Felicia Ling!

Felicia Ling : ‘Betapa Biadapnya Seorang Melayu bernama Anwar Ibrahim’

August 31, 2014

Felicia-Ling

Amirul Ashraff, Rakyat News

Pengamal Undang-Undang, Felicia Ling menyifatkan Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim seorang pemimpin Melayu pada nama semata-mata kerana tidak pernah kenal akan istiadat, undang-undang dan adat resam Melayu sehingga menyebabkan parti pimpinannya mencabar kedaulatan Sultan Selangor.

Beliau berkata, PKR turut mencabar rakyat di negeri itu yang tidak pernah bersikap biadap sehingga sanggup melanggar titah Baginda.

“Kemelut Menteri Besar di Selangor secara tidak langsung telah menampakkan betapa biadapnya seorang bergelar Melayu yang bernama Anwar Ibrahim.

“Kalau dia hari ini hendak langgar pagar SUK, kita mampu tahan.

“Tapi kali ini kamu hendak langgar pagar istana, kamu telah langgar adat istiadat orang Melayu. Orang Selangor bukan orang biadap macam orang Pulau Pinang yang bernama Anwar Ibrahim,” katanya ketika berucap pada Himpunan ‘Menjunjung Kasih ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku Sultan Selangor’ di Padang Sultan Sulaiman di sini hari ini.

Himpunan itu disertai beberapa buah NGO termasuk Angkatan Rakyat Sedar (Aras), Gerak Arus Rakyat Bawahan Selangor, Persatuan Anak Selangor Menyokong Menteri Besar (Pasmeb), Persatuan Anak Seni Tanjong Karang, Persatuan Bekas Polis Malaysia dan Persatuan Bekas Tentera Tidak Berpencen.

Beliau menegaskan, rakyat Selangor tidak mahukan sebuah kerajaan yang mengamalkan politik boneka dan memohon perkenan Sultan Selangor untuk mempertahankan jawatan Menteri Besar kepada anak Selangor.

“Saya bantah, saya bangkang. Kalau seorang boneka diletakkan sebagai calon Menteri Besar. Kita berpolitik bukannya megamalkan sebuah politik yang berlandaskan hanya sebagai boneka.

“Kita memohon pekenan Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku Sultan Selangor untuk mempertahankan anak jati Selangor sebagai Menteri Besar.

“Selangor mempunyai Sultan dan undang-undang tubuh negeri. Tolong baca dan patuh pada undang-undang terbabit,” katanya.

Felicia turut mempersoalkan tindakan Anwar yang mengambil ketetapan menunggu perkenan Sultan untuk mengadap sedangkan Penasihat Ekonomi Negeri Selangor itu menjadi punca kedaulatan undang-undang tubuh negeri dicabul gara-gara agenda politiknya semata-mata.

“Kalau hari ini kamu kata kamu tidak percaya pada Sultan, mengapa perlu sibuk menghantar surat perkenan kepada Sultan untuk mengadap.  Baik langgar terus tidak perlu tunggu pekenan Sultan,” ujarnya lagi.

Himpunan ‘Menjunjung Kasih ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku Sultan Selangor’ diadakan bagi menyatakan sokongan dan solidariti terhadap Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah dalam menyelesaikan krisis kepimpinan di negeri itu anjuran beberapa Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO) di Selangor.

Sebelum ini, Anwar menegaskan, keputusan menamakan isterinya, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail sebagai calon tunggal Menteri Besar Selangor adalah muktamad walaupun Sultan Selangor menitahkan agar DAP, PKR dan PAS menghantar lebih dari dua calon kepada pihak istana.

- Malaysia Today

Yes, what does it mean to be a Malaysian Chinese?!

Tags

, ,

What does it mean to be Chinese?

byadelyn-yeoh-170x62-120x44

July 16, 2013

I am, by most definitions, a banana. With this implies a number of things: that I do not know Mandarin, and that I am not very Chinese. My ignorance of Mandarin is not something I wear proudly on my sleeve. But unlike calls for me to learn the language for the sake of being more acquainted with my heritage, I will learn the language for communication purposes.

Additionally, there are those who accuse me of being very Westernised, having gone abroad and all, and as such my cultural identity as a Chinese is diluted. Despite having the reverse happen to me, that is I feel my Chinese heritage even more profoundly, is dilution necessarily a bad thing? The Chinese culture that we inherited came from ancestors from generations before. If we compare to what we in Malaysia adopt now and compare it to the culture inherited from China is totally different. Not that this is wrong or bad, but when those who so fiercely defend it do it out of the fear of this culture being diluted fail to see that some things that are being held onto may not be relevant to our present-day context.

Culture is not static; it is ever-changing. Usually, whatever culture brought in from foreign lands gets assimilated to fit into the local context. And in the context of Malaysia it is strange that even after many generations, there is still so much division within the society due to the stark preservation of racial identities. Most of this racial assertion is done on two fronts: directly by the preservation of racial parties and indirectly by insisting on the preservation of vernacular schools.

To what extent are we trying to preserve these racial identities? While I am all for being proud of our own heritage, the cost of this active assertion is that we lose a national identity because within our society race seems to divide us into stark groups. Worse still in Malaysia, these divisions are institutionalised.

Why are we insisting on having these institutions as a way to mark our identity? If we do away with these institutions, and work towards being a more cohesive society, we should not fear losing our identity. After all, can you truly, truly stop being Chinese? Are people like me less Chinese than the next person who attended a vernacular school?

These accusations of not being very Chinese are very perplexing. It is almost as if the assumption is that the Chinese in Malaysia consist of a single monolithic culture, which it is not. Besides the fact that my ancestors came from Fujian, and thus my lineage has very little to do with this "northerner’s language", there is more to being Chinese and to appreciate being Chinese than just speaking Mandarin. The essence of being Chinese extends to living by values that have Confucian roots, being accustomed to a particular lifestyle that includes eating certain foods and practicing certain habits, even being attuned to certain superstitions. I have all these things, and cannot associate myself with any other cultural group. So how am I any less Chinese than other Chinese?

At the end of the day, what does it mean to be Chinese? It only really means that an ancestor of yours decided to leave China but ultimately landed in Malaysia. Hence, should it not be time that as Chinese we really rethink what it means to be in this country?

<em>* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.</em> – The Malaysian Insider

Fellow Chinese: Cast The Chauvanism Aside, Integrate, Of Course Not At The Expense of Forgetting Your Roots! The Motherland Has Always Respected The Malays Since The Malaccan Sultanate!

Tags

, ,

rui5

China Mari

By Tai Zee Kin

My dear Chinese friends,

China MariI find that this article which has been written by a young Chinese Malaysian brings the true sense and feeling of the Chinese Malaysia from the history of those years until now.

It was exactly why we Malaysian Chinese could not be a truly Malaysian first disregard however hard we try and shout to the Nusantara that we are all Malaysians.

We will always be the Chinese first then only Malaysian.

Assimilation by marriage will be a solution in which will bred a new generation of Malaysian of mix blood and culture. Something to ponder by the Chinese in Malaysia . I totally agree with him and below i would like to share his article to all for the benefit to foster a more tolerable and peaceful environment for all.

Ethnic Han (chinese)-Malaysian, please wake up from our ancestors’ grievance and despair!

马来西亚汉裔同胞,从我们祖先哀怨和悔恨的沉睡中醒起来吧-

TunRazakMao(Preface – This article was originally written by me fully in Mandarin. However i have not gathered enough courage to publish the mandarin version, having anticipated attacks from Chinese Chauvinists in Malaysia. I’ve seek many advices from wise people before putting my thoughts together in this issue. In the spirit of Malaysia, I shall put forth this to you. I dedicate this to every Malaysian, especially our brothers and sisters from different races and ethnicity.)

- “I was listening to a song by the name of 黄河怨 (Grievance of the Yellow River). The wordings of the song reflected the grievance and mourning by the widows and children of chinese men who went on to fight the japanese. The wordings of the song was painful. they were saddening, and full of regrets.”

1) The Great Divide – of Northern and Southern Chinese Immigrants

Tun Razak visit China in 1974Being a chinese malaysian/ Han Malaysian, when you know another new Han Malaysian friends by their name, you would then supplement another question that other races wouldn’t common asked : “What is your dialect clan”?

Are you a hokkien? are you a cantonese, are you a hakka, are you a fuchiew, are you a TiewChew, are you a hainamese, or are you a Kwongxi?

many wouldn’t go all the way to ask if you are a kwongxi.

Had it occur to you, that NO ONE ever asked, if you’re a : Shanghainese, SiChuanese, BeiJingnese, Nanjingnese, HeBei, ?

tun_tan_siew_sin[1]During the last Dynasty and the reign of the last Manchurian Emperor Pu-Yi, with the influences and bullying by the 8 foreign-alliances on China (八国联军), as well as persistent civil war lead by Dr Sun-Yat Sen, many Han Chinese, who forms the majority of the Chinese population couldn’t bear it any longer. They were living in absolute poverty and were suffering from impoverishment. Deep inside their guts, they couldn’t swear absolute loyalty to their king, who were of a different ethnicity from north – the ethnic manchuria, who practices distinct culture from the ethnic han from almost every aspect.

Northern Chinese were commonly known as the 官人 (the rich/upper class). If you trace the english word “MANDARIN”, it came from the ancient Sanskrit connotation of “MENTRI/MENTERI”, which means “of the upper class”. Mandarin, was known as the “dialect of the northern upper class”. People who speaks Mandarin dialect, were the beijing officials from north. – I will elaborate further on this later.

Southern Chinese, like the Hokkiens, FUchiew, Hainamese, albeit adhering to the same writing system, spoke it differently. THese are the farmers, petty merchants, or commonly perceived as the “lower class” among the ethnic Hans. They long succumbed to the fate that northerner who speaks the upper class dialect (官语)-which later was known as the “mandarin” dialect are far more superior and richer.

michelleyeohliving through poverty under the last ching dynasty, and severe instablity during the Nationalist Party’s Reign under Yuan Shi Kai, many Chinese decided to leave the country.

Don’t get it wrong here however.

The northern Chinese left China, with the intention of leaving it for good. they are comprised of the the poor, but mostly the rich. These people fearing that their assets would not survive through persistent civil warfare and lateron, the world war two, brought everything along with them to “better places”, such as the USA and Europe.

The southern Chinese however, were “less” affected by the political instability, not being located in the crux of the game of thrones as much as the northerner. They, on the other hand, were those who seeked to “Change” the fate of their family. With that in mind, they went down south, as brought and offered by the British, to the Nusantara. (British was one of the 8 country alliances that dictated alot of china’s politics).

They were brought in as Miner, labourer, and petty merchants to Nusantara countries, in order to work for the colonial masters’ economical favour.

They were clinging on the hope that one day, upon gathering enough wealth, they could bring back their wealth here to China, and change the lifestyle of their Family in China. Some came alone, leaving their wive and children. Many others, bring along their immediate family members.

They suffered through the difficult passages to commute down south through massive ships, squeezing into the cramped little room for 1 month with technically minimal hygene provisions, just to get their way to Malaya.

They, were our ancestors.

2.) Do you know that most of your ancestors do not speak the language you are speaking now?

MY grandgrandmother Chan Seong Lan, who died 3 years ago at the age of 105, was one of the migrants. I had the privileged of hearing 1st hand experience from her regarding her journey. Granny Chan came from TeowChiew.

When i was young, I had terrible communication problem with granny Chan. I spoke mandarin eloquently. but She doesn’t. She speaks perfect Hakka and Teow Chiew, but never mandarin. To be honest, I’ve never heard she uttered a single mandarin phase. (what made me proud was that her MALAY was really good. She always “sembang” with the lady who sell laksa in front of her house, so i was told).

Our ancestors came down to Malaya with their dialect and language. they were very ignorant over the mandarin dialect (common acknowledge as a “language” in modern days). They do not even think that there was a need to learn mandarin. Most of their culutral practices and behavours were defined by their dialects, such as the Hokkiens and Teow Chiews’ “Pai Ti Gong” ceremony on the 9th day of Lunar New Year or the Hakka’s food like “Son Pan Zi”, “Hakka teoh Fu” etc.

They came in with the simple thoughts of gathering Money, and bring it back to China so that it would benefit their relatives and family up in China. If you still have relatives above the age of 85, do ask them if they have siblings in China, and why didn’t they go back to reconcile and reunite with them. we shall explore “why” they didn’t go back in the next discussion.

3.) Our ancestors who wanted to go back to China, did not go back. Why?

As mentioned above, their main reason of coming down to Malaya/other south east asian country, was not to settle down permanently, unlike the northern Chinese who migrated to Europe or the US.

Our Ancestors taught us a thousand year old virtue, of ” Ru Xiang Sui Su 入乡随俗“ ( if you’re in another foreign/alien land, you assimilate or integrate into the culture and practices of that society). “Ru Xiang Sui Su” was the guiding principle of the chinese who wanted to permanently migrate into a new society. You see the American Chinese migrant adapting Christian name, going to US schools, reading their news papers (of course you still have chinese circulation or chinese food in China town, which will be discussed later – as in the comparison between the china town of chinese who wanted to settle down in new society permanently, and the china town of Malaysia, former are likened to be a “remembrance” of their root, later is just a facade). The Chinese in Europe too incorporated into the european culture fairly quickly, where they won’t be satisfied until their english is rich of British Accent. They did not forget their root nontheless of being ethnic chinese/han, but in terms of lifestyle and routine, they’ve assimilated and integrated into the society they’ve migrated to. You see that in places like Japan, Korea, or Thailand too for that matter.

However, this virtue of “Ru Xiang Sui Su” did not apply to southern chinese who’ve migrated to Malaya. This is simply because they never wanted to stay permanently.

