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Monday, January 11, 2010

Compromise for Religious Tolerance and Peace

The North Borneo Herald wrote in its blog:

“The President of the Council of Justices of the Peace, Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun has urged Christians in Sabah to make a compromise for the sake of national peace.

He is urging Christians to drop the word "Allah" in Malay-language services and Malay-language Bibles. He said that though this has been the practice for so long in Sabah, for the sake of peace, Sabahan Christians should abandon it, as this has caused anger to a certain section of extremist Muslims in Malaya”.

READ MORE HERE.

LINUNDUS COMMENTS …

Our own leaders - to be more precise rather than the Sabahans - have compromised on far too many things since the formation of Malaysia. They have been compromising far too may things albeit non-sensitive issues which you have mentioned, thus, depriving us of the benefits from the formation of Malaysia as enshrined in the 20-points.

But the word "Allah" is a sensitive issue which our Muslim brothers are fighting fiercely against the Christians over the use of it. Their blood ran high when the Malaysian Court passed a judgment on 31st December 2009 in favour of the Christians newspaper – The Herald. This has led an uproar among Muslims over the use of the word "Allah" by Christians which resulted in arsonists burning three churches and a convent school early Sunday and splashed black paint on another church.

The firebombing of four churches that followed on Friday and Saturday has prompted Datuk Seri Panglima Clarence Bongkos Malakun, the President of the Malaysian Council of Justices of the Peace (MAJAPS), to suggest an amicable solution to the ‘explosive’ religious sentiments arising from the court judgment. His suggestion for a compromise should be taken in good faith, and not to be construed as coming from ‘a narrow-knowledge individuals’ as one leader has reported in the Daily Express today. His (Malakun) suggestion is for the good of both Muslim and Christian communities in order to regain religious harmony in the country.

A narrow-minded person is without alternative or compromised solution to the problem when it is already in a stale-mate situation. This is exactly the case when the Home Ministry has appealed against the decision of the High Court in allowing the use of the word “Allah” by the Herald Catholic Newspaper.

The Herald has won this round in its favour … so keep this ‘victory’ and find a compromise now (as suggested by Malakun) for the sake of reducing religious tension between Muslims and Christians before the Appeal Court overturns the decision of the High Court.

You think the Pope would insist on the word “Allah” to be used by the Christians in Malaysia when it leads to religious conflict in the country? Surely, he would like to see religious tolerance in this country whose multi-religious communities to prosper religiously, and to live in peace and harmony.

In a worst scenario, the Court of Appeal might overturn the High Court ruling. Who looses in this case? Are we going to continue with the religious conflict? Before it is too late, it is therefore advisable to keep that court decision status quo and come up with a compromise NOW as what Malakun has suggested in the local paper. Don’t wait for the Court of Appeal to make a decision that might not favour to the Christian communities. Do we still want to appeal against the Appeal Court’s decision? This action might further jeopardize our religious tolerance with our Muslim brothers and hence religious conflicts may take the center stage. What is next? You can guess and make your own judgment.

I would also like to update the author of the North Borneo Herald that we did not compromise on having our time changed. Our local time in Sabah and Sarawak did not actually change, but West Malaysia time was synchronized with our time, that is, their time was pushed backward in tandem with that of East Malaysia time. Our civil servants working hours in Sabah and Sarawak remain unchanged, while those working in West Malaysia had to reschedule their working hours due to time-synchronization to that of East Malaysian time. This is “1Time 1Malaysia Concept” promulgated by our past leaders.

Meanwhile, Malakun has reminded the Archbishop to be careful not to be used or prodded from the back.

“If anything goes bad, the Catholics in Malaysia would be blamed but if there is any good coming out of the situation, the silent ones might also claim the same benefits for their own group," he said.

If the Christians could agree to forgo the use of the word "Allah", Malakun believed there would be a lasting peace and understanding between the various faiths in Malaysia.

Malakun should therefore be applauded for his far-sightedness on this issue and his suggestion of an alternative solution to the problem caused by the High Court’s decision, and it comes from the President of the Malaysian Council of Justices of the Peace (MAJAPS) himself whose duty is to help in keeping peace and harmony in this country.

18 comments:

  1. "Meanwhile, Malakun has reminded the Archbishop to be careful not to be used or prodded from the back". Who is prodding the Archbishop's back? Is Tan Sri Bernard Dompok the culprit here?

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  2. SJD, this time I disagreed with you. It's better for C Malakun to shut up and let the court decide it, maybe we lost the war but not the battle.

    What kind of Christian is he? Actually there is no issue in Borneo? What's he is trying to do, to lick Najib and AMNOs arse so that he can get the next title TAN SRI? Go to hell men, you make the people of Penampang, heartland of Christian Catholic in Sabah shame and chicken heart.

    Why not just said that the people of Sabah to stay calm, pray, persevere and let the law arrest the arsonist? Its better that with his huge wealth, he donated all the church in Sabah with CCTV to catch any arsonist.

