PETALING JAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad disagrees with the Government’s effort to resolve the “Allah” controversy through the courts.
He said the law did not take into consideration sensitivity factors that could provoke tension and animosity between followers of different religions.
“The solution to the controversy will not be achieved by making an appeal to the court. Such a sensitive issue cannot be solved through law,” he wrote on his blog www.chedet.co.cc yesterday.
Dr Mahathir said the controversy started when he was still in office, adding that the Cabinet at that time thought the usage of the name “Allah” in the Bible was a sensitive issue.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said the issue was not about the usage of the word “Allah” but the Home Minister’s powers in prohibiting its usage.
“The judge erred. She got it all wrong. She decided on the fact if the word ‘Allah’ could be used or not. That is not the issue.
“The issue is whether the minister has the power to make such decisions because the consideration is towards public interest,” Nazri told newsmen at Parliament House yesterday.
He added that the minister made the right decision because allowing the usage of the word “Allah” in this country under a non-Islamic context would cause confusion and dissatisfaction as 60% of the population were Muslims.
United Pasokmomogun Kada-zandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said every community should be allowed to use terms that they are comfortable with.
“Historically, the term has been used for a long time, even before Sabah decided to establish Malaysia with Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak in 1963,” said Dompok, who is Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister.
“The term God is used in English, ‘Allah’ in Malay and ‘Kinoingan’ in Kadazandusun,” he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom said steps would be taken to resolve the issue and parties should not use the situation to cause further problems and confusion.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who is in charge of national unity, called for attempts to seek a win-win solution on the issue and for everyone to approach this “with a cool head but a warm heart.”