Linundus Kinabalu Headline Animator


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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

‘Allah’ Usage: What should they do?

There are two opposing views from within the same political party – one is passive and the other is pro-active – with regard to the word ‘Allah’.

The following are the two opposing views from the two leaders in the same Political party:-

Some have argued that it is best to reach some out-of-court compromise and others, notably Federal Cabinet member Bernard Dompok, have advised that the best policy is to do nothing and wait for the court to rule on the matter.

Dompok (left), a Sabahan and president of the United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organisation, understood that the issue could ignite religious unrest. He called for calm, asking the public to wait for the issue to be settled in court, where it is pending following a stay of the earlier ruling.

Another piece of advice coming out of Sabah is the call for Christians to compromise and stop calling God Allah when they worship in Bahasa Malaysia–their preferred language–to appease those Muslims who feel threatened.

Clarence Bongkos Malakun (above), President of the Malaysian Council of Justices of the Peace, has asked the Christian community to substitute the name Allah with Tuhan or Tuhan Yang Mahakuasa.

He said that although Sabahans might argue that they had been calling upon Allah even before Malaysia was formed, they should come to terms with the issue realistically after seeing the spate of attacks on churches.

“Why do we fight over a word? If the government decides that non-Muslims should not use the word Allah, then we should try to comply without going to the courts,” Malakun said.


I would like to relate the following story taken from the Book 1 Kings 3:16-28 (New International Verson) when King Solomon made his wise ruling:

Two women lived in the same house and both had one child each. One child died. Both women argued and claimed rightful custody of the living one. The two women came before King Solomon for his ruling as to who should have the custody of the living child.

King Solomon’s Ruling:

23 The king said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.' "

24 Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."

26 The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"

27 Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."

28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.”

The Christian community should emulate the first woman who would rather have her child given to the second woman than kill her own child.

Let us have the wisdom of King Solomon to decide on this "Allah" issue for the sake of national harmony and security, and religious tolerance.


  1. What is important is not knowing what is the right name of God. It is more than just knowing and having the right way to address God.

    Jesus said, in order for us to enter heaven we must be born again. Jesus never said you must call me God or whatever. He did say my nave is Jehovah Rafa, Jehovah on. Are we all desiring to enter heaven?

    What's the fuss?

  2. i can see the similarities from the Bible and what is happening now. 2 woman under one roof..means 2 religion under 1 God. The babies are like the "word" and these two religion are fighting for dead one still alive (wow)...i dont wanna say more..cuz im already smiling victoriously.

    its okay to let go of this "baby" a.k.a "word". As long as our relationship with our muslim relatives (i have lots of muslim uncles and aunties and even my brother is a muslim now) is not cut. and our unity is not divided.

    Letting go doesnt mean we are weak...letting go means we have strong faith in the unity of our country and also we have faith to the Judge of this World who is watching us rite now...this very moment.

  3. I respect YB Dompok for his steadfast on this "ALLAH" issue since day one. He is not only the protector of Christian Catholic but other Christian faith like SIB, SDA, Anglican, Protestant, Basel and other in Malaysia.

    On the other hand, I am very sad and dissapointed of this Kadazan leader Dtk C Bongkos, out of the blue, when he opened his mouth, he is not telling the words of wisdom but every words he spoke are of full of bullshit, may the Lord Almighty Jesus Christ judge us.

    I think Dtk C Bongkos never attend or pray in Bahasa Melayu mass so thats why he never see the Malay Holy Bible mentioning the word "ALLAH" many times in the bible.

    Incidently, I managed to hold my little old green hard cover Kadazan Prayer Guide Reference book, "Oi Tuhan Ajalo Zou Do Sumambayang, Sambayang Ngaavi Doid Panambazangan om Doid Hamin, Tinodo do Liturgical/Language Commission Sabah, 31st Januari 1972".

    When I turned to page 300 "Bahagian Bahasa Malaysia", there is a passage which reads, "Mengaku Dosa......Tuhan Allah yang tahu kelemahan kita dan oleh kerana itu Ia telah memberi kita Sakramentum Pengakuan itu, ialah sebuah hadiah yang indah dan sebuah tanda belas-kasihan yang terbesar."

    This little green hard cover prayer book has only 5 pages in Bahasa Malaysia and it have mentioned "Tuhan Allah" 11 times. Imagined this prayer book was published in 1972.

  4. Yes, I think Malakun seldom attends mass in Malay. As for me, some of the prayers I memorized are in Malay only.

  5. Well and said read the scripture 'bout King Solomon way back in my secondary school days. Thats the reason we have faith in our Katolik religion.1972 was one of those years i.e. USNO regime where mass held without or no priest at all. Imagine from 1970 till late 70's hardly no priest yet our katolik religion lives on.Regarding on the word 'Allah' who the hell guy that brought this issue in the first place? Before tiada hal macam ni.

  6. Everyone is making a big fuss out of nothing. And everyone is falling into Najib's propaganda to hide all the previous pressing matters (ie. mysterious death of teoh beng hock / altantuya, bless them may they rest in peace). While the nation focuses on this issue, and I assure you they will for many more weeks or even months to come, Najib sweeps everything else under the carpet and all is forgotten!

    Congratulations to you Sir for your post highlighting the wise judgement of King Solomon. For it is true that a bird in hand is better than two in the bush. We should be thankful that we are allowed to practice our religion, albeit with the slight opposition to the term 'Allah' being used.