    I'm sorry if I'm emotional and condemning this C Malakun on this matter because I am very dissapointed with this Kadazan leader from Penampang to say such a statement to denounced the word "ALLAH" in the Herald Catholic news.

    I hope his lordship Pope take a little stick and spank C Malakun's bottom for not defending his Christian Catholic faith fairly.

    Sabah's right like the 20 points, Cobbold Commission Report, Malaysia Agreement and the Federal Constitution about our religious rights is there to protect us, but the way our Kadazan leader like C Malakun defending our rights there will be no way for us to move on.

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  3. Once upon a time, two powerful men crossed a very narrow bridge from opposite directions. When they met at the centre, none wanted to give way for the other to pass. After some heated arguments the other took great efforts to let the other man pass saying it was the best solution for both of them as he did not want either one or both of them to fall off the bridge. The other, no doubt walked past but he had a strong feeling that he was a fool to have started the senseless argument.

    Perhaps when this thing come to pass, we will know who the greater fool is. - Selesa.

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  4. I agree with Maggie Lim when she wrote in http://malaysiakini.com/news/121703.

    "As a Christian, I urge the Catholic Church to drop the word 'Allah'. Drop it, not because you are afraid. Drop it because our God teaches us to be humble, to be compromising, to be good, to turn the other cheek. Turning the other cheek does not mean you are a coward.

    Turning the other check shows you are better because while they are willing to resort to violence to destroy people and country, you are willing to sacrifice for peace, the people and the country. They might think they have won. Win they might have on earth, but they have to answer to their Maker later. The whole world is looking at those oppressors, so it is okay. Let them win here".

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  5. The North Borneo Herald comments:

    It would be wise for the Herald to publicly announce that it would not use the word Allah in its publication and it would be wise for the Federal Government to accept it without further questions. But the use of Allah in worship and in Bibles should not be disturbed! This last part is of course not to be publicised in the media.

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  6. My fellow friends,
    Please be reminded that ALLAH words derives from the word EL'LAH which means The GOD.
    "EL" means GOD. e.g El'llohim /God almighty..and so on...
    I for one am not suprise that one day being too compromising to give way, our muslim friends will ask us not to use the word AMEN anymore..They will claim that everywords that sound arabic are meant for muslim only.. Wat say u SJD....? Shall we compromise or kow-tow to them.

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  7. Hoiii... 2 things here; No 1 - If we sabahan say yes we drop, that means we spit on our own face in regards of the 20 points of agreement in formation of Malaysia. We already sacrificed soooo much and sucked up mucked up by semenanjung..so this one we need to kow-tow to them again??? Fuck Me My Lord!!! No 2 - Who the fucking Malakun is? (He could be the one who will sell Sabah in future) HE IS NOT MY PRIEST NOR KNOWN AS THE MOST RELIGIOUS, why should i accept his paid by UMNO idea?

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  8. Dear Linundus,

    As you are aware off, the recent incidence on burning of churches in our country has attracted a lot of attention locally as well as internationally. 0ne can understand the emotions involved.

    Be as it may, I personally felt that the issue is best left to be decided by the court. Any suggestion to abandon the legal tussle at this juncture is something which one cannot comprehend. Why do we have to give up the fight so easily! I for one is prepared to die for my religion if and when the situation arise. I hope and pray that our Christians brothers to remain steadfast in their faith and not to be influenced by one or two voices to please the authority. God bless us all.

    Clement

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  9. Well said Selesa! Rather than risking another May 13 incident, we should take Malakun's advice. It does not mean we lose our right to practice our religion, if that is what most people are afraid of. It means that no matter what the challenges that are ahead of us, our faith will remain strong. Christians has existed for two milleniums, what makes you think that a matter like this will even effect us?

    Overnight, everyone wants to become a worrior. But the true worrior is the one who can prevent the war and bloodshed.

    And for the information of the 'chicken heart' commenter, you are the kind of person we can do without because what we need is more brains and less brawn. That is why we need leaders like Malakun who are far sighted and open to alternatives and solutions.

    Whether the next court ruling decides in our favour or not, it does not matter. What matters most is to maintain the peace and harmony in our lives with our fellow countrymen.

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  10. ''No 1 - If we sabahan say yes we drop, that means we spit on our own face in regards of the 20 points of agreement in formation of Malaysia. We already sacrificed soooo much and sucked up mucked up by semenanjung..so this one we need to kow-tow to them again??? Fuck Me My Lord!!!''

    If that is the way people like you use the name of the Lord, no wonder the Muslims condemns the use of the word Allah. In fact, I would condemn it myself. Shame on you!

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  11. Benedict,why are supporting Malakun @ Pelakun or the Actor? I know its your rights and liberty to say anything? But I think you just know him just recently. No offence kio.

