Resolve issue on the word ‘Allah’ quickly, says King

PETALING JAYA: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has expressed concern over the issue surrounding the use of the word “Allah”.

In his royal address in conjunction with his official birthday, the King said he feared that it would become a prolonged polemic and could affect national unity and the well-being of the country if it is not resolved immediately.

“My government must harmonise the current situation, and at the same time, place the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the right context by taking into account the national security, the benefit of the ummah (Muslim community), as well as my position and the position of other Malay Rulers as heads of Islam,” he said.

His Majesty was speaking while gracing the ceremony of federal awards and honours held in conjunction with his official birthday celebration at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The King said in facing such issues, all parties must adopt a wise and orderly manner imbued with a spirit of high tolerance.

His Majesty added that the polemics over the use of the word “Allah” was not a debate about terminology or linguistics, but rather, related to the faith of the Muslim community, where confusion would have dire consequences. “It is related to the faith of the Muslims, and any confusion will invite disaster,” said Al-Sultan Abdullah, who was accompanied at the event by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

The King also said this is in line with the first principle of the Rukun Negara, which is “Belief in God”, which among other things, emphasises that religion is very important in the life of the Malaysian community and should not be used as a basis for disputes or arguments.

His Majesty said that any polemic related to religion, if it is not dealt with immediately, would only fan the fire of enmity.

Sultan Abdullah added that the sanctity of Islam has been preserved for a long time in the formation of independent Malaysia, and Islam is also accorded a special status, as stated in Article 3 of the Federal Constitution.

“Islam is accorded a special status in the Federal Constitution and this was achieved through understanding and agreement by all parties when the country gained independence.

“It demands a wise, courteous resolution with a spirit of high tolerance,” he added.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said unity requires an effective recipe, a mixture of an open heart, a noble soul, and a spirit of loyalty to the King and the country, as well as not questioning and interfering or looking down on the affairs and religious beliefs of other races.

“For the sake of unity and the future of the country, any religious controversy must be resolved immediately.

“The spirit of unity needs to be cultivated at home, nurtured with education and the noble values of community life at school, and further strengthened at institutions of higher learning,” said the King.

On May 17, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the Cabinet had obtained the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to submit its proposal to improve the enforcement of policies relating to the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims to the Conference of Rulers.In conjunction with the His Majesty’s official birthday yesterday, 839 individuals were conferred with federal awards and medals.

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