Furthermore, the fact that our ancestors started Chinese school in early 1900, (first being Foon Yew High School in Johor) , started of Chinese Press (Kwong Wah Jit Poh, which is much earlier than Utusan) proved the irrebutable fact that our Ancestors WANTED to ensure that their next generation to be “well equipped” with the Chinese language and culture/customs, so that when they are back in China they would be able to adapt into the norms/culture in China easily. Chinese who migrated with the intention to permanently settled down in a foreign country, never started chinese school or chinese press in the scale that our ancestors did. Back then, Chinese school was not unified. You have Penang’s “Fu Jian High School”, which conducts it’s lesson in Hokkien (currently, renamed “Penang Chinese Girl School/ Bin Hwa High School”). The name of the chinese schools also pretty much reflect on our ancestor’s “reminder” of the fact that their presence in Malaya was temporary. you have “中华CHONG HWA”. Chong Hua is the abbreviation of the “Chong hua/ tiong hua” race (not ethnic), which then is another rephase of the term 中土大园的华夏民族 (the Hua Xia (deepest root of the chinese) race from the main land ground). Contrary to popular believe, Chong Hua is not derived from China’s Full Name “中华人民共和国“’s “Zhong hwa”. in fact, both China’s name, and CHinese School’s name in Malaya derived from the first root of Chinese race (again, not ethnic Han), which is the “Main colossal Land’s Hua Xia race 华夏 race).

What was the reason that they then stayed permanently?

If you read my previous blog post of “bumiputra, for non-bumiputra” —-> Link http://www.facebook.com/taizeekin/posts/10151559295110306 you would have realized that they CAN’T go back to China, against their desire.

soon after they came down, the world war two started. japanese invaded China, and there were civil war in CHina between the Communist fraction and the Nationalist fraction. Fact that Dr Sun Yat Sen started off his revolutionism from Penang, before recapturing China from the last manchurian emperor shows how deep an affinity between the CHinese in Malaya and China (of course he got his later funding from alot of oversea chinese in europe and USA as well, but he started in Penang, Malaysia).

Our Ancestors had NO CHOICE to go back to china and reunite with their siblings, family and loved one. As soon as the war ends, Communist party defeated Nationalist party lead by Chiang Kai Sek, and practiced “Close Door Policy”. the Whole china, like North Korea, was sealed. No one was to enter and no one was to leave (technically).

Malaysian ethnic Han/Chinese will have no choice, but to negotiate for a settlement plan. They GRIEVE and MOURNE over the fact that they could no longer go back and reunite with their family in mainland China. But settlement in Malaya, was never meant to be perpetually. That’s why they actually agreed to alot of terms that were seemingly compromising meritocracy on their part, but INSIST on venacular education. (read my previous blog above for an understanding about citizenship en mass). Venacular education, is the ONLY way they can ensure that their descendant like you and me, would be able to converse in our native mother tongue used in China, so that we could adapt the China’s society when we’re back.

The GRIEVANCE and MOURNING were then inscribed in our blood, and as a matter of fact, in the Federal Constitution right to vernacular education was guarenteed as a result of the “great trade off”. the native nusantarian had no problem giving citizenship to assimilated Chinese/Indian/Europeans as long as they do not withhold their loyalty to their country of origin. Much to the malay’s dismay, the chinese back then had almost all loyalty, in my humble opinion to China. Those who choose to assimilate would then be known as “peranakans”, who speaks and behave like native nusantarian. the nusantarian would treat them as part of them. But because of the technical definition of them being “Chinese”, they were bound by the faith of the 1st Generation Chinese Migrant unfortunately. The Seranis (eurasians) were not included in the “CHinese/INdian” package deal in the constitution. they assimiliated into the Nusantarian culture and was accepted. Again if you want to attack on this point, do read my previous blog first (Bumiputra, for non-bumiputra —> http://www.facebook.com/taizeekin/posts/10151559295110306 )

Therefore It’s suffice to say that Our ancestors, who wanted to prepare their next generation to go back in their stead (they couldn’t because of the close door policy and world war two), instilled in our blood the “Legacy” of mandarin, the very gateway language to go back to China.

4.) Chinese School : To protect the 5000 years old culture and knowledge, or its just about the language as our Ancestor’s legacy to become a gateway to go back to China?

I used to ask my friends from Chinese school, independent, UEC, or SMJK, on why would they go to Chinese School INstead of an ordinary National School.

i got 3 kinds of answers.

a.) The Chauvinistic answers

- Chauvinist (沙文主义) would tell me that it’s our duty to protect the 5000 years old wisdom and culture. thats why we have to send our children to chinese school.

what these chauvinists failed to convince me, is how going to chinese school would ensure that they would protect the 5000 years old history, culture and knowledge?

- I asked them, do you know the “Si Shu Wu Jing (四书五经), the four main literature and 5 great mantras of the chinese. They couldn’t even quote me the title of the 9 most important literature work of the chinese literature.

- I asked them, do you know the different school of thoughts between the confusionism 儒家思想, taoism 道家思想,or Mahayanian Buddhism 大乘佛理. they couldn’t even distuingshih religion rituals and philosophical ideology behind the Chinese Culture-based religion

- I asked them, of the 4 great dishes in Chinese Culture, 四大名菜,京菜,粤菜,闽菜,and 川菜 (Beijing culinery culture, Cantonese culinery culture, Fu Jian culniery culture, and sichuan culinery culture) , how many dishes can they name? they couldn’t even name ONE.

- I asked them, do you know the different between our Ethnic Han’s tranditional costume, the HAN FU (汉服) and the Manchurian Bannerman’s CHEONG SAM/ KEI PO (长衫, 旗袍,旗服) ? they thought that our traditional costume was Cheong Sam/ Kei fuk / Kei pou ), which was a disgrace to our ancestors. we were ethnic HAN with HAN surname like Tan, Lim, Chong, Teoh, but we called the Manchurian’s costumes as our traditional costumes. Manchurians have surname like Yehonala, Nurhachi, Aisinjeoro. Not LIm, Tan, Chong. They didn’t even know that.

Having said that, I , who camed from a Malay school, knew more about Chinese Culture, History, Wisdom and knowledge than them.

their defence of chauvinism hence became obsolete, as you DON’T NEED Chinese school to defend the culture/knowledge of the 5000 years old wisdom.

b.) For the language, Economical reason since China is big.

That reason is even worse. Singapore has ZERO Chinese School, but mandated everyone to brush up their mother tongue. Singaporean ethnic chinese ended up speaking better Mandarin than Malaysian ethnic CHinese/Han. THey didn’t even need Chinese school for that?

If Mandarin is there for economical and practical reason, they SHOULD acknowledge that and propogate mandarin’s learning through the right way. Not the chauvinistic way. I went to Malay school, but took up mandarin all the way to SPM, ended up knowing more about mandarin the language, and Chinese culture than many of the Chinese School graduates.

c.) Don’t Know, just follow my parent’s wish

That is the most dangerous part. This is exactly the very reason many chinese are living in our ancestors’ legacy of Grieving and Mourning over the fact that they COULDn”T go BACK to china, and to make sure that their descendant are at least well equipped with the language so that when they eventually go back to CHINA they would be able to adopt at least in terms of language.

Chinese Education, is different from Chinese Education system. I think it is important for people of every ethnic origin to keep trace of their cultural route including language.

But we MUST not create an Education system purely to accomodate that aspect. Our Ancestors had valid reason to create a separate education system for chinese, for the very reason to prepare themselves and their next generation to Go Back and adapt to CHina. but now that we are permanently settled down in Malaysia, we should defend our mother tongue as a “language to trace our root”, but not a SEPARATE SYSTEM altogether that would alienate a racial group from another throughout their growing time.

5.) China Premier Zhou En Lai’s visit

In the 70s, when China ended it’s close door policy and begin to build foreign ties, Zhou En Lai visited Malaysia. He then made a statement, asking Malaysian Chinese to Swear our loyalty to Malaysia, to our King the Yang Dipertuan Agong.

That puts an END to our grievance and despair of our ancestors, in an abrupt way. No more going back to China. CHINA closed it’s door to them.

Instead of moving on and , like every other chinese around the world, to assimilate and integrate, our second generation ancestors were very CONFUSED. their affinity to Chinese school system is now changed, from initially being an affinity to mainland china, to purely the school system. It’s like , I am an Alumni from Chong Hwa school, and i would NOT let it be replaced/closed. There are 1297 Chinese school in Malaysia, and every each of these schools have alumnis who would, for the sake of their affinity to the school per se, defend and justify their existence.

It soon became and issue of “Quality of Education”.

Chinese School was preferred, in the modern context, mostly because of their quality. I have people telling me, Chinese School has better teacher and better quality, thats why we send our kids there.

Therefore it’s imperative that we do not hide under the facade and hypocrisy of “Defending 5000 years old culture”, and admit that the reason they go to chinese school is because of practical/economical/and quality consideration.

6.) Chinese’s ability and willingness to adapt.

The Chinese, in fact, are among those who are most willing to adapt and modify our culture to intergrate with another culture that we look “highly” too. (of course, keeping a trace of our ethnic han route)

How many Chinese couples wear our traditional Han Fu costume during weddings. westernized, no?

Why many Chinese would adopt “Christian” name (NOT western, i am talking about name like Michael, Kelvin, Joseph, which are CHRISTIAN name) despite not being christians, and fact that it’s very foreign to Chinese culture? of course they keep their enthic HAN route by keeping the surname/given name.

Why so many Chinese are willing to modify our offerings to the Deities? instead of candle light, many are now replaced with, hmn… red bulbs?

Talk about food, do you know that many of the SO CALLED Chinese food like Hokkien Mee, Bak Kut Teh, Hainam Chicken rice, can NEVER be found in Hokkien, or Hainam China? it’s a modification and adaptation to the South East Asian CHINESE taste and preference. If you can modify most of the important cultures, it means you are flexible!

Chinese has a fairly flexible mode to adapt.

fact that the reason Chinese refuse to adapt to the Native nusantarian culture and behaviour, is very worrying. That’s the root of Racism, sparked by FAKE chinese chauvinism.

have you seen a Zikri Tan Boon Hook? or Fatimah Ng Siew Lai? ok lets try with malay names instead of Islamic /arabic/persian name. how about Mawar Liew Mei Siew? or Delima Ong Mai Ling? no? you see more Christophers, Kelvins, Michaels (no offence to many of my friends who’ve adopted christians name) than ever.

Why did we fail to adapt to the native customes and culture is something that we have to ponder upon. i WOULD NOT spell the words out here and risk being labelled a “traitor to the race” like what Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim has been treated rudely by the ignorant chauvinists.

For my Chinese Friends who speaks hokkien.

How do you call a Malay person in Hokkien? HUANNA 蕃仔 ? please use baidu.com to find out what that really means. it’s a disgrace and i felt ashamed.

7.) China Town

Have you been to the China Town in US big sities, and also London’s CHina Town? the China town in Western Countries are VERY chinese. It serves as a “remembraces” and “traces” of the Chinese origin for the migrants, as well as , for economical purposes sell off the unique chineseness to the foreigners. Most Chinese migrants in these country, who’re well assimilated in their respective native culture, would from time to time, visit China Town to remind themselve about their root, in the form of remembrances more than “embracing” them.

Have you been to the China Twon in Kuala LUmpur, and feel the sorry state of it even being duped as “china town”? There is NO NEED for a China Town in Malaysia. most town in Malaysia is China Town. Chinese bill boards, Chinese advertorials, Chinese signboards etc. Why is there a need for a “CHINATOWN” anymore? any Street in Penang or Certain street in KL/ Serdang/Puchong could well beat London’s China town as a more “china” china town.

8.) Malaysian First, or CHinese First?

Funny enough, If you ask that question, Many Ethnic Han Chinese Malaysian would answer you that they are Malaysian first, and Chinese second, without KNOWING what it means to be Malaysian first.

(Caution, if you are a URBAN BANANA, this does not applies to you. according to cense report, there are only 9% of you existing. rest 91% are Chinese educated ) You wake up every morning and watch TVBS Asia, pheonix channel, CCTV4, or hua hee tai. Shows that 80% of other Malaysians who are not chinese will never watch. Tune in to 988, myFM, aiFM, OneFM, channels that 80% of Malaysians don’t understand and will never listen to. You reach your office, open up SinChew, NanYang, GwongMing, KwongWah, China Press, Oriental daily, something that only 80% of Malaysians CANNOT understand. you MIGHT have lunch with your malay/indian colleagues, and chat about life and work. once you go home from work, you talk to your family, children in Mandarin, a language that 80% of Malaysians CANNOT speak or understand. before you sleep, you go to facebook and scroll through. You post among your friends, whom 80% came from your ethnic.

In your daily routine, you are only a MALAYSIAN for 20%, but Chinese 80%. and you call yourself a MALAYSIAN FIRST? hmn… then perhaps, you could tell me how would Chinese first or Malaysian first make a different to you? Lets not quote me example of “WHEN YOU ARE OVERSEA” because you know what, how long are you over sea? so you’re only Malaysian first when you are oversea? hmnnn.

The goal of me posting this long post, is to ASK for the ethnic HAN chinese Malaysian, to really reconsider our stand on issues pertaining race. Stop being chauvinistic and start to integrate and assimilate, WITHOUT compromising your ethnic identity. CHinese in UK/ US/ Thailand all did that willingly. why can’t we? it’s our ancestors’ teaching that we SHOULD do that.

WAKE UP from our ancestors grievance and despair of not being able to go back to China. We are done with that. Let the grievance and despair follow our ancestors to their grave. Start rethinking about your stand as Malaysian.

Khoo Kay Khim 01Please INTEGRATE and ASSIMILATE into the native culture, and OF COURSE , keep mandarin as a language that would trace your ethnic origin. NOT THE OTHER WAY round or you are still TRAPPED in our ancestor’s grievance.

P/s I will write another post on HOW Mandarin, a dialect of the northerner, KILLS OFF our mother tongue (which is our dialect). Mother tongue for Chinese is different, it’s not the language, but the dialect that our ancestors used. Do you know that great poet LI BAI 李白 wrote his poem in HE BEI dialect, which is the current “Hokkien Language”, and the HE BEI dialect was the OFFICIAL language used in TANG dynasty royal palace and court? and there you think everyone in the movie speaks mandarin it must be the spoken language back then. MANDARIN is killing off your mother tonger. THe language is called HAN language 汉语。mandarin, (formerly 官语,(language of the aristocrats), now 普通话 putong hua, 华语 huayu) is MERELY a dialect of the northener. Chinese language is HANYU + your DIALECT. NOT Hanyu + MANDARIN.