    Dtk C Bongkos Malakun @ Pelakun the actor has made many movies when he was in PBS, Calun Bebas, PBS again and now UPKO. The famous movie he made was when he became the hero when he defeated a giant called KDM CM of Sabah in 1999 but they became friend again.

    I know my point is irrevelant in this topic, I just want remind that this Pelakun the actor never be trusted when he is dealing the ultimate deal like this "Allah" issue.

    Mr Benedict, if your surfed the internet in the "Putt for Change" blog by Mr R Klassen you can see 99% condemned Dtk C Bongkos Pelakun the actor.

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  12. R Klassen attacks everyone for his own popularity gain. He will even attacks people's (i.e. Christina Liew's) mother for goodness sake!! Are you saying he is a better leader than Datuk Malakun? All he is doing is condemning other people day in and day out. If so many people supports him? Why doesn't he stand for election and see if he even gets his deposit back.

    And I will not be degrade myself by condemning Klassen like he does other people. I am sure he has good attributes. Like perhaps good at playing golf?

    Like I said before, instead of playing to the sentiments of the people and spreading the fire, we should seek for a solution to ensure that non of us gets burned.

    May we all be at peace. God Bless.

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  13. before you glorify mr klassen, you should know that he only approves comments favourable to his arguments. try writing a well thought out and educated comment against him and the moment he realises you have a point, he will reject your post. the 99% is only a representation of the comments he approves.

    kudos to gundohing sylvester who approves all comments whether or not it be for or against the arguments on the issue.

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  14. What if the word Allah being replaced with Aramaic word Elah, will there be an objection, any comment?

    Elah el-ab be with you all.

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  15. anan january 19 7:20am thats a good idea but i think for the purpose of our prayers it is unncessary as the govt intention was to stop herald news from publishing it in herald publication because often times it falls into the hand of other religions. its supposed to be christian only can read.

    so actually we can continue praying as we like and nobody will dare touch us.

    so malakun is right. herald should volunteer to stop publishing because it will cause less controversy and tension between muslim-christians in malaysia.

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  16. Sir,
    With due respect, I totally disagree with the suggestion by Datuk CBM that the Christians compromise by substituting the word "Allah" with a "suitable" word.

    First of all, I would like to ask whether it is wrong according to the Al Quran for Christians to use the word "Allah"? If not, then why should we have to compromise and accede to the unreasonable and ludicrous demand? If we do, will it just stop at the word "Allah" only? Or will the Christians next be prohibited from using other arabic words such as Amin, Kitab, Puasa, Malaikat, Rasul, Esa, Nabi or the name of the prophets (Musa, Mariam, Daud, Noh, Ibrahim etc.)?. By doing this, it will render our BM bible banned! Unbeknown to most of us, the Sabah State Mufti have issued a fatwah banning the use of several arabic words used in the BM Al Kitab in 2003 (refer to Sabah Govt Gazette 2003). What next after this? Banning of religious symbols and statues as proposed by the UMNO MP from Johore?

    Will the Iban Bible which also uses the word "Allah" be banned to? Are the Sikhs also going to be prohibited from using the word "Allah" in their holy book?

    By compromising, in order to appease some ignorant, misguided, arrogant and extremely selfish Malays, are we not surrendering our rights to freedom of worship as enshrined in the constitution and as agreed upon in the real "social contract"- the Malaysia Agreement and the 18 and 20 points?

    What more do this people want from us? They have already robbed us of so many of our rights, our natural resources and inundated our state with "illegal immigrants", and now they want to rob us of our rights to use the word "Allah"?

    This has nothing to do with Islam as stated by several ulamas/Islamic scholars, PAS, PKR and in several blogs, but has everything to do with "Ketuanan Melayu" and the perpetuation of UMNO rule. The issue has been politicised by UMNO to distract the public attention from several scandals affecting the BN govt. (PKFZ, Altantuya, missing jet engines, the Teoh Boon Hock murder etc.) and as a pretext to defend Malay rights from being confused by malintention of the Christians! The intention is to create chaos in the country, to divide and rule us.

    What a bloody mess the bigot AMUNO has got us into? The line is already drawn in the sand. Now we ride the tiger.

    To me PEACE without JUSTICE is oppression and will not last. JUSTICE for all is a pre-requisite for lasting PEACE.


    Cheers, GONDUBOY

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  17. Well said Gonduboy and I like to add that the Datuk C Bongkos's recent hurtful press statement has backfired.

    Some commenter in other blog has revealed his personal background that his father-in-law and other in-laws are muslim so that's why he don't give a damn about this issue.

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  18. wat is right is right and wats wrong is wrong...i think its bcoz we always compromised that we are where we are now (always at the receiving end)they enjoy bumiputra benefits..quota ..wat do we have ...look at the seats allocations..oil revenue..scholarship..citizenship..and now our religion..don't u think we have compromised enough..so do wats is right protect our right and thats the least we can do 4 our children
    son of seven

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