But ooops, just weeks later the Malaysian federal Court, rendered a potentially embarassing situation of Prez Obama, he SHOULD NOT have used that sensitive word "InsyaAllah"which is a derivative of "Allah"! Hence my post title, THINKING ALOUD, STILL ALLOWED eh? -- YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual
Make no mistake, the biggest losers from today's decision by the Federal Court not to give leave to the Catholic Church to appeal a decision stopping it from using the word Allah are East Malaysians.For seven years, the church has challenged the prohibition order by the Home Ministry against the Catholic Herald on the basis of this principle: that Sabahans and Sarawakians have worshipped in the Malay language for more than 100 years and have used Allah without any controversy; without any cockamamie argument that Muslims are confused by the use of Allah by those from other religions.
Yes, Christians in East Malaysia used Allah way before Umno was formed and way before Malaya came into being. And to think they have been persectuted for doing so by Umno makes this Allah saga a real travesty.
The Catholic Herald earned the ire of authorities because it has a Bahasa Malaysia section to cater to the Catholic congregation in Sabah and Sarawak and the word Allah crops up occasionally.
In 2007 with an eye on the Umno polls, former Home Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar slapped a prohibition order on the Herald, a move that forced this lengthy and painful litigation.
Litigation that invited derision from Umno, Perkasa and other right-wing groups toward the Catholic Church and put the editor of the Herald, Father Lawrence Andrew, in harm's way.
Umno – the political party with a mandate from only 47% of the electorate – likes to say that the prohibition only applies to the Herald.
That is hogwash. The Court of Appeal ruling and now the decision by the apex court not to grant the church leave to take the appeal court's ruling before the Federal Court has far-reaching consequences for East Malaysians and non-Muslims.
Call it a game changer. Watershed. A point of no return.
Don't for a moment believe that the storm-troopers at Jais, Mais and other religious groups will not feel emboldened by the court outcome. Expect more raids and expect more seizures of Bibles and other holy books.
The considerable number of East Malaysians who have come to Peninsular Malaysia to work and study will not be allowed to use Allah in their masses or worship services. Hey, but the 10-point resolution put forward by the Najib administration to win votes before the state election in 2011 allows East Malaysians to use the word Allah and import Malay-language Bibles.
That 10-point resolution is not worth the paper it is written on. Never has been. It was sleight of hand politics by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, ably abetted by Christian ministers in his administration.
The impotence of the resolution has been laid bare for all to see by the refusal of Jais and Mais to return the Malay and Iban-language Bibles seized from The Bible Society of Malaysia and instead place some state enactment on a higher pedestal than a Cabinet ruling.
East Malaysians, and for that matter non-Muslims, have been operating under an illusion. In Sarawak, there is the belief that the Barisan Nasional (BN) of Tan Sri Adenan Satem is more moderate and inclusive than the right-wing chaps who occupy Putrajaya. Perhaps so.
But ring-fencing yourself in the state does not change the fact that what has been your right for more than 100 years is suddenly being taken away. And just because some people in Umno are insecure about their own faith.
Ring-fencing yourself in your state also does not provide a solution for the thousands of East Malaysians who now study or make their living in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and other urban centres in West Malaysia.
Perhaps more importantly, ring-fencing yourself in Sarawak will not help Christians and other non-Muslims across Malaysia who really help to hold back the advancing tide of racism and religious bigotry being pushed by Najib's Umno, Perkasa and other groups.
Today, it is the use of the word Allah. Tomorrow it will be something else. The food that you can consume. The books you can read. The places where churches and temples can be built. The clothes you can wear.
The only way to stop the right-wing forces in BN and to reclaim this country for all Malaysians is through the ballot box. BN is surviving only because Sarawak and to a lesser extent, Sabah, delivered big on May 5 last year.
So now that the courts have failed to protect the religious rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians, it is time for the Christians in East Malaysia to stand up and be counted.
The courts can't help. The royalty is consumed by their own affairs. The government of the day is bent on dividing the country further. – June 23, 2014.