That I will discuss in another post.

I further dedicate this post to Joan Lai, Wayne Teo, Jeffrey Foh, and every Chinese Malaysian who thinks that we MUST learn how to integrate into the native Malaysian culture.

Regards

TAI ZEE KIN

“Tidak ada yang lebih menyayat hati dari melihat bangsa ku dihina dan ditindas oleh orang” – Pepatah Melayu

Tags

UMNO DAHULU DAN SEKARANG

Dr-Mahathir1. Pada 11hb. Mei 2013, UMNO merayakan hari penubuhannya yang ke 63 dengan sembahyang dan tahlil, ucapan bersemangat dari Presiden Najib Tun Razak dan majlis makan malam. Tetapi UMNO pada 2013 ini bukanlah sama dengan UMNO 1946.

2. Pada 1946, pengasas UMNO yang berkumpul di Johor Baru bersemangat untuk menyelamatkan bangsa Melayu dari kehilangan bangsa mereka, dari kehilangan tanahair mereka, dari menjadi rakyat sebuah tanah jajahan British dan hilangnya Melayu di dunia.

3. Perjuangan pemimpin dan ahli pengasas UMNO pada masa itu ialah untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair. Tidak ada tujuan lain yang menggerakkan mereka, sudah tentu tidak ada kepentingan diri atau niat untuk jadi pembesar negara merdeka dengan upah yang lumayan.

4. Oleh kerana itu mereka dihormati, dialu-alukan dan disokong oleh hampir semua orang Melayu. Mereka adalah pejuang dan jaguh dan orang Melayu datang berduyun-duyun untuk menyertai parti UMNO yang ditubuh oleh mereka.

5. Maka bersatulah Melayu, tanpa mengambilkira pangkat dan darjat, tanpa mempedulikan berpelajaran Melayu, Inggeris atau agama. Mereka semua Melayu samada dari negeri-negeri yang berlainan, dengan raja yang berlainan, atau apa-apa lain yang membezakan mereka.

6. Dan berbaris padat dan rapatlah mereka untuk perjuangan yang suci, perjuangan untuk menyelamatkan bangsa mereka, agama mereka dan negara mereka. Mereka tidak takut, tidak gentar dalam menghadapi kuasa besar British.

7. Dan berjayalah mereka dengan menewaskan Malayan Union, usul satu penjajah terkemuka, satu dari pemenang perang besar dunia. Dan terdirilah negara bangsa Melayu yang merdeka yang dikenali secara rasminya Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. Nama Federation of Malaya ialah terjemahan kepada Bahasa Inggeris dan dianggap oleh orang Melayu sebagai bukan nama rasmi.

8. Itulah UMNO enampuluh lebih tahun dahulu. Mereka disanjung, didukung oleh semua yang berbangsa Melayu di negeri-negeri Melayu dan di mana-mana ada orang Melayu.

9. Tetapi tidak pada hari ini. Sekarang UMNO tidak lagi dipandang tinggi dan tidak lagi disokong seperti dahulu. Sesungguhnya ramai orang Melayu meluat dengan UMNO, anggapnya tidak lagi relevan dan perlu ditolak pun.

10. Kenapa?. Kerana UMNO tidak lagi berjuang untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair. UMNO ternampak dan memang pun benar, berjuang untuk kepentingan orang-orang tertentu dalamnya dan ahlinya sahaja. UMNO berjuang untuk jawatan dan pangkat, untuk memperkayakan diri, untuk sagu hati, untuk poket sendiri.

11. Untuk ini mereka berusaha mengurangkan kemungkinan diri mereka dicabar, kurangkan kemungkinan diganti oleh sesiapa yang lebih layak. UMNO adalah hak ahlinya, hak pemimpinnya yang sedia ada dan bukan hak orang Melayu. Setelah mereka mendapat tempat jangan benar orang Melayu lain, terutama yang memiliki kebolehan tertentu, menyertai UMNO. UMNO adalah untuk pemimpin dan ahli semasa, dari ketua cawangan kepada ketua bahagian. UMNO tidak perlu tambahan ahli, tidak perlu penyertaan sesiapa lagi kerana ahli yang sedia ada perlu memelihara habuan mereka. Jika terlalu banyak ahli, habuan perlu dikongsi. Dan habuan yang dikongsi tentulah tidak sebanyak sebelum berkongsi.

12. Apa itu perjuangan untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair! Bukankah yang sudah ada dalam UMNO, sebagai pemimpin atau ahli biasa terdiri dari bangsa Melayu, yang beragama Islam. Perjuangan untuk diri mereka bermakna perjuangan untuk bangsa mereka, bangsa Melayu, agama mereka, agama Islam. Oleh itu perjuangan untuk bangsa, agama dan negara sedang diteruskan, tanpa penyertaan Melayu lain.

13. Kesannya ialah hari ini ahli tidak bertambah selaras dengan pertumbuhan jumlah orang Melayu. Dan mereka terutama yang berkebolehan, yang berbakat tidak dibenar masuk UMNO lagi.

14. Yang boleh menyertai hanyalah yang kurang berkebolehan disbanding dengan yang sudah ada. Oleh kerana penyertaan dalam UMNO mestilah melalui cawangan, yang boleh masuk UMNO ialah yang kurang berkebolehan dari ketua cawangan.

15. Ketua cawangan manusia biasa yang boleh diserang  penyakit, bahkan boleh mati pun. Satu hari ketua cawangan terpaksa lepaskan jawatannya. Penggantinya tentulah orang yang memiliki kebolehan yang kurang darinya. Dengan itu kebolehan ketua cawangan akan merosot sepanjang masa, tiap kali pengganti mengambil alih.

16. Dan ini akan terjadi dalam keseluruhan parti. Semakin lama semakin kurang pemimpin UMNO yang berbakat. Semakin lama semakin kurang ahli yang berbakat dan layak untuk menjadi calon dalam PRU. Calon payung terjun yang berbakat akan dikalahkan.  Dengan itu pemimpin Kerajaan juga akan terdiri dari yang tidak berkebolehan.

17. Di mana pergi mereka yang berbakat ini?. Mereka pergi ke mana mereka di terima, tentunya parti lawan.

18. Melihat UMNO hanya berjuang untuk diri sendiri semata-mata, dan tidak lagi untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair, orang Melayu tidak lagi nampak kenapa mereka harus sokong dan jayakan semasa PRU orang yang utamakan kepentingan diri sendiri sahaja. Jika ada sahaja parti lain, mereka akan sokong parti itu. Hanya jika parti lain lebih buruk baharulah sokongan kepada UMNO diteruskan. Inilah yang berlaku pada PRU 13.

19. Mungkin kita boleh tepuk belakang kerana UMNO masih menjadi parti yang menang terbanyak dalan PRU 13.  Tetapi ini bukan kerana orang Melayu masih sokong UMNO.  Sebenarnya kemenangan UMNO dalam PRU 13 disebabkan mereka tidak ada pilihan.  Mereka amat takut kalau-kalau Anwar Ibrahim menang bersama dengan DAP.  Akan hancurlah harapan orang Melayu sama sekali.  Seburuk-buruknya UMNO, ia masih berbau Melayu, masih lebih mungkin memelihara kepentingan orang Melayu.  Justeru itu tidak ada pilihan bagi orang Melayu jika tidak sokong UMNO.  Namun demikian dalam PRU 14 UMNO tidak boleh harap keadaan ini berterusan.  Jika UMNO tidak bersihkan dirinya dari rasuah dan kepentingan diri, orang Melayu mungkin mencari jaguh yang lain.

20. Demikianlah riwayat dan sejarah sebuah parti politik yang lupakan usul-asal dan sebabnya ia ditubuh. Demikianlah berakhirnya perjuangan yang lari jauh dari matlamat asalnya. Dahulu lain, sekarang lain.  Sejarah dan kecapaian dahulu tidak akan meraih sokongan selama-lamanya. Dahulu dahulu, sekarang sekarang. Hanya berharap kepada kata-kata hikmat Hang Tuah, “Tak akan Melayu hilang di dunia” tidak mencukupi. Mungkin Melayu tidak akan hilang di dunia, tetapi apakah jenis Melayu yang tidak hilang ini. Apakah mereka terdiri dari pencuci kasut, pemandu kereta, kuli yang terbongkok-bongkok menyembah bangsa lain yang menjadi Tuan mereka. Dan apakah nasib UMNO? Ia akan jadi cerita dongeng dalam buku kanak-kanak dizaman akan datang.

21. Inilah masa depan yang menunggu UMNO. Inilah masa depan sebuah parti yang cemerlang tetapi sudah hilang kegemilangannya. Inilah masa depan bagi yang tidak mahu sedar dan tidak mahu membetulkan diri.

22. Kata seorang penulis sajak di zaman dulu, “tidak ada yang lebih menyayat hati dari melihat bangsa ku dihina dan ditindas oleh orang”. –Tun Dr Mahathir

Kalimah Allah dan Pluralisme Agama!

Tags

, ,

Antara Syed Naquib dan Anwar

Oleh Zaini Hassan

re_06.1PADA Hari Sabtu (22/9/2012), pukul 9 hingga 11 malam, saya dan rombongan Rektor Universitas Ibn Khaldun (UIKA) Bogor, berkesempatan menghadiri kuliah terbuka (Saturday Night Lecture) Prof. Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas di Kampus Antarabangsa UTM.

Kuliah rutin Prof. Naquib al-Attas ini diselenggarakan oleh Center for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science, and Civilization (CASIS) – UTM yang didirikan dan dipimpin oleh Prof. Dr. Wan Mohd. Nor Wan Daud. Sebenarnya, tujuan utama delegasi UIKA Bogor ke Kuala Lumpur adalah menandatangani nota persefahaman antara UIKA dengan Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, sebuah universiti besar dengan mahasiswa internasional lebih dari 4,000 orang.

Namun, kami bersyukur sempat juga mengikuti kuliah umum Prof. Naquib al-Attas, yang pernah mengunjungi UIKA di tahun 1990-an. Kota Bogor juga sangat akrab dengan Prof. al-Attas, sebab di masa kecil beliau pernah tinggal di sini. Beliau adalah cucu dari Habib Abdullah bin Muhsin al-Attas, yang di daerah Empang Bogor popular dengan sebutan “Habib Kramat”.

Malam itu Prof. Naquib al-Attas banyak menghuraikan makna dari sejumlah istilah penting dan popular dalam kajian Islam, seperti makna ad-Din, religion, knowledge, ilmu pengetahuan, ilmu pengenalan, ma’rifat, dan sebagainya.

Sekitar 300 peserta memenuhi auditorium Kampus Internasional UTM. Mereka cukup beragam; ada guru besar, pejabat tinggi negara, pengusaha, kalangan professional, mahasiswa, dan juga hadirin dari Indonesia, Singapura, Thailand, dan sebagainya.

Di usianya yang ke-83, Prof. al-Attas masih mampu memberikan kuliah dengan lancar selama hampir tiga jam. Al-Attas terkenal dengan teorinya, bahawa “Islam is the only genuine revealed religion”; Islam adalah satu-satunya agama wahyu yang murni. Selain Islam, menurut al-Attas, masuk kategori agama budaya (cultural religion). Sudah semestinya, setiap Muslim meyakini kebenaran dan keistimewaan Islam sebagai nama satu agama dan juga sebagai cara yang benar dalam berserah diri kepada Allah (submission to Allah). Keyakinan orang Muslim itu sepatutnya dihormati, sebagaimana juga kaum Muslim menghormati keyakinan agama-agama lainnya.

Dalam kaitan inilah, Prof. al-Attas mengkritik fahaman Pluralisme Agama, yang secara intoleran, melarang kaum Muslim – dan pemeluk agama-agama lain — untuk meyakini kebenaran agamanya masing-masing.

Dalam karya monumentalnya, Prolegomena to the Metaphysic of Islam, (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1995), al-Attas sudah mengkritik fahaman Trancendent Unity of Religion – satu jenis Pluralisme Agama – yang kian marak disebarkan akhir-akhir ini.

Malam itu, Prof. al-Attas menegaskan kembali kekeliruan fahaman Pluralisme Agama dan menepis berbagai tudingan yang menyatakan bahawa umat Islam tidak toleran terhadap umat beragama lainnya.

Penjelasan Prof. al-Attas tentang kekeliruan fahaman Pluralisme tentu saja sangat penting di Malaysia saat ini. Sebab, wacana Pluralisme tampaknya sedang hangat di Malaysia.

Saat kunjungan ke Malaysia itu, saya menerima hadiah sebuah buku berjudul “Pluralisme Agama: Satu Gerakan Iblis Memurtadkan Ummah”, yang diterbitkan Muafakat, Kuala Lumpur, 2012. Membaca buku ini, tampak wacana Pluralisme sedang sangat rancak dibincangkan di Malaysia.

Memandang begitu pentingnya isi buku ini, maka begitu tiba di Jakarta, pada 26 September 2012, buku ini langsung saya bahas dalam acara Dialog Malam di Radio Dakta 107 FM.

Seingat saya, di tahun 2003, saat saya memulai kuliah di ISTAC-IIUM, wacana Pluralisme Agama masih asing di banyak aktivis Islam di Malaysia. Saat membentang fakta dan data tentang Pluralisme Agama di Indonesia, dalam berbagai forum diskusi, banyak tokoh dan cendekiawan di Malaysia, menyatakan, bahawa pendapat sejumlah kaum Pluralis di Indonesia sangat ekstrem, sampai membenarkan semua agama.

Fahaman semacam itu, kata mereka ketika itu, sulit berkembang di Malaysia, kerana pemerintah Malaysia bertugas menjaga aqidah Islam, sebagaimana diamanahkan dalam Perlembagaan.

