GPS must press PM on ‘Allah’ case, says PSB leader
“Only in a country like Malaysia do we have bigots in the majority who bully the minority communities in this way, and our leaders remain mute about it”
(FMT) – Sarawakians should push ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to explain why it has not taken a firmer stand on the government’s decision to appeal a court decision that Christians can use the word “Allah” in their religious education and books, said a Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) leader.
“Voters must ask Abang Jo (chief minister and GPS chairman Abang Johari Openg) and GPS ministers and MPs why they have not even tried to speak up for our rights by asking the prime minister to instruct the attorney-general not to appeal the decision on the Allah matter,” said PSB presidential council member Baru Bian.
“GPS is the party that supported the PM to form the federal government. Surely, they would have some clout as the proverbial kingmaker to gain some advantage for Sarawakians.
“Instead, they are still acting like the poor cousins of their political masters in the federal government.
“Only in a country like Malaysia do we have bigots in the majority who bully the minority communities in this way, and our leaders remain mute about it,” he said in a statement.
On March 10, Court of Appeal judge Nor Bee Ariffin, sitting as Kuala Lumpur High Court judge, ruled that a Dec 5, 1986 home ministry directive to prohibit the use of the words “Allah”, “Baitullah”, “Solat” and “Kaabah” by non-Muslims was illegal and unconstitutional.
Nor Bee said it could not be disputed that the ban affected Christians in Sabah and Sarawak as they had been using the word “Allah” in place of God for years.
The judge said the directive was wrongly issued as it went beyond the aim of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, a decision which the government then appealed.