Ali Rustam mocks PAS, PKR over Guan Eng’s ‘fatwa’ on ‘Allah’


(Malay Mail Online) – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is able to tell the state’s non-Muslims they may use the word “Allah” because allies PAS and PKR are afraid to reprimand him, former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam said today.

In his speech to Malay undergraduates in the Nusantara Youth Leadership Convention here today, Mohd Ali also urged Muslims to be bold in proclaiming their exclusivity over the Arabic word for God.

“Come say it bravely, Allah is only for Malays. Can we?” Mohd Ali said.

“Why is he (Lim) bold enough to interfere? Because the Islamists in PAS and the Muslims in PKR don’t dare reprimand him… they let him off because of their tahaluf siyasi,” he told the students.

“Tahaluf siyasi” is the Arabic phrase for political consensus. The Pakatan Rakyat pact professes to operate on such a basis.

Mohd Ali later said that the rules on the non-Muslim use of “Allah” had already been decided during the Mahathir administration, claiming that a consensus on the decision was reached then.

The Umno senator also questioned Lim’s authority in making such declarations, telling the DAP secretary-general he was not head of the National Fatwa Council and in no position to dictate who may use the term.

“Now, he (Lim) seems to be able to issue his own fatwa that ‘Allah’ can be used (by non-Muslims in Penang).

Lim courted controversy last week when he said the ban on use of the word “Allah” does not apply to non-Muslims.

He backed his statement by pointing out that the Administration of Religion of Islam (Penang) Enactment 2004 and any resulting fatwas is not binding on non-Muslims.

Penang police are investigating Lim over his remark.

Controversy over non-Muslim use of “Allah” first erupted when the Catholic Church initiated a legal suit against the federal government after it was first banned from publishing the Arabic word for God in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly newspaper, Herald, in 2007.