Tetapi, kini, wacana Pluralisme Agama pun sudah tampak mulai berkembang, meskipun masih mendapatkan tentangan yang sengit daripada berbagai kalangan cendekiawan ulung seperti Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas.

Tahun 2006, umat Islam di Malaysia pernah dihebohkan dengan terbitnya buku berjudul “Islam dan Pluralisme” dibiayai oleh Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Di antara cendekiawan yang tulisannya dalam buku tersebut adalah Nurcholish Madjid, John Hick, dan Asghar Ali Engineer.

Kini, wacana Pluralisme Agama makin meluas, apalagi setelah tokoh politik Anwar Ibrahim secara terbuka menyampaikan pidatonya yang berisi dokongan terhadap fahaman ini.

Buku “Pluralisme Agama: Satu Gerakan Iblis Memurtadkan Ummah” yang disunting oleh aktivis Islam senior di Malaysia, Ismail Mina Ahmad, ini banyak mengupas dan mengkritik pidato Anwar Ibrahim di London School of Economics, 18 Mac 2010.

Adalah penting untuk menyemak petikan-petikan isi pidato Anwar Ibrahim tersebut:

“…. it is a stark reality of our world that certain religious groups hold that only certain fundamental doctrines may lead to salvation. This exclusivist outlook unfortunately cuts across the board as between religions as well as within the denominations….”

“Back in the 13th century, the mystical poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi wrote in the Masnawi: The Lamps are different but the Light is the same, it comes from Beyond; if Thou keep looking at the lamp, thou art lost; for thence arises the appearance of number and plurality…”

“Today, freedom of religion without which there can be no religious pluralism, is an entrenched constitutional liberty in the established democracies. As such, favouring one religion over another or granting it a position at the expense of others may be considered as being against the spirit of religious pluralism. Yet this still happens even in certain established democracies in Europe while in the Middle East and in South East Asia this ambivalence has been virtually taken for granted until recently.

This is why the discourse on religious pluralism must deal with the fundamental question of freedom of religion and by association the freedom of conscience. The question arises as to whether it is diversity of religions which makes the divided world more divided or the denial of religious freedom that causes it.

I believe I am not alone in saying that for religious pluralism to flourish in a divided world, it is morally unacceptable to say to people of other faiths: We believe in Our God and we believe we are right; you believe in your God, but what you believe in is wrong….

Whatever the religion, whether it be Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and many others, I believe that the higher truths which go beyond mere practice and ritual all converge on the singular truth; and that is from God we were sent forth and unto God shall we return.

Yet certain leaders of the major world religions continue to make exclusivist claims to the eternal truths rather that accepting the commonality that blinds us. If we accept that there can be unity in diversity, religious pluralism can therefore be a unifying force, not a cause of division. That is the way to take us away from darkness into light, from war to peace and from hatred and evil to love and kindness.”

Demikianlah isi pidato Anwar yang diterjemahkan dalam buku tersebut sebagai berikut:

“… ia realiti yang terbentang ‘penuh telanjang’ di dunia kita ini, bahawa golongan-golongan agama tertentu menganggap hanya ajaran asasi tertentu sahaja yang membawa ke jalan keselamatan, syurga. Pandangan yang eksklusif, tertutup ini, sayangnya tersebar secara meluas dalam hubungan antara agama-agama dan juga dalam kerangka mereka yang sama agamanya….”

“Kembali ke belakang, dalam abad ke-13, penyair sufi Rumi menggubah dalam Masnawinya: Lampu-lampu berlainan, tetapi Cahaya itu sama, ia datang dari Seberang Sana; kalau anda terus menerus melihat pada lampu, kamu tersesat; kerana dari sana timbul rupa lahir pada bilangan dan kemajmukan….”

“Pada hari ini, kebebasan beragama yang tanpanya tidak ada pluralisme agama, adalah suatu kebebasan yang tertanam teguh sebagai kebebasan dalam perlembagaan dalam negara-negara demokrasi yang terkenal teguh kedudukannya. Dengan demikian, maka memihak kepada sesuatu agama dan tidak yang lain atau memberikannya kedudukan yang merugikan yang lain boleh dianggap sebagai bertentangan dengan semangat pluralisme agama. Tetapi ini masih berlaku walaupun dalam negara-negara demokrasi yang teguh kedudukannya di Eropah, manakala di Timur Tengah pula dan di Asia Tenggara sikap bercanggahan antara dua perkara berlawanan ini disifat sebagai perkara lumrah yang biasa (taken for granted) sehingga akhir-akhir ini.

“Sebab itulah maka wacana tentang pluralisme agama mesti berhadapan dengan persoalan asasi berkenaan dengan kebebasan beragama dan dengan mengaitkannya dengan kebebasan dhamir manusia (freedom of conscience). Persoalan yang timbul ialah adakah kepelbagaian agama yang menjadikan dunia terbahagi-bahagi itu menjadi lebih terbahagi-bahagi lagi sifatnya, ataupun penafian kebebasan beragama yang menjadi penyebab baginya.

“Saya percaya bahawa saya bukan keseorangan dalam membuat kenyataan bahawa untuk pluralisme agama berkembang subur dalam dunia yang terbahagi-bahagi sifatnya ini, maka adalah perkara yang tidak boleh diterima dari segi moral untuk seseorang itu berkata kepada orang lain yang mempunyai sistem kepercayaan lain daripadanya: “Kami beriman kepada Tuhan kami dan kami percaya kami benar, anda percaya kepada tuhan anda, tetapi apa yang anda percaya adalah tidak benar…

“Apa juga agamanya, sama ada Islam, Kristian, Sikh, Hindu dan banyak lagi yang lain, saya percaya bahawa kebenaran-kebenaran yang lebih tinggi (higher truths) yang mengatasi amalan-amalan semata (mere practice) dan ibadat semuanya terpusat atas kebenaran yang satu itu (singular truth): bahawa dari Allah kita datang dan kepada Allah kita kembali.

“Tetapi ada pemimpin tertentu agama-agama dunia yang terus-menerus membuat dakwaan yang eksklusif tentang mereka memiliki kebenaran yang kekal abadi dan tidak sangat menerima perkara-perkara yang sama (commonality) yang menghubungkan kita semua. Kalaulah kita menerima bahawa memang ada persatuan dalam kepelbagaian, maka Pluralisme Agama menjadi satu tenaga penyatuan, bukan sebab bagi perpecahan. Itulah jalannya untuk menarik kita keluar daripada kegelapan kepada cahaya, daripada perang kepada damai, daripada kebencian dan kejahatan kepada kasih sayang dan kebaikan.”

Demikian sejumlah petikan paparan Anwar tentang Pluralisme Agama.

Silalah masing-masing menilai sendiri, bagaimana isi pidato Anwar tersebut. Isi pidato itu sangat jelas mendukung fahaman Pluralisme Agama. Terlepas dari motivasi pidato tersebut, yang jelas, pendapat Anwar tentang Pluralisme Agama itu segera menuai banyak debat dan kritik oleh aktivis dan cendekiawan di Malaysia.

Mantan Presiden Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) Dr. Yusri Mohamad, menyatakan, bahawa dengan penekanan pada “kesamaan” dan “kesetaraan” dalam semua hal, termasuk dalam hal beragama, maka Pluralisme Agama akhirnya akan menjurus kepada konsep keyakinan.

“Iman-kufur”, “tawhid-syirik”. (hal. 190).

Ini ertinya, Pluralisme Agama sudah memasuki wilayah yang paling mendasar dalam ajaran Islam, iaitu aspek aqidah atau keimanan.

Cendekiawan Muslim Malaysia, Dr. Mohd Farid Mohd. Shahran, menulis, bahawa Pluralisme Agama termasuk bentuk kekeliruan ilmu atau sufasta’iyyah (sophism) yang ditolak oleh aqidah Islam. Pluralisme yang menerima kebenaran semua agama – menurut cara pandang agama masing-masing – adalah jenis sufasta’iyah al-indiyyah yang tidak menerima satu kebenaran yang objektif dan mutlak, sebagaimana disyaratkan dalam aqidah Islam. Imam al-Nasafi telah menegaskan kemampuan akal manusia dalam meraih kebenaran mutlak secara bersama dan menolak pandangan nisbi kaum sofis. Menegaskan pendapat Imam Nasafi, Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas menyatakan: “penyangkalan terhadap kemungkinan dan objektiviti ilmu pengetahuan akan mengakibatkan hancurnya dasar yang tidak hanya menjadi akar bagi agama, tetapi juga bagi semua jenis sains.” (hal. 193).

Kerana itu, Dr. Farid – murid Prof. Syed Naquib al-Attas di ISTAC-IIUM — menyimpulkan: “Sekiranya kita menerima fahaman Pluralisme Agama, ia bukan sahaja bertentangan dengan prinsip aqidah Islam, malah juga bertentangan dengan prinsip akal yang sihat. Ini kerana akal tidak boleh menerima dua hakikat yang sama-sama benar akan tetapi saling bertentangan untuk wujud di satu masa. Ini bertentangan dengan prinsip asas dalam logik iaitu the principle of non-contradiction.”(hal. 193).

Pakar Pluralisme Agama dari Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (IIUM), Dr. Anis Malik Thoha, menguraikan pandangan Prof. John Hick yang sering ditempatkan sebagai “nabinya” kaum Pluralis Agama.

Kata Hick: “…the great religious traditions are to be regarded as alternative soteriological “spaces” within which, or “ways” along which, men and women can find salvation/liberation/fulfillment.”

Menurut Hick, betapa pun agama-agama itu berbeza satu sama lain, tetapi hakikatnya agama-agama itu adalah media atau cara-cara/jalan-jalan yang sama abash/valid dan sama-sama otentik untuk menuju satu tujuan yang satu san sama, atau untuk meraih keselamatan. Dengan demikian, masing-masing dari pemeluk agama-agama tersebut tidak boleh mengklaim bahawa agamanya sendiri yang benar secara absolute dan mutlak.

Dr. Anis mengingatkan, bahawa meskipun sekilas doktrin Pluralisme Agama tampak cantik, indah, dan menjanjikan perdamaian, tetapi jika dicermati dengan saksama, “doktrin ini sesungguhnya telah melakukan pembodohan yang luar biasa dahsyat, penodaan harkat dan martabat manusia, penjungkirbalikan logika normal dan, pada akhirnya, pengingkaran eksistensi agama-agama itu sendiri.” (hal. 169).

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Rencana/20121010/re_06/Antara-Syed-Naquib-dan-Anwar#ixzz2V6dnWry2
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

PENGGUNAAN KALIMAH ALLAH

6 Rabi’ul Awal 1434 H. [MOD] -

 

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الْقَائِلِ،

أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ (الزمر : 3)

Ingatlah, hanya kepunyaan Allahlah agama yang bersih (dari syirik). Dan orang-orang yang mengambil pelindung selain Allah (berkata): “Kami tidak menyembah mereka melainkan supaya mereka mendekatkan kami kepada Allah dengan sedekat-dekatnya”. Sesungguhnya Allah akan memutuskan di antara mereka tentang apa yang mereka berselisih padanya. Sesungguhnya Allah tidak menunjuki orang-orang yang pendusta dan sangat ingkar.

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لآإِلهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا  مُحَمَّدًا  عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ،

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلىَ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ،

أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَيَا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ !  اِتَّقُواْ  اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَتَمُوْتُنَّ  إِلاَّ وَأَنْتُمْ مُّسْلِمُوْنَ

Wahai hamba-hamba Allah sekelian!

Marilah kita bersama bertaqwa kepada Allah dengan sebenar-benar taqwa. Dan Janganlah kita mati melainkan dalam keadaan Islam. Saya  menyeru diri saya sendiri dan juga sidang Jumaat sekalian  agar  kita  sama-sama  meningkatkan  ketaqwaan  kita  kepada  Allah  dengan  melakukan  segala  suruhanNya  dan  menjauhi  segala  yang  ditegahNya. 

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

Ayat yang dibacakan tadi jelas menunjukkan orang-orang kafir menyembah berhala kerana ingin mendekatkan diri kepada Allah. Istilah Allah telahpun digunapakai oleh mereka sejak dari dulu. Dari sudut hukum asalnya penggunaan istilah Allah oleh orang-orang kafir sememangnya telah diakui oleh Allah sendiri di dalam Al-Quran yang menceritakan tentang penggunaan tersebut oleh manusia terdahulu. Malah dalam hadis Sohih riwayat Imam Bukhari menyebutkan :

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَصْدَقُ كَلِمَةٍ قَالَهَا الشَّاعِرُ كَلِمَةُ لَبِيدٍ أَلَا كُلُّ شَيْءٍ مَا خَلَا اللَّهَ بَاطِلٌ وَكَادَ أُمَيَّةُ بْنُ أَبِي الصَّلْتِ أَنْ يُسْلِمَ

Daripada Abu Hurairah R.A. berkata, Sabda Rasulullah SAW ; Sebenar-benar perkataan yang diungkapkan oleh para penyair adalah kata-kata Labid, adapun segala sesuatu selain dari Allah adalah batil dan hampir-hampir Umayyah Bin Abi Salti menjadi Islam.

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Perdebatan yang tak sudah mengenai penggunaan istilah Allah ini sebenarnya bukanlah persoalan hukum harus atau haramnya yang dilihat dari dari sudut nas dan dalil. Perdebatan ini sebenarnya lahir akibat perbezaan pemikiran dalam menanggapi isu ini. Tidak akan berlaku pertemuan selama-lamanya jika sebahagian kita melihat dari sudut hukum asal sedangkan sebahagiannya pula melihat dari sudut kuasa kerajaan melaksanakan ijtihad dalam melindungi maslahat rakyatnya. Contoh kebebasan penggunaannya di Negara Islam yang pemimpinnya hanya Islam pada nama atau negara barat yang tidak mempunyai wewenangan kuasa untuk mengawal aqidah umat Islam langsung tidak sesuai digunapakai walaupun ianya difatwakan oleh ulamak tersohor yang tidak langsung memahami situasi dan keadaan di negara kita. Mungkin ada baiknya penggunaan istilah ini di negara majoriti Muslim seperti Indonesia dan Negara-negara Arab bagi menerapkan dan membiasakan budaya serta istilah Islam kepada orang-orang kafir. Berbeza dengan negara yang tidak mempunyai majoriti besar umat Islam seperti di negara ini, jika penggunaan istilah ini diberikan kebebasan hanya memberi peluang bagi mereka mengelirukan dan menerapkan budaya mereka di kalangan Umat Islam di negara kita.

