Wednesday, January 22, 2014


The bad thing about Barisan Nasional is that Umno calls the shots and the other members of the ruling coalition have no choice but to either agree with Umno or just remain silent. Pakatan Rakyat, however, works on consensus, and if they cannot mutually and unanimously agree on a certain issue they will agree to disagree.
And this is the point that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim made in selling Pakatan Rakyat to the voters. Umno is a dictatorial party that bullies the other members of Barisan Nasional while Pakatan Rakyat does not operate in that manner. Pakatan Rakyat allows disagreement, and if PKR, PAS and DAP cannot agree on something, they will just agree to disagree and go home.
Take the current hot issue, the Allah word, as one example. Umno decides how this matter is to be handled and the non-Umno parties in Barisan Nasional can either accept it or shove it up where the sun does not shine. It matters nought to Umno what the others think.

Pakatan Rakyat does not do things this way, though. DAP can oppose the Allah ‘ban’. PAS can support the ‘ban’. And PKR will agree to disagree. In fact, Anwar Ibrahim said that as a Muslim he supports the ban but as a politician he does not (or something to the affect).
So Anwar has two stands. Personally he throws his lot behind PAS and supports the ban but as the Opposition Leader he throws his lot behind DAP and opposes the ban.
And this is what makes the democratic Pakatan Rakyat special and different from the autocratic Barisan Nasional.
Okay, this may mean it is more difficult to solve differences when there is no clear common stand. But that is not as important as the practice of democracy over autocracy even though democracy has not always been proven perfect as Hitler’s Germany or Saddam’s Iraq have shown, both which were democratically elected governments.
Pakatan leaders agree need for common stand on ‘Allah’ issue
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) must take a common stand on the ongoing ‘Allah’ dispute, say several leaders after one of their lawmakers warned that indecisiveness on the issue might cost the opposition pact dearly at the next general election.
However, they have not set a date for a meeting on the issue, which reignited earlier this month when Selangor Islamic authorities seized Malay and Iban language bibles on suspicion it was for proselytising rather than worship.
The PR leaders also warned that as religion is a sensitive topic, it was necessary to address it carefully to avoid the fanning emotions. Mainly Muslim Malaysia has a 29 million population with at least 10% being Christians.
PAS central committee member Khalid Samad agreed that it would benefit the opposition coalition to have a common stand.
“Pakatan leaders should discuss this, make a decision and stick to their guns,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
PAS Syura Council backs Kedah Sultan over ‘Allah’
The PAS Syura Council has expressed support for Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzan Shah’s stand that “Allah” was exclusive to Muslims, continuing the split positions within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition on the matter.
PAS deputy spiritual leader Datuk Dr Haron Din was quoted by the New Straits Times today as saying that all Muslims should adhere to the decree of the National Fatwa Council in 1986, which declared “Allah” and a number Arabic words as barred to non-Muslims.
”The PAS Syura council stands by its decision, made last year, to protect the sanctity of the name (Allah) and its exclusive use for Muslims.
”I urge those who are of a different opinion, including bloggers or other parties, to respect the king’s speech and wisdom,” he had reportedly said.
Haron said that he was “glad” that Sultan Abdul Halim had intervened in this matter, and that the Kedah Sultan would have not needed to do so if “everyone, regardless of race and religion” had heeded the edict.
PAS Ulama Council chief Datuk Harun Taib was also quoted by the Umno-linked daily as expressing support for the exclusive use of the word “Allah” by Muslims.
”The word Allah belongs to us Muslims. I have long been against its use by non-Muslims. I agree whole-heartedly with the Sultan of Kedah,” he had said.
PAS: More practical to avoid using ‘Allah’ in Malay Bible
PAS has called for pragmatism to prevail in the recently revived debate on whether or not Christians in the country should be allowed to use the Arabic word for God, or Allah, in their religious texts.
The Islamic party said while it defends their right to use ‘Allah’ as previously stated, it would be better for Malay-language Bible to use the Malay word ‘Tuhan’.
“There are sensitive elements such as the Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) and Allah, which must be used in the correct context, otherwise there could be unease in a multi-religious society in view of the present situation,” PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said.
Tuan Ibrahim reminded that various editions of the Bible have been using the terms ‘God’ and ‘Lord’, and pointed out that Christians in the West do not use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God from the Christian perspective.
He said the Bahasa Malaysia Bible should use the word ‘Tuhan’ being the most accurate translation.
He further added that using the term ‘Allah’ would not only confuse Muslims but also Christians.
The debate on ‘Allah’ re-emerged following DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng’s Christmas message urging the Federal government to allow Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ in the Malay-language Bible.
PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali and Selangor commissioner Abdul Rani Osman have meanwhile echoed Tuan Ibrahim’s view.
Use ‘Tuhan’, Not ‘Allah’ For BM Bible, Says PAS
PAS believes that the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the bible is inappropriate, and feel that the word ‘God’ should instead be replaced by the word ‘Tuhan’, to reflect the original meaning of the text.
In a media statement today, PAS information chief, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said, seeing that the BM version of the Bible is a translation of the English version, it is only logical that the word ‘God’ doesn’t mean Allah, because the most appropriate translation is ‘Tuhan’.
He said even in Western countries, the word ‘Allah’ isn’t used to refer to God be it in speech, writing or film. The word that is commonly used is ‘Lord’.
PAS, he said, also felt that the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the BM version of the Bible doesn’t reflect the true meaning of the original text, and that it could confuse certain quarters.
Tuan Ibrahim added, the suggestion could provoke various reactions from both the Muslim and Christian community.
He said, translating God to ‘Allah’ would confuse some Christians, as well as create unease among Muslims, not to mention confusing them as well.

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