PUTRAJAYA: An administrative order on the use of the word “Allah” which the Home Minister described as acceptable to Muslims and non-Muslims will be released so that the issue will not divide Malaysians.
Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said aside from the word “Allah”, the order would also entail a few other words.
However, he did not elaborate.
The order would be made under the power of the Home Minister and would be within the framework of the Federal Constitution, he added.
“We will do this soon so that no more problems will arise from this. What is important is that we find a way for everyone to live peacefully and harmoniously.
“And to achieve this, there must be tolerance, not just by the majority, but also the smaller groups, ” he told reporters after chairing a roundtable discussion on the use of the word “Allah” with non-Muslim groups here yesterday.
This is the second roundtable discussion held with religious groups after the High Court on March 10 ruled that the word “Allah” can be used by Christians in their publications in the country.
On Monday, Hamzah held similar sessions with a group of Islamic religious leaders, scholars, legal experts and academicians.
Last month, he said his ministry would lead an initiative to seek the views of Islamic and Christian scholars in search of a solution for the contentious issue of the use of the word “Allah”.
On March 10, Justice Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin ruled that a 1986 Home Ministry directive – that prohibited the use of the words “Allah”, “Baitullah”, “Kaabah” and “solat” by non-Muslims – was illegal and unconstitutional. The government had filed an appeal against the High Court decision.
On the order, Hamzah said his ministry would look at the various Acts to see where a directive on the use of the word “Allah” should apply.“We have discussed with religious groups, academicians and experts representing the Muslims and non-Muslims.
“The common understanding here is that everyone wants the issue to be resolved so that this will prevent disunity and discomfort among Malaysians, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, ” he added.