‘Pakatan’s Allah decision is official’

Karpal Singh says that the PAS majlis syura’s decision cannot overwrite the stand taken by Pakatan Rakyat.

Athi Shankar, FMT

Pakatan Rakyat’s decision that the term “Allah” can be used by non-Muslims is the coalition’s official stand that should be respected by its allies, said DAP national chairman Karpal Singh.

He said Pakatan’s decision was binding on DAP, PAS and PKR notwithstanding the parties’ respective stand on the issue.

Hence, he said the decision by PAS’ majlis syura, the party’s highest decision-making body, that non-Muslims cannot use the term would not overwrite Pakatan’s stand.

He said Pakatan’s official stand was collectively and unanimously adopted by its leaders – PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to safeguard larger public interests and rights.

He pointed out that majlis syura was just a small entity in a party that was part of Pakatan.

“Mathematically, it can’t overwrite Pakatan’s decision. Pakatan is the bigger entity. The three Pakatan parties agreed to it unanimously. All allies should stand by Pakatan’s decision,” he said.

He was commenting on media reports about groups protesting against the stand taken by DAP and PKR leaders, like Karpal, Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Anwar and Azmin Ali on whether Christians could use the term Allah in the Malay edition of the Bible.

Claiming to be current and former PAS members, the groups criticised DAP and PKR leaders for stirring Muslim sentiments and undermining the Majlis Syura decision.

Karpal criticised certain Barisan Nasional-controlled media for playing up the issue to irk Muslim sensitivities against Pakatan leaders like him.

“Publishing pictures that are defamatory is a serious matter,” he cautioned.

The Allah issue aside, he said the relationship among Pakatan allies were generally good as the parties had good understanding on many common and pressing issues.

He also commented on Pakatan’s leadership seeking clarification from Hadi over his flip-flop on the issue following the majlis syura’s decision and pressure from party grassroots.

“The issue does not arise. Pakatan’s stand is clear,” said Karpal.