    I beg to differ with Anonymous' (January 12, 10:01 pm) opinion and congratulate Datuk Malakun for his thoughts and statements. Leaders like Malakun gives us alternatives to the problem without harming any sides. While he acknowledges that we had used the word 'Allah', it can also be replaced with 'Tuhan'. What is wrong with Tuhan? Are you saying that praying to Allah is better than praying to Tuhan? If your prayers are in Malay, continue praying the way you do without letting others hear you. Pray like the silent tax collector at Luke 18:10-14, instead of the loud Pharisee who prays for others to hear. For everyone who exhalts themselves will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exhalted.

    With regards to the Al Kitab, I am sure the government would be willing to give allocation for the printing of new Bibles with correct Bahasa Malaysia, since the Indonesion version that we use today is written in Bahasa Indonesia. Not entirely suitable for us who want our children to learn proper Bahasa Malaysia, is it? Eureka! Two birds killed with one stone!

    As Malakun said, ''The ultras will gain strenght if we push too far on the issue and if the reasonable and liberal Malays are out, things can become worse...''.

  7. Linundus, do you know that the late Datuk Peter Mojuntin wrote a letter to the then Chief Minister of Sabah the late Tun Mustapha mentioning the word "Allah" to justify his points.

    I've read the book "The Golden Son of the Kadazan" by Bernard Sta Maria which was published in May, 1978. Unfortunately, the book was banned by the Home Ministry until now.

    On page 170 to 179 of the book read like this...The year 1972 was the peak of religious harrasment in Sabah.

    Datuk Peter Mojuntin in his capacity as Assistant Minister, he wrote a letter to Tun Mustapha the Chief Minister of Sabah entitled "The Case of the Very Unhappy Christians and other Non-Muslim Bumiputra in Sabah (The Political Implications") on 29 March 1972.

    Datuk Peter Mojuntin has mentioned the word "Allah" 11 times in this letter to justified and convinced his points."

    An anonymous on January 12, 2010 10.01pm commented that, "This little green hard cover prayer book has only 5 pages in Bahasa Malaysia and it have mentioned "Tuhan Allah" 11 times. Imagined this prayer book was published in 1972." What a coincidence?

    I hope you got a copy of the book and read how a great leader emerged during a crisis to led his people for justice and protect their rights.

  8. Mr Benedict, I think you never go to a Bahasa Malaysia mass or seen a Malay Holy Bible?

    Please consider our brothers and sisters in other Christian denomination like SIB, Calvary, True Jesus, Basel, Anglican, Prostestant, Baptist etc. before you support Dtk C Bongkos Malakun @ Pelakun the actor and please also read Dtk Nazri, the Minister of PM in his statement today, I think Dtk Nazri know better than Dtk Pelakun regarding religion issue.

  9. Mind you I have attended mass in BM and even studied the Al Kitab. I am sorry if you cannot comprehend the logic of his suggestion, and result to immature condemning and name calling.


  10. Dear Mr.Benedict,

    I also wish to remind you that the opposition to Christian use of Allah is just the beginning of more restrictions to come. We give in now, we will be digging our own graves. There is a case in Italy where a Muslim man managed to get a court ourder to have crucifixes removed from a Catholic school, and Italy is 90% Catholic. If Malakun can settle for a compromise with the word "Allah", there is no reason why he would not compromise for other things. What if one day the government decides Christians should "correct" their Bibles? Please bear in mind that those who are against Christians using the term "Allah" are a minority. And among them, are many who are completely ignorant about the whole issue. Take PKR MP Zulkifli Nordin for instance, he asked in parliament why Christians want to change to Allah now! Wow! Is this the kind of characters Malakun want us to compromise with?

  11. you make good points but i think you got it wrong. the government actually just want to stop herald from publishing allah from their magazine. nothing else. because many herald magazine accidently given to muslim ppl.

    who say the government will start restricting us and all that. that is just unfounded speculation and is not relevant.

    our government is not that stupid. they may be a little bit. but not that stupid. actually they are smart to make this propaganda so that we are not concerned about other problems like the economy!

  12. I agree with you anonymous we have the same understanding. What I understand is they only prohibit the HERALD from using the word ALLAH in their malay publications unless their is hidden agenda. I have never heard anything or read in the newspaper that the christian are not allowed to mention ALLAH in the church during bahasa malaysia Mas. Or are we making a mole hill into a mountain. As a man on the street I hope some one out there can enlighten me on this issue. Thank You

  13. Dear the two anonymous dated January 21 and 22, I think you are confused in this issue, you are twisting the fact, this issue is about religion and somebody has touched it in the first place where it is supposed to be sensitive.

    The 20 points, the Malaysia Agreement and the ultimate law of the country the Federal Constitution has stated that Islam is the official religion however other non-muslim has the freedom to practice their own religion.

  14. Dear anon dated Jan 24 at 9:41 AM, the issue at the court at the moment is exactly regarding the use of the word allah. I have not twisted any facts at all. Please point out which part of my comment did I twisted??

  15. Dear Anonymous,

    Do you have any idea where Can i get the book that youve mention -Golden Son of Kadazan.. Im trying to have it..But to no avail..i cant..I try to asked around but no nothing..i dont mind to get it in copy etc at least i can read it..