GPS urged to ‘persuade’ federal partners on Islamic words issue

Dr Kelvin Yii (file photo)

KUCHING, March 11: Bandar Kuching MP Dr. Kelvin Yii opined that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) should use their “kingmaker” status to persuade their partners in the federal government not to bring the Allah case to the Court of Appeal.

GPS partners, according to Dr Yii  are Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), United Malay National Organisation (Umno) and Parti Pribumi Malaysia Bersatu (Bersatu).

“This is important to protect the fundamental spirit of the formation of Malaysia which safeguards freedom of religion and the practices of other religions in peace and harmony,” he said in a press statement today, in response to the Maufakat Nasional (MN) leaders who recently voiced out that the Allah case should be brought to the Appellate Court.

Dr. Yii noted this ruling was a victory not of a particular group over another in Malaysia, but the spirit of multiculturalism and freedom of religion that is protected under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution and even Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63).

He explained that the Christian communities in Sarawak and Sabah have been using the word “Allah” for generations in the practice of their faith without any problem.

To him, the fact that Christians here have been using it for 400 years without causing any public disorder or even confusion is enough to justify that the High Court has made the right decision.

“That is why such a ruling should be seen as a victory for all Malaysians as we defend each other’s constitutional right and guarantee of religious freedom in our country,” he added.

On March 10, the High Court ruled that the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims all over Malaysia is allowed, including allowing other prohibited words such as Baitullah, Kaabah and solat, which were banned by the Cabinet in 1986, to be used by the community for teaching purposes.

The landmark decision was made by Court of Appeal judge, Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, who sat as a High Court judge, after allowing the judicial review by a Christian woman from Sarawak, Jill Ireland, to practice her constitutional right and religion freely in this country. – DayakDaily