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Ada di antara kita yang bercakap dari sudut dakwah dengan mengatakan mudah-mudahan penggunaan istilah Allah di kalangan orang kafir akan menjinakkan mereka dengan Islam. Namun jika dilihat dari segi ancamannya kepada aqidah umat Islam dengan segala kelemahan yang kita ada maka ternyata pengawalan aqidah Umat Islam sewajarnya diutamakan berbanding usaha dakwah agar mereka menerima Islam. Kaedah Feqah menyatakan

دَرْءُ الْمَفاَسِدِ مُقَدَّمٌ عَلَى جَلْبِ الْمَصَالِحِ

Mengelakkan kerosakan lebih diutamakan daripada mencari kemaslahatan.

Tidak timbul soal kita takut dengan bayang-bayang sendiri seolah-olah iman kita terlalu lemah sehingga boleh digugat dengan hanya sekadar penggunaan satu istilah. Hakikatnya, kita bertanggung jawab mempertahankan aqidah umat tanpa memberi ruang langsung kepada sebarang usaha dari musuh Islam untuk mencemarkannya. Apakah kita mampu mengembalikan kesucian agama kita tatkala kita lemah jika sekiranya kita leka dengan perdebatan yang tak sudah padahal kuasa masih di tangan kita. Isu ini bukan sahaja wajar dimuktamadkan setelah fatwa rasmi dikeluarkan malah perbincangan mengenainya juga tidak seharusnya dibenarkan.

 

 Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Tidak semua perkara yang diharuskan oleh Allah tidak boleh dilarang oleh pemerintah. Atas dasar Siyasah Syar’iyyah, pemerintah boleh melaksanakan undang-undang bagi mencegah kemudharatan terhadap rakyatnya (سَدُّ الذَّرَائِعِ ). Oleh kerana Islam adalah Agama Persekutuan, maka kemaslahatan Islam dan Umatnya hendaklah diutamakan daripada selainnya. Kaedah Feqah menyebutkan :

تَصَرُّفُ الإِماَمِ عَلَى رَعِيَّةٍ مَنُوْطٌ بِالمَصْلَحَةِ

Tindakan pemerintah terhadap rakyatnya bergantung kepada Maslahat

 

بَارَكَ اللهُ لِيْ وَلَكُمْ فِى الْقُرْآنِ الْعَظِيْمِ وَنَفَعَنِي وَإِيَّاكُمْ بِمَا فِيْهِ مِنَ الأيَاتِ وَالذِّكْرِ الْحَكِيْمِ وَتَقَبَّلَ مِنِّي وَمِنْكُمْ تِلاوَتَهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيْمُ. أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِيْ هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الْعَظِيْمَ لِيْ وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ الأَحْيَاءِ مِنْهُمْ وَالأَمْوَاتِ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوْهُ، إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ

 

خطبة كدوا

اَلْحَمْدُ ِللهِ الْقاَئِلِ :

وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ (العنكبوت :61)

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَــهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ، اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلى ءَالــِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِيْنَ. 

فَيَا عِبَادَ اللهِ، اِتَّقُوْا اللهَ، أُوْصِيْكُمْ وَإِيـَّايَ بِتَقْوَى اللهَ، فَقَدْ فَازَ الْمُتَّقُوْنَ

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia Kali Ke-82 yang bersidang pada 5 – 7 Mei 2008 telah membincangkan Isu Tuntutan Penganut Kristian Terhadap Penggunaan Kalimah Allah.

Muzakarah telah memutuskan bahawa lafaz Allah merupakan kalimah suci yang khusus bagi agama dan umat Islam dan ia tidak boleh digunakan atau disamakan dengan agama-agama bukan Islam lain. Oleh itu wajib bagi umat Islam menjaganya dengan cara yang terbaik dan sekiranya terdapat unsur-unsur penghinaan atau penyalahgunaan terhadap kalimah tersebut, maka ia perlu disekat mengikut peruntukan undang-undang yang telah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Manakala Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Perak, dengan perkenan Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan, telah membuat dan menyiarkan fatwa pada 13 May, 2010 seperti berikut:

 

 (i) Penggunaan Kalimah Allah hanya dikhususkan kepada umat Islam;

(ii) Mana-mana penganut selain daripada penganut Agama Islam adalah dilarang daripada menggunakan Kalimah Allah untuk sebarang tujuan atau maksud;

(iii) Orang-orang yang bukan beragama Islam adalah dilarang daripada menggunakan Kalimah Allah dalam apa jua penerbitan, penyiaran dan penyebaran apa-apa buku, risalah, filem, video dan sebagainya.

 

 Sidang Jumaat Sekelian,

 

         Setiap orang adalah bebas untuk beramal dan berpegang dengan pendirian dan ilmu masing-masing. Oleh kerana ilmu, pendedahan dan pemikiran kita yang saling berbeza, maka lahirlah berbagai pendapat yang tidak mungkin di satukan. Oleh kerana ianya adalah merupakan masalah yang bersifat ijtihadi, maka pemerintah mempunyai peranan untuk mengeluarkan fatwa agar kesatuan ummat Islam dapat dipertahankan. Tidak ada sebarang faedah bagi ummat Islam untuk memperjuangkan hak orang-orang kafir sedangkan dalam masa yang sama mereka sentiasa berhelah untuk menafikan hak Umat Islam di negara ini. Kita tidak pernah menafikan hak mereka untuk beramal dengan agama mereka namun janganlah sampai mengancam jati diri dan pelaksanaan syariat Allah di bumi Allah ini.

 اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُسْلِمِيْنَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ والْمُؤمِنَاتِ، وَأَصْلِحْ ذَاتَ بَيْنِهِمْ وَأَلِّفْ بَيْنَ قُلُوْبِهِمْ، وَاجْعَلْ فِى قُلُوْبِهِمُ الإِيْمَانَ وَالحِكْمَةَ، وَثَبِّتْهُمْ عَلَى مِلَّةِ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ صَلَّ اللهِ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّم.

اَللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلاَمَ وَالْمُسْلِمِيْنَ، اَللَّهُمَّ انْصُرِ الإِسْلاَمَ وَاْلمُسْلِمِيْنَ،

اَللَّهُمَّ انْصُرِ الدُّعَاةَ وَالْمُجَاهِدِيْنَ، اَللَّهُمَّ دَمِّرِ الْكَفَرَةَ وَالْمُشْرِكِيْنَ،

وَأَهْلِكْ أَعْدَائَكَ أَعْدَاءَ الدِّيْنِ،اَللَّهُمَّ عَذِّبِ اْلكَفَرَةَ الَّذِيْنَ يَصُدُّوْنَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِكَ، وَيُكَذِّبُوْنَ رُسُلَكَ، وَيُقَاتِلُوْنَ أَوْلِيَائَكَ، اَللَّهُمَّ بَدِّدْ شَمْلَهُمْ وَفَرِّقْ جَمْعَهُمْ،

وَزَلْزِلْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ، وَسَلِّطْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلْبًا مِنْ كِلاَبِكَ، اَللَّهُمَّ يَا مُنْزِلَ الْكِتَابِ،

وَيَا مُجْرِيَ السَّحَابِ، وَيَا هَازِمَ الأَحْزَابِ،إِهْزِمْهُمْ وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ،

بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَقُوَّتِكَ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اَللَّهُمَّ وَفِّقْ سلطان أزلن مُحِبُّ الدِّيْن شاه اِبْنِ اَلْمَرْحُوْمِ سلطان يُوْسُف عِزُّ الدِّيْن شَاه غَفَرُ اللهُ لَهُ بِمَا تُحِبُّ وَتَرْضَاهُ

رَبَّنَا ءَاتنِاَ فِى الدُّنْياَ حَسَنَةً وَفِى الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ، وَصَلَّى الله عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى ءَالِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِيْنَ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ .

إِنَّ الله يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالأِحْسَانِ، وَإِيْتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ

وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُم لَعَلَّكُم تَذَكَّرُوْنَ .

فَاذْكُرُوْا اللهَ الْعَظِيْمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدْكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوْهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ يُعْطِكُمْ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ .

 

Bahagian Pengurusan Masjid,

Jabatan Agama Islam Perak

“Kemelut Pemikiran Agama”

Artikel ini telah diterbitkan pada 06 Januari 2008 di akhbar Mingguan Malaysia

SEWAKTU sampai di pejabat sehari selepas Krismas, saya perhatikan ada satu halaman daripada akhbar The Sun bertarikh 24 Disember 2007 telah diletakkan di atas meja saya. Ternyata kemudian yang ia adalah satu makalah berjudul “Pemimpin gereja menjelaskan penggunaan perkataan ‘Allah’. Saya mula membaca rencana tersebut, dan semakin jauh saya menekuninya semakin memuncak tekanan darah saya. Sesudah meneliti laporan tersebut dan memahami isi kandungannya, dari sedikit gusar saya jadi betul-betul berang.

Joseph Masilamany mengemukakan pendapat bahawa “penggunaan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan di kalangan penganut agama Kristian telah diamalkan dengan meluas untuk beberapa generasi di banyak negara dan bukan bertujuan menyinggung perasaan atau mengelirukan masyarakat Islam”, ini tentunya menurut para pemimpin Kristian. Wartawan tersebut menemu ramah penyunting akhbar mingguan Katolik tempatan, Paderi Lawrence Andrews, dan agaknya turut berbicara dengan Setiausaha Agung Majlis Gereja-Gereja Malaysia, Rev. Herman Shastri. Paderi Lawrence dilaporkan mendakwa, “istilah ‘Allah’ yang digunakan oleh orang Kristian atau dalam tulisan mereka tidak bermaksud menggusarkan masyarakat Islam atau mencetuskan kekeliruan. Kami mengikut Bible. Bible dalam bahasa Melayu menggunakan ‘Allah’ sebagai terjemahan istilah God dan ‘Tuhan’ sebagai terjemahan untuk istilah Lord.”

Beliau seterusnya mendakwa bahawa “mulai awal abad ke-19, para penganut Katolik di Malaya telah pun memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan perkataan ‘Allah’ telah digunakan sebagai terjemahan kepada istilah God.” Beliau turut menyatakan bahawa “para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan dan demikian juga masyarakat Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Asia Barat.”

Menurut Rev. Herman Shastri, “para penganut Kristian yang tinggal di negara-negara majoriti Muslim menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ apabila merujuk kepada Tuhan dalam upacara doa umum (liturgy) mereka. Biarpun pihak berkuasa tidak membenarkan penggunaan perkataan-perkataan tertentu, pihak gereja akan terus memakainya kerana perkara ini bersangkut-paut dengan buku-buku suci kami (huruf condong adalah penegasan saya). Pendapat yang serupa turut dinyatakan dalam satu laporan terbitan akhbar The Star pada 28 Disember 2007.

Apa yang mendukacitakan adalah cara dua wakil Kristian tadi menghujahkan dasar pendirian mereka, yang, pada hakikat sebenarnya, hampa dari pertimbangan yang bernas lagi benar.

Biarlah saya tegaskan bahawa dakwaan yang mereka tidak berniat “menyinggung perasaan masyarakat Islam atau menimbulkan kebingungan” sarat dengan unsur perbantahan. Hakikatnya, perlakuan dan sikap mereka dalam mengemukakan hujah telah pun menggusarkan orang Islam. Mereka lupa, atau tidak memahami hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran, yang satunya saling mencerminkan yang satu lagi; dalam perkataan lain, cara untuk mempengaruhi pemikiran adalah melalui bahasa, dan bahasa memberikan kesan terhadap cara seseorang berfikir. Kita telah diperingatkan akan dakwaan mereka, “Bible bahasa Melayu menggunakan ‘Allah’ untuk God dan ‘Tuhan’ untuk Lord.” Jelas bahawa makna-makna bagi istilah tersebut dalam Bible bahasa Melayu yang mereka rujuk, adalah salah. Apakah mereka ingin menunjuk dan mengajar orang-orang Melayu mengenai peristilahan yang betul dalam bahasa Melayu? Bahasa Melayu memahami istilah ‘Tuhan’ untuk merujuk kepada God dan bukan istilah Lord. Orang-orang Melayu faham bahawa apabila istilah Arab ‘ilah’ digunakan, ia merujuk kepada istilah Inggeris ‘God’ dan istilah Melayu ‘Tuhan'; dan apabila istilah Arab ‘rabb’ digunakan, ia merujuk kepada istilah Inggeris ‘Lord’. Justeru, apabila kalimah syahadah diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, bunyinya “tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah”, yang diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Inggeris sebagai “there is no God except Allah”. Sekiranya istilah ‘God’ diterjemahkan sebagai ‘Allah’, maka terjemahan tersebut akan berbunyi “Tiada Allah melainkan Allah” (“There is no Allah but Allah”), yang merupakan satu percanggahan. Terjemahan yang sebegitu janggal bukan sahaja tidak menjernih dan menyelesaikan masalah, bahkan akan menimbulkan perselisihan dan rasa bingung. Akan tetapi, Paderi Lawrence sememangnya sarat dengan percanggahan. Beliau menggunakan rangkai kata ‘bahasa Malaysia’ merujuk kepada bahasa yang digunakan dalam terbitan mingguan mereka untuk memenuhi keperluan “ramai penganut Katolik yang bertutur dalam bahasa Malaysia” di negara ini. Walau bagaimanapun, beliau kemudiannya berhujah dengan menggunakan peristilahan yang terdapat hanya dalam bahasa Melayu. Apabila seseorang itu merujuk kepada satu bahasa yang mencerminkan faham-faham maknawi ajaran-ajaran atau kelaziman aqidah yang tertentu – dalam hal ini bahasa Melayu – dia tidak seharusnya melalaikan pengertian penting bahasa tersebut bernisbah kepada bahasa-bahasa yang lain. Walau bagaimanapun, jelas bahawa Paderi Lawrence bergantung kepada fakta yang Jemaah Menteri memutuskan bahawa bahasa Melayu tidak lagi dirujuk sebagai ‘bahasa Melayu’, tetapi sebagai ‘bahasa Malaysia’. Itu ketetapan siasah dan justeru itu mungkin hanya bersangkutan dengan medan siasah. Secara ringkasnya, bahasa Melayu khusus bernisbah kepada orang-orang Melayu. Ia adalah satu bahasa yang faham- faham utamanya yang berkenaan dengan hakikat insan dan nisbah antara yang kudus dengan yang nista (the Sacred and the profane) telah dilahirkan dari rahim agama Islam dan kebudayaan Melayu – budaya Melayu itu sendiri terhasil dari agama Islam. Oleh itu, sekiranya peristilahan dari agama lain mengenai faham-faham utama diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, ia wajiblah mencerminkan kelaziman Melayu, yang berpunca dari agama Islam.

