence
and progress we have gained will go to ruin.
1Malaysia concept will be an elusive dream," said Ongkili,
who earlier received a courtesy call from Sabah Innovation
and Design Exhibition (Sindex 2010) organising committee
at the Sirim office, Friday.