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Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 7:14:12 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: The word “Allah” does not belong to any religion or ethnic group, said MCA central committee member Loh Seng Kok.
He said the Court of Appeal’s decision to ban The Herald from publishing the word “Allah” in their weekly newsletter would leave an impact at the domestic and international levels on the issue of religion in Malaysia.
“Christians in Arab countries and the Middle East use ‘Allah’ freely,” he added in a press statement yesterday.
Loh, also the deputy chairman of MCA publicity bureau, said an appeal should be filed against the ruling which had found in favour of the Home Ministry.
He said Article 3 of the Federal Constitution was to give non-Muslims the right to practise their faith freely without restriction.
On Oct 14, the Court of Appeal ruled that The Herald Catholic weekly would not be allowed to use the word “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia edition.
Its three-member panel decided that “Allah” was not an integral part of the Christian faith and its use would cause unnecessary confusion within the Muslim community.
The Christian community, several politicians and academicians have voiced their disagreement with the court ruling.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri recently said the decision was only confined to The Herald, not a blanket ruling against the usage of the word by non-Muslims.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Cabinet had allowed the use of Allah in Bahasa Malaysia or native language bibles in Sabah and Sarawak.
But Muslim groups have a different view on the issue.
Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin said the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Christian bible could continue to be distributed in Malaysia, but the holy book must not contain 32 words, including “Allah” which is prohibited to non-Muslims by Islamic enactments in some states.
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Religion, allah, the herald, court of appeal, loh seng kok, mca
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