Paderi Lawrence juga mendakwa, “Kami mengikut Bible,” mengenai penggunaan istilah ‘Allah’ bila merujuk kepada istilah ‘God’. Apakah itu benar? Apakah beliau betul-betul menggunakan Bible sebagai sumber rujukannya? Terjemahan atau versi Bible mana yang beliau rujuk? Terdahulu kita telah memetik laporan media bahawa Paderi Lawrence mendakwa, “semenjak awal abad ke-19, para penganut agama Katolik di Malaya telah memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan ‘Allah’ digunakan merujuk kepada God, dan para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk God dan demikian juga para penganut Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Asia Barat.” Jelas di sini bahawa, sumber rujukannya bukanlah Bible seperti yang didakwanya, tetapi masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan dan Asia Barat. Dengan demikian, Paderi tersebut mengandaikan masyarakat itu satu kejadian hidup (being) yang pasti boleh berfikir dan bertindak berdasarkan akal fikiran. Walau bagaimanapun, pada hakikatnya, masyarakat bukanlah kejadian hidup dan justeru itu tidak mempunyai kebolehan berfikir dan bertindak secara aqliah. Sekiranya sesuatu itu tidak boleh berfikir secara aqliah, bagaimana ia boleh dikutip sebagai sumber rujukan yang sah, apatah lagi dalam hal-ehwal nisbah hubungan antara yang kudus dan yang nista? Tambahan pula dan lebih penting, perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas (proper name), sedangkan kalimat ‘Tuhan’ (‘God’) adalah istilah umum yang merujuk kepada objek tumpuan kemuliaan teragung yang tiada nama, Pencipta Yang Maha Esa dan Pemerintah alam semesta. Berdasarkan kepada hakikat bahawa perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas, ia bukanlah istilah yang mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan. Justeru, hujah Paderi Lawrence yang mendakwa Bible Melayu menggunakan istilah itu, seolah-olah penggunaan istilah itu dalam bahasa Melayu mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan, adalah karut semata-mata. Tambahan pula, walaupun seseorang itu mungkin mengakui bahawa benar orang-orang Kristian Arab di Asia Barat menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’, mereka tidak menggunakannya merujuk kepada istilah ‘God’ yang tercermin dalam Bible atau terjemahan-terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab. Kalaupun mereka ada menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ dalam pertuturan, itu adalah kerana mereka menuruti kelaziman orang Arab sejauh mana yang berkenaan dengan kebudayaannya, bukan untuk membayangkan sehimpun kepercayaan i‘tiqad yang tertentu. Pernahkah Paderi Lawrence atau Rev. Herman Shastri membaca terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab? Apakah mereka memahami bahasa Arab?

Dari segi falsafah maknawi, tidak terdapat tasawur kefahaman mengenai ‘Allah’ dalam agama Kristian, dan dalam sebarang agama yang lain pun begitu juga; oleh kerana itu agama-agama tersebut tidak berhak untuk menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’. Apabila Perdana Menteri memberikan kebenaran kepada dialog ‘antara-agama’, pihak-pihak yang terlibat telah bersetuju yang dialog tersebut tidak akan bertentang hujah mengenai akidah, berdasarkan kepada hakikat bahawa pelbagai ajaran agama telah pun “bersetuju untuk tidak bersetuju” dalam perkara-perkara berkisar akidah. Secara amnya semua kalangan yang terbabit telah pun bersetuju dengan ketetapan tersebut. Walau bagaimanapun, sekarang, tampaknya Paderi Lawrence dan Rev. Herman Shastri tidak berpuas hati sekadar berbahas mengenai perkara-perkara akhlakiah, justeru kita terpaksa menangkis hal-ehwal berkaitan i‘tiqad yang ditimbulkan tadi.

Tidak ada disebut mengenai nama khas Tuhan dalam Bible. Jika ada yang mendakwa nama Tuhan adalah Jesus, maka kenapa istilah ‘Tuhan’ (‘God’) diterjemah dengan menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ dan bukan ‘Jesus’? Oleh kerana nama khas Tuhan tidak disebut dalam Bible, berlakulah suatu kekaburan mengenai siapa yang disembah. Apakah nama khas Tuhan dalam agama Kristian? Sesungguhnyalah kita boleh menghujahkan bahawa ketiadaan nama khas-Nya bercanggah dengan sifat Tuhan Yang Maha Mengetahui. Tidakkah Tuhan mencipta manusia supaya dia mengenal dan menyembah-Nya? Tetapi siapakah yang disembah oleh manusia sekiranya dia tidak kenal siapa Tuhan? Oleh kerana kita telah berhujah bahawa kalimat ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas dan pengertian sedemikian tidak ada dalam agama Kristian atau apa-apa juga agama lain, kita bolehlah dengan ini menyimpulkan bahawa sumber rujukan sebenar Paderi Lawrence dan Rev. Herman Shastri bukanlah Bible atau perkumpulan masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 di Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan, dan di Asia Barat, tetapi sumber asal mereka adalah al-Quran. Oleh itu, marilah kita meneliti apa yang dinyatakan dalam al-Quran mengenai siapa Tuhan. Untuk tujuan ini, kita rujuk kepada surah al-Quran yang ke-112 dan pengenalan tafsirnya. Pengantar huraian surah tersebut berbunyi,

Peliharalah iman agar sentiasa murni dan tiada cemar.

Allah benar wujud, Yang Maha Esa, Yang Maha Tunggal; Yang Maha Kekal Diperlukan, sunyi dari sebarang keperluan; kepada-Nya bergantung semua perkara, kepada-Nya kembali semua benda; Dia tidak beranak, berbapa atau berpasangan. Bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara. (Lihat Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation.)

Jelas bahawa bahagian akhir penerangan tafsir menyanggah pemerian Tuhan Tiga-Bersatu (Trinity) oleh Bible. Sekiranya pembaca meneliti surah itu, ia berbunyi,

Katakanlah: Dia adalah Allah, Yang Maha Esa. Allah, Yang Maha Kekal Abadi tiada berkesudahan. Tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan. Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara.

Dari awal-awal lagi nama Tuhan dinyatakan, Allah. Ini diikuti dengan pemerian bahawa Dia adalah Tuhan Yang Maha Esa yang kepada-Nya pengabdian wajib diserahkan, maha suci lagi maha murni yang nyata tiada taranya dengan khalayak makhluk-Nya; sebarang benda yang lain semuanya hanya bayangan pucat bernisbah kepada-Nya. Allah tidak mungkin difahami sebagai memiliki anak atau bapa kerana itu akan memasukkan sifat benda bernyawa dalam kefahaman kita mengenai-Nya; sifat-sifat dan hakikat-Nya tunggal tersendiri tidak ada tara-Nya (ringkasan kepada catatan no. 6296, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation, 1991, ms. 1714). Ayat “tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan” menyangkal kefahaman agama Kristian mengenai Tuhan, “Bapa”, “Anak”, dan seterusnya (rujuk catatan no. 6299 dari sumber yang sama). Bahagian terakhir surah tersebut, Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara memberi amaran “jangan menganggapi Tuhan dalam sifat rupa bentuk manusia (anthropomorphism), iaitu kecenderungan untuk menganggapi Allah menurut rupa dan bentuk serta sifat kita sendiri, satu kecenderungan licik yang menyusup dalam setiap zaman dan di kalangan semua bangsa (lihat catatan no. 6300 sumber di atas). Nyata bahawa ‘Tuhan’ Islam bukanlah ‘Tuhan’ Kristian. Saya nyatakan kepada para pembaca, bahawa pandangan Paderi Lawrence dan Rev. Herman Shastri tidak mencerminkan sebahagian besar penganut Katolik, gereja, atau Paus. Sesungguhnya niat serta tujuan mereka bukan sahaja untuk menyerang dan menimbulkan kekalutan di kalangan orang-orang Islam, tetapi juga para penganut Katolik. Kaedah mereka adalah melalui bahasa; akan tetapi, oleh kerana kita menghujahkan hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran adalah saling mencerminkan satu sama lain, sebarang istilah dari satu tradisi pemikiran, apabila diterjemahkan perlulah membayangkan tradisi pemikiran yang asal, jika tidak maka makna sebenar peristilahan yang diterjemahkan akan menjadi kacau-bilau. Dalam hal ini, mereka menghujahkan bahawa menurut tradisi pemikiran Katolik istilah ‘God’ diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu sebagai ‘Allah’, satu kalimat yang mencerminkan tradisi pemikiran Islam. Dan justeru itu, makna sebenar istilah asal ‘God’, seperti tergambar dalam tradisi pemikiran Katolik, dengan sengaja sedang dikelirukan.

Tadi telah kita sebut bahawa, dalam kenyataan yang dilaporkan akhbar The Star (28 Disember 2007), Paderi Lawrence menegaskan, “kami telah mengambil keputusan supaya kedudukan kami dari segi undang-undang mengenai penggunaan perkataan tersebut diselesaikan melalui ketetapan mahkamah.” Apakah mahkamah memiliki kuasa ke atas tradisi pemikiran agama? Apakah beliau berpendapat mahkamah memiliki kuasa membuat ketetapan mengenai siapa Tuhan? Apakah beliau menyangka mahkamah memiliki kuasa ke atas sekian banyak generasi ilmuwan dan sarjana terpelajar yang pandai lagi berkeahlian mengenai aqa‘id? Eloklah saya mengingatkan beliau, dalam surat peringatan dari pejabat Timbalan Perdana Menteri bertarikh 16 Mei 1986 berkenaan empat peristilahan Islam yang tidak boleh digunakan dalam Bible, dalam apa-apa jua keadaan iaitu: ‘Allah’, ‘Kaabah’, ‘Baitullah’, dan ‘Solat’. Difahamkan keputusan Kabinet itu masih mengikat; dalam hal ini, sebarang tindakan yang dikemukakan oleh pihak Paderi Lawrence ke mahkamah bukan sangat untuk mencabar kedudukan undang-undang berkenaan penggunaan oleh gereja Katolik akan kalimat ‘Allah’ untuk menterjemahkan istilah ‘Tuhan’ (‘God’) dalam Bible. Tetapi lebih dahsyat, ia satu cabaran yang menentang keputusan jemaah Menteri. Malaysia memiliki jemaah Menteri dan Parlimen perwakilan rakyat adalah bertonggakkan Rukunegara. Tiang seri pertama Rukunegara dalam bahasa Inggerisnya, “Belief in God” yang merupakan terjemahan cermat lagi tepat daripada bahasa Melayu “Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan”. Terjemahan Inggerisnya tidak berbunyi “Belief in Allah” kerana, barangkali kalau begitu Rukunegara akan dituduh sebagai memaktubkan Malaysia negara Islam atau Islamic State.

Anda tidak memiliki hak atau keizinan untuk menterjemahkan peristilahan yang terdapat dalam satu tradisi pemikiran akidah agama dengan menggunakan ungkapan-ungkapan tradisi pemikiran akidah agama yang lain, khususnya ungkapan-ungkapan yang merujuk kepada siapa itu Tuhan yang tidak ada faham tasdiqnya dalam tradisi anda. Perlihatkan rasa hormat kepada istilah-istilah penting dan erti-erti maknawi yang mencerminkan agama Islam dalam bahasa Melayu, persis sikap orang Islam yang menghormati istilah dan faham dasar anda. Kami tidak merujuk tempat pemujaan anda selaku masjid, tetapi sebagai gereja, kuil, candi dan seterusnya. Kami tidak menganggap pemimpin sembahyang berkumpulan anda sebagai imam, melainkan selaku paderi, sami dan seterusnya. Kami tidak merujuk kepada tumpuan sembahan anda sebagai Allah tetapi sebagai Tuhan. Kami tidak menafikan hak mana-mana golongan penganut agama lain menterjemahkan buku suci masing-masing dalam bahasa Melayu; cuma, seandainya ada yang hendak berbuat demikian, maka golongan tersebut mestilah memiliki ilmu dan keahlian mengenai bahasa Melayu, cukup berdaya cipta lagi kreatif untuk menggunakan peristilahan yang benar-benar mencerminkan tradisi pemikiran akidah agama masing-masing. Sementara itu, adalah wajar bagi Paderi Lawrence Andrews dan Rev. Herman Shastri bersikap lebih teliti, waspada dan berhati-hati. - Mingguan Malaysia

Menelusuri Kemelut Kalimah

Ditulis oleh Syed Ali Tawfik al-Attas. Posted in Utusan Malaysia

Dewasa ini terdapat mereka yang mengemukakan pendapat bahawa “penggunaan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan di kalangan penganut agama Kristian telah diamalkan dengan meluas untuk beberapa generasi di banyak negara, dan ia bukan bertujuan untuk menyinggung perasaan atau mengelirukan masyarakat Islam” kononnya. Terdapat pula wartawan yang telah menemuramah penyunting akhbar mingguan Katolik tempatan, yang dilaporkan mendakwa bahawa “istilah ‘Allah’ yang digunakan oleh orang-orang Kristian, baik di dalam upacara mereka mahupun dalam tulisan-tulisan mereka, tidak bermaksud untuk menggusarkan masyarakat Islam atau mencetuskan kekeliruan. Penyunting akhbar mingguan Katolik tersebut dilaporkan pernah berkata, “Kami mengikut Bible. Bible dalam Bahasa Melayu menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’ sebagai terjemahan untuk istilah God dan ‘Tuhan’ sebagai terjemahan untuk istilah Lord.” Beliau seterusnya mendakwa “mulai awal abad ke-19, para penganut Katolik di Malaya telah memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan perkataan ‘Allah’ telah digunakan sebagai terjemahan kepada istilah God.” Beliau turut menyatakan bahawa “para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan dan demikian juga masyarakat Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Timur Tengah.”

