Joe Fernandez Jan 24, 09 1:13pm
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Bernard Dompok, who isn’t known for mincing his words, opines that the Herald has the right to use the word Allah in its Malay pages until the court rules otherwise.
Wisdom prevailed then
Other factors in support of the continued use of the word Allah, as cited, include the question of “whose language is Malay”, the status of Malay as the national language, the historical use of language by the people in Borneo, the Rukun Negara (National Philosophy), the letter and spirit behind certain relevant provisions in the Federal Constitution, the rule of law against the arbitrary dictates of the Home Minister, human rights and the democratization of government.
Confused and weakened?
The Malay word Tuhan was used for God until the coming of Islam to Southeast Asia from India about 500 years ago when Allah crept into popular usage but even now is used interchangeably with Tuhan. Apparently, the Home Ministry has no problems with Christians using the word Tuhan for God when using the Malay language but this suggestion has been rejected outright by the faithful who want to defend their right to use the national language unhindered.