Menurut seorang paderi Katolik, “para penganut Kristian yang tinggal di negara-negara majoriti-Muslim menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ apabila merujuk kepada Tuhan dalam upacara doa umum (liturgy) mereka. Biarpun pihak berkuasa tidak membenarkan penggunaan perkataan-perkataan tertentu, pihak gereja akan terus memakainya kerana perkara ini bersangkut-paut dengan buku-buku suci kami” (huruf condong adalah penegasan saya). Pendapat yang serupa turut dinyatakan dalam satu laporan terbitan akhbar The Star pada 28 Disember 2007. Dalam rencana tersebut, seorang paderi Katolik tergamak untuk mendakwa, “kami berpendapat yang kami berhak untuk menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’.” Iaitu, tambah beliau, “Kami telah mengambil ketetapan agar kedudukan kami di sisi undang-undang mengenai penggunaan perkataan tersebut diputuskan oleh mahkamah” (huruf condong penegasan saya). Cara wakil Katolik tadi menghujahkan dasar pendirian mereka, pada hakikat sebenarnya, hampa dari pertimbangan yang bernas lagi benar. Hujah tersebut yang menegaskan bahawa “perkara ini bersangkut paut dengan buku-buku suci kami”, dengan jelas menggambarkan bahawa golongan tersebut tidak mengambil kira bahawa istilah ‘Allah’ tiada kaitan langsung dengan agama mahupun akidah Katolik, hanya bersangkut paut dengan buku-buku suci agama tersebut kononnya. Selebihnya, dengan tidak mengenali hakikat tersebut, nampaknya wakil pihak Katolik telah mengambil ketetapan agar kedudukan mereka itu di sisi undang-undang diputuskan oleh mahkamah, seolah-olah perkara ini berkisar soal undang-undang nista semata-mata dan bukannya berkaitan dengan soal akidah mereka. Seterusnya, ia memberi gambaran bahawa pihak mahkamah lebih mengetahui soal akidah berbanding Tuhan mereka.

Sejumlah dakwaan mereka seperti yang dilaporkan media sudah kita sorot; sekarang, marilah kita arahkan pembicaraan kita terhadap dakwaan-dakwaan tersebut. Untuk memulakannya, biarlah saya tegaskan bahawa dakwaan yang mereka tidak berniat untuk “menyinggung perasaan masyarakat Islam atau menimbulkan kebingungan” sarat dengan unsur perbantahan. Hakikatnya, perlakuan dan sikap mereka dalam mengemukakan hujah telah menggusarkan masyarakat Islam dan mencetuskan kekeliruan. Mereka lupa, atau tidak memahami hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran, yang satunya saling mencerminkan yang satu lagi; dalam perkataan lain, cara untuk mempengaruhi pemikiran adalah melalui bahasa, dan bahasa memberikan kesan terhadap cara seseorang berfikir. Kita telah diperingatkan akan dakwaan mereka, “Bible bahasa Melayu menggunakan kalimah ‘Allah’ sebagai terjemahan kepada istilah God dan ‘Tuhan’ untuk Lord.” Jelas bahawa makna-makna bagi istilah tersebut dalam Bible bahasa Melayu yang mereka rujuk, adalah salah. Apakah mereka ingin menunjuk dan mengajar orang-orang Melayu mengenai peristilahan yang betul yang terdapat dalam bahasa Melayu? Bahasa Melayu memahami istilah ‘Tuhan’ untuk merujuk kepada istilah God juga dan bukan untuk merujuk kepada istilah Lord semata mata. Orang-orang Melayu faham bahawa apabila istilah bahasa Arab ‘ilah’ digunapakai, ia membawa maksud ‘Tuhan yang disembah’ dalam bahasa Melayu, yang dirujuk menggunakan istilah ‘God’ dalam bahasa Inggeris. Justeru, apabila kalimah shahadah diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, bunyinya “tiada Tuhan yang disembah melainkan Allah”, yang diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Inggeris sebagai “there is no God worthy of worship except Allah”. Sekiranya istilah God diterjemahkan sebagai ‘Allah’, maka terjemahan tersebut akan berbunyi “Tiada Allah melainkan Allah” (“There is no Allah but Allah”), yang merupakan satu percanggahan. Terjemahan yang sebegitu janggal bukan sahaja tidak menjernih dan menyelesaikan masalah, bahkan akan menimbulkan perselisihan dan rasa bingung. Istilah bahasa Arab rabb yang terkandung didalam al-Quran membawa maksud ‘Tuhan yang mencipta, memelihara, dan memiliki sekalian alam’, yang mengguna pakai istilah ‘Lord’ dalam loghat bahasa Inggeris. Akan tetapi, istilah ‘Lord’ dalam loghat bahasa Inggeris tidak mencerminkan Tuhan agama Islam yang mencipta, memelihara, dan memiliki sekalian alam walaupun istilah tersebut diterjemahkan sebagai ‘Tuhan’ dalam bahasa Melayu. Istilah ‘Lord’ dalam loghat bahasa Inggeris merujuk kepada Tuhan agama Kristian semata-mata, dan Tuhan yang dimaksudkan itu tidak lain daripada Jesus Christ. Oleh yang demikian, faham ‘Lord’ tersebut tidak terkandung didalam rangka pandangan alam Islam. Sekiranya kita merujuk kepada ‘the Lord‘s Prayer’, ianya ditakrifkan sebagai doa yang dikatakan diajarkan oleh Jesus Christ (the Lord) kepada pengikut-pengikutnya, yang bermula dengan ‘Bapa kami’. Ini dengan jelas menggambarkan bahawa tuhan yang disembah atau ‘God’ menurut agama mereka itu, bergelar Bapa. Oleh yang demikian, sekiranya istilah ‘God’ yang membawa maksud Tuhan yang disembah menurut agama mereka itu diterjemahkan kedalam bahasa Melayu, ia harus mengguna pakai istilah ‘Bapa’ dan bukan istilah ‘Allah’. Seterusnya, apabila terdapat kata-kata ‘the Lord God’, yang pada hakikatnya merupakan terjemahan daripada bahasa Yunani, ia tidak boleh diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Melayu sebagai ‘Tuhan Allah’ oleh kerana kita telah menunjukkan bahawa istilah ‘Lord’ merujuk kepada Jesus Christ, manakala istilah ‘God’ merujuk kepada ‘Tuhan yang disembah mengikut faham agama Kristian’, atau ‘Bapa’. Oleh yang demikian, sekiranya terjemahan kepada kata-kata ‘the Lord God’ kedalam bahasa Melayu ingin mencerminkan faham agama Kristian, ia harus berbunyi ‘Bapa Jesus Christ’.

Kita melihat bahawa wakil pihak Katolik sememangnya sarat dengan percanggahan. Dalam laporan-laporan akhbar, beliau menggunakan rangkai-kata ‘Bahasa Malaysia’ merujuk kepada bahasa yang digunakan dalam terbitan mingguan mereka untuk memenuhi keperluan “ramai para penganut Katolik yang bertutur dalam bahasa Malaysia” di negara ini. Bagaimanapun, beliau kemudiannya berhujah dengan menggunakan peristilahan yang terdapat hanya dalam bahasa Melayu. Apabila seseorang itu merujuk kepada satu bahasa yang mencerminkan faham-faham maknawi ajaran-ajaran atau kelaziman akidah yang tertentu-dalam hal ini bahasa Melayu-dia tidak seharusnya melalaikan pengertian penting bahasa tersebut bernisbah kepada bahasa-bahasa yang lain. Walau bagaimanapun, jelas bahawa wakil pihak Katolik bergantung kepada fakta yang Jemaah Menteri telah memutuskan bahawa bahasa Melayu tidak lagi dirujuk sebagai ‘Bahasa Melayu’, tetapi sebaliknya sebagai ‘Bahasa Malaysia’. Itu ketetapan siasah dan justeru itu mungkin hanya bersangkutan dengan medan siasah. Secara ringkasnya, bahasa Melayu adalah khusus bernisbah kepada orang-orang Melayu. Ia adalah satu bahasa yang faham-faham utamanya yang berkenaan dengan hakikat insan dan nisbah antara yang Kudus dengan yang nista (the Sacred and the profane) telah dilahirkan dari rahim agama Islam dan kebudayaan Melayu. Oleh kerana itu, sekiranya peristilahan dari agama lain mengenai faham-faham utama itu diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, ia wajiblah mencerminkan kelaziman Melayu, yang berpunca dari agama dan kerangka pandangan alam Islam.

Wakil Katolik juga ada mendakwa, “Kami mengikut Bible”, mengenai penggunaan istilah ‘Allah’ bila merujuk kepada istilah ‘God’. Apakah itu benar? Apakah beliau betul-betul menggunakan Bible sebagai sumber rujukannya? Terjemahan atau versi Bible yang mana yang beliau rujuk? Terdahulu kita telah memetik laporan media bahawa Paderi Lawrence mendakwa “semenjak awal abad ke-19, para penganut agama Katolik di Malaya telahpun memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan ‘Allah’ telah digunakan untuk merujuk kepada God, dan para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada God, dan demikian juga para penganut Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Timur Tengah.” Jelas di sini bahawa, sumber rujukannya bukanlah Bible seperti yang didakwanya, tetapi sebaliknya masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan dan Timur Tengah. Dengan demikian, Wakil tersebut mengandaikan masyarakat itu satu kejadian hidup (being) yang pasti boleh berfikir dan bertindak berdasarkan akal fikiran. Walau bagaimanapun, pada hakikatnya, masyarakat bukanlah satu kejadian hidup (being), dan justeru itu tidak mempunyai kebolehan berfikir dan bertindak secara aqliah. Sekiranya sesuatu itu tidak boleh berfikir secara aqliah, bagaimana ia boleh dikutip sebagai sumber rujukan yang sah, apatah lagi dalam hal-ehwal nisbah hubungan antara yang Kudus dan yang nista? Tambahan pula, dan lebih penting lagi, perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas (proper name), sedangkan kalimat ‘Tuhan’ (God) adalah istilah umum yang merujuk kepada objek tumpuan kemuliaan teragung yang tiada nama, Pencipta Yang Maha Esa dan Pemerintah alam semesta. Berdasarkan kepada hakikat bahawa perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas, ia bukanlah istilah yang mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan. Justeru, hujah wakil Katolik yang mendakwa Bible Melayu menggunakan istilah itu, seolah-olah penggunaan istilah itu dalam bahasa Melayu mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan, adalah karut semata-mata. Tambahan pula, walaupun seseorang itu mungkin mengakui bahawa benar orang-orang Kristian Arab di Timur Tengah menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’, mereka tidak menggunakannya merujuk kepada istilah God yang tercermin dalam Bible atau terjemahan-terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab. Kalaupun mereka ada menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ dalam pertuturan mereka, itu adalah kerana mereka menuruti kelaziman orang-orang Arab sejauh mana yang berkenaan dengan kebudayaannya, dan bukan untuk membayangkan sehimpun kepercayaan i‘tiqad yang tertentu. Pernahkah wakil-wakil Katolik membaca terjemahan-terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab? Bahkan, apakah mereka memahami bahasa Arab?

Dari segi falsafah maknawi, tidak terdapat taswwur kefahaman mengenai ‘Allah’ dalam agama Kristian, dan dalam sebarang agama yang lain pun begitu juga; oleh kerana itu, agama-agama tersebut tidak berhak untuk menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’. Tidak ada disebut mengenai nama khas Tuhan dalam Bible. Jika ada yang mendakwa nama Tuhan adalah Jesus Christ, maka kenapa istilah ‘Tuhan’ (God) diterjemah dengan menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ dan bukan ‘Jesus Christ’? Oleh kerana nama khas Tuhan tidak disebut dalam Bible, berlakulah suatu kekaburan mengenai siapa yang disembah. Apakah nama khas Tuhan dalam agama Kristian? Sesungguhnyalah kita boleh menghujahkan bahawa ketiadaan nama khas-Nya bercanggah dengan sifat Tuhan Yang Maha Mengetahui. Tidakkah Tuhan mencipta manusia supaya dia mengenal dan menyembah-Nya? Tetapi siapakah yang disembah oleh manusia sekiranya dia tidak kenal siapa Tuhan? Oleh kerana kita telah berhujah bahawa kalimat ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas dan pengertian sedemikian tidak ada dalam agama Kristian atau apa-apa juga agama lain, kita bolehlah dengan ini menyimpulkan bahawa sumber rujukan sebenar wakil-wakil Katolik bukanlah Bible atau perkumpulan masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 di Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan, dan di Timur Tengah, tetapi sumber asal mereka adalah al-Quran. Oleh itu, marilah kita meneliti apa yang dinyatakan dalam al-Qur‘an mengenai siapakah Tuhan yang wajib disembah. Untuk tujuan ini, kita akan merujuk kepada surah al-Quran yang ke-112 dan pengenalan tafsirnya. Pengantar huraian surah tersebut berbunyi,

Peliharalah iman agar sentiasa murni dan tiada cemar. Allah benar wujud, Yang Maha Esa, Yang Maha Tunggal; Yang Maha Kekal Diperlukan, sunyi dari sebarang keperluan; kepada-Nya bergantung semua perkara, kepada-Nya kembali semua benda;

Dia tidak beranak, berbapa atau berpasangan. Bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara. (Lihat Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation.)

Jelas bahawa bahagian akhir penerangan tafsir menyanggah pemerian Tuhan Tiga-Bersatu (Trinity) oleh Bible. Sekiranya pembaca meneliti surah itu sendiri, ia berbunyi,

Katakanlah: ‘Dia adalah Allah, Yang Maha Esa. Allah, Yang Maha Kekal Abadi tiada berkesudahan. Tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan. Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara.’

Dari awal-awal lagi nama khas Tuhan yang wajib disembah dinyatakan, Allah. Ini diikuti dengan pemberian bahawa Dia adalah Tuhan Yang Maha Esa yang kepada-Nya pengabdian wajib diserahkan, maha suci lagi maha murni yang nyata tiada taranya dengan khalayak makhluk-Nya; sebarang benda yang lain semuanya hanya bayangan pucat bernisbah kepada-Nya. Allah tidak mungkin difahami sebagai memiliki anak atau bapa kerana itu akan memasukkan sifat benda bernyawa dalam kefahaman kita mengenai-Nya; sifat-sifat dan hakikat-Nya tunggal tersendiri tidak ada tara-Nya (ringkasan kepada catatan no. 6296, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation, 1991, ms. 1714). Ayat “tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan” menyangkal kefahaman agama Kristian mengenai Tuhan, “Bapa”, “Anak”, dan seterusnya (rujuk catatan no. 6299 dari sumber yang sama). Bahagian terakhir surah tersebut, “Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara” memberi amaran “jangan menanggapi Tuhan dalam sifat rupa-bentuk manusia (anthropomorphism), iaitu kecenderungan untuk menanggapi Allah menurut rupa dan bentuk serta sifat kita sendiri, satu kecenderungan licik yang menyusup dalam setiap zaman dan di kalangan semua bangsa” (huruf condong penegasan saya, lihat catatan no. 6300 sumber di atas). Nyata bahawa ‘Tuhan’ agama Islam bukanlah ‘Tuhan’ agama Kristian. Akan tetapi wakil-wakil Katolik mengigau bahawa Dia satu dan sama. Apakah mereka mewakili pandangan kebanyakan penganut Katolik? Apakah pendapat mereka yang ‘berkewibawaan’ menggambarkan pandangan Gereja Katolik, ataupun pandangan Paus (Pope)? Apakah benar yang pandangan mereka tidak bermaksud untuk menggusarkan atau mengelirukan orang-orang Islam? Nampaknya usaha mereka bukanlah agar orang-orang Melayu masuk dalam agama Kristian; bahkan lebih jauh dari itu, ia merupakan satu percubaan agar agama Kristian memeluk pandangan hidup orang-orang Melayu. Kaedah mereka adalah melalui bahasa; akan tetapi, oleh kerana kita telah menghujahkan hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran adalah saling mencerminkan satu sama lain, sebarang istilah dari satu tradisi pemikiran, apabila diterjemahkan, perlulah membayangkan tradisi pemikiran yang asal, jika tidak maka makna sebenar peristilahan yang diterjemahkan akan menjadi kacau-bilau. Dalam hal ini, wakil-wakil Katolik menghujahkan bahawa menurut tradisi pemikiran Katolik istilah ‘God’ dalam bahasa Inggeris diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu sebagai ‘Allah’, satu kalimat yang mencerminkan tradisi akidah dan pemikiran Islam. Dan justeru itu, makna sebenar istilah asal God, seperti yang tergambar dalam tradisi pemikiran Katolik, dengan sengaja sedang kelam dikelirukan.

Singkatnya, anda sama-sekali tidak memiliki hak atau keizinan untuk menterjemahkan peristilahan yang terdapat dalam satu tradisi pemikiran aqidah agama dengan menggunakan ungkapan-ungkapan tradisi pemikiran aqidah agama yang lain, khususnya ungkapan-ungkapan yang merujuk kepada siapa itu Tuhan yang tidak ada faham tasdiqnya dalam tradisi anda sendiri. Anda mesti memperlihatkan rasa hormat kepada istilah-istilah penting dan erti-erti maknawi yang mencerminkan agama Islam dalam bahasa Melayu, persis sikap masyarakat Islam yang menghormati istilah-istilah dan faham-faham dasar anda. Kami tidak merujuk kepada tempat-tempat pemujaan anda selaku masjid, tetapi sebagai gereja, kuil, candi dan seterusnya. Kami tidak menganggap pemimpin sembahyang berkumpulan kamu sebagai imam, melainkan selaku paderi, sami dan seterusnya. Lebih penting lagi, kami tidak merujuk kepada tumpuan sembahan anda sebagai Allah, tetapi sebagai Tuhan. Kami tidak menafikan hak mana-mana golongan penganut agama lain untuk menterjemahkan buku suci masing-masing dalam bahasa Melayu; cumanya, seandainya ada mereka yang hendak berbuat demikian, maka golongan tersebut mestilah memiliki ilmu dan keahlian mengenai Bahasa Melayu, dan cukup berdaya-cipta lagi berilmu untuk menggunakan peristilahan yang benar-benar mencerminkan tradisi pemikiran aqidah agama mereka masing-masingnya. Sementara itu, adalah wajar bagi wakil-wakil Katolik supaya bersikap lebih teliti, waspada dan berhati-hati. – Utusan Malaysia

Apa Ada Pada Remaja?!

Tags

Remaja perlu celik undang-undang

oleh Prof. Salleh Buang

TERIMA KASIH MALAYSIA 1GENERASI Y, yang pada satu hari nanti diharap menjadi pemimpin negara berwibawa, perlu celik undang-undang.

Oleh itu, mereka mesti mampu menggunakan akal fikiran secara waras dan tidak akan membenarkan diri ditipu oleh orang lain (biasanya yang lebih tua dari mereka) yang punyai agenda selfish tersendiri, bukan agenda nasional yang mementingkan kesejahteraan seluruh rakyat negara ini.

Generasi Y ini (yang lazimnya mudah mempercayai orang lain, terutama orang yang lebih berpengalaman dari mereka) mesti peka bahawa mereka sedang diperalatkan oleh puppet-master yang amat licik memanipulasi pihak lain.

Antara undang-undang negara yang Generasi Y mesti faham sepenuhnya adalah undang-undang jenayah hasutan, yang terkandung dalam Akta Hasutan 1948 (Akta 15), mulai berkuatkuasa sebelum merdeka tetapi telah disemak semula pada 1969.

Akta ini mengandungi 11 seksyen sahaja. Yang terpenting adalah seksyen 3, yang mengandungi huraian terperinci istilah “kecenderungan menghasut” dan seksyen 4, iaitu yang menyatakan hukuman bagi kesalahan menghasut.

Sesuatu ucapan itu dikira mengandungi “kecenderungan menghasut” sekiranya ia -

(i) Mendatangkan kebencian terhadap mana-mana Raja atau Kerajaan;

(ii) Mendatangkan penghinaan terhadap mana-mana Raja atau Kerajaan;

(iii) Membangkitkan perasaan tidak setia terhadap mana-mana Raja atau Kerajaan;

(iv) Membangkitkan (mengapi-apikan) rakyat supaya cuba mendapatkan perubahan dengan apa cara yang tidak sah;

(v) Mendatangkan kebencian atau penghinaan atau perasaan tidak setia kepada institusi kehakiman negara;

(vi) Menimbulkan rasa tidak puas hati atau tidak setia di kalangan rakyat Yang di Pertuan Agong atau Raja;

(vii) Mengembangkan rasa niat jahat dan permusuhan antara kaum atau golongan penduduk yang berlainan di negara ini;

(viii) Mempersoalkan perkara-perkara sensitif yang terkandung dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan (misalnya Bahagian III, Perkara 152, 153 atau 181).

Sebagai contoh, andainya seorang ahli politik atau aktivis itu, ketika berucap di satu perhimpunan (sama ada tertutup atau sewaktu menyertai protes jalanan) ada melafazkan kata-kata seperti “Ayuh tuan-tuan dan puan-puan. Mari kita sama-sama turun ke jalan raya dan kita gulingkan kerajaan yang ada sekarang ini menerusi kuasa rakyat (people power)” itu sudah prima facie merupakan satu ucapan yang menghasut, kerana ia mengapi-apikan rakyat untuk mendapat perubahan secara tidak sah, bukan menerusi proses pilihan raya.

Begitu juga, jika dalam ucapannya, dia menimbulkan rasa benci terhadap mana-mana raja atau kerajaan, dia juga telah melakukan kesalahan menghasut. Ataupun dalam ceramahnya dia ada menghina mana-mana raja atau kerajaan, atau ada menimbulkan rasa tidak setia kepada mana-mana raja atau kerajaan atau menimbulkan rasa tidak puas hati atau tidak setia di kalangan rakyat Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Samalah juga halnya sekiranya semasa dia berucap dia ada mengembangkan rasa niat jahat atau permusuhan antara kaum atau golongan penduduk yang berlainan di negara ini, dia juga telah melakukan kesalahan menghasut.

Tidak lama dulu saya sempat berbual panjang dengan seorang kenalan, Dr. Ho (bukan nama sebenarnya), tokoh akademik dari sebuah pusat pengajian tinggi tempatan, kini sudah bersara. Bila saya tanya pendapatnya tentang sikap dan pendirian pengundi kaum Cina di Pulau Pinang khasnya dan di seluruh negara amnya, saya terkejut bila dia menjawab bahawa sebahagian besar pengundi Cina tidak lagi percayakan Kerajaan Persekutuan kerana kerajaan itu “telah gagal memelihara kebajikan kaum Cina” di seluruh negara. Bila saya katakan kepadanya bahawa itu adalah tidak betul dan satu pembohongan, kenalan saya itu berkata walaupun kenyataan itu tidak benar, ia menjadi propaganda yang sentiasa dijadikan modal pihak berkenaan mendapatkan sokongan kaum itu.

Nampaknya propaganda yang sama telah dijadikan bahan sebaran am menerusi media sosial oleh cyber troopers (tentera maya) pihak pembangkang menjelang PRU13. Pada waktu itu ramai di kalangan sahabat yang aktif menggunakan media sosial sudah mengetahui dan merasakan peranan jahat Red Bean Army ini, tetapi nampaknya ramai dalam kalangan ahli politik BN yang terus selesa dan “under-estimate” (gagal menyedari) kesan buruk perbuatan jahat pasukan cyber troopers ini.

Jika kita lihat secara teliti maksud seksyen 3 Akta ini, jelas sudah perbuatan menyebarkan maklumat salah menerusi media sosial dengan niat menimbulkan rasa benci rakyat terhadap kerajaan atau rasa tidak setia kepadanya adalah satu kesalahan menghasut. Sesiapa sahaja yang mengambil bahagian, secara sedar atau tidak, menyebarkan maklumat palsu itu di kalangan rakyat, boleh diheret ke mahkamah kerana melakukan kesalahan menghasut.

Dan jika rasa benci dan tidak puas hati kepada kerajaan itu diapi-apikan lagi dengan seruan dan ajakan agar rakyat turun ke jalan raya bagi maksud menggulingkan kerajaan secara tidak sah, itu menambahkan lagi kesalahan menghasut yang dilakukan.

Perbuatan berkumpul dengan berbaju hitam sambil menterbalikkan bendera Malaysia, jika diiringi dengan niat menunjukkan benci kepada kerajaan, menghina kerajaan atau mengapi-apikan rasa tidak setia kepada kerajaan atau menggulingkan kerajaan secara tidak sah, juga adalah kesalahan menghasut.

Sekiranya seorang itu telah diheret ke mahkamah kerana melakukan kesalahan menghasut, dan disabitkan kesalahannya di bawah seksyen 4(b) Akta (iaitu “menyebut apa-apa perkataan menghasut”), dia boleh dikenakan hukuman (bagi kesalahan pertama) penjara tidak melebihi 3 tahun, denda RM5000 atau kedua-duanya sekali. Bagi kesalahan berikutnya, dia boleh dikenakan hukuman penjara tidak lebih dari 5 tahun.

Andainya orang itu ada dalam miliknya penerbitan menghasut, ia juga adalah satu kesalahan, dan jika dia disabitkan, dia boleh dikenakan hukuman penjara tidak melebihi 18 bulan atau denda tidak melebihi RM2,000 bagi kesalahan pertama. Bagi kesalahan selanjutnya, dia boleh dikenakan hukuman penjara tidak melebihi 3 tahun.

Sementara itu, proses tangkapan dan siasatan mengenai kesalahan menghasut ini dijalankan polis, tidak ada pendakwaan boleh dijalankan ke atas mana-mana tertuduh kecuali izin bertulis telah terlebih dahulu diperolehi dari Pendakwa Raya – Seksyen 5. Ini bermakna segala pertuduhan dan pendakwaan kes-kes hasutan akan ditapis dan dinilai terlebih dahulu oleh Peguam Negara (selaku Pendakwa Raya) sebelum sesuatu kes hasutan itu boleh sampai ke mahkamah.

Seksyen 11 Akta ini memberi kuasa kepada mana-mana Pegawai Polis yang berpangkat tidak rendah dari Inspektor menangkap tanpa waran mana-mana orang yang disyaki telah melakukan, cuba melakukan, menyebabkan atau bersubahat dengan mana-mana orang untuk melakukan kesalahan di bawah Akta ini.

Ini bermakna bahawa tindakan awal memerangi anasir penghasut di negara kita ini adalah tanggungjawab PDRM. Tidak timbul soal bahawa sekiranya seorang itu ditangkap dan disiasat oleh pihak polis kerana disyaki melakukan kesalahan di bawah Akta ini, ia merupakan tindakan kuku besi Kerajaan Pusat. Menghasut adalah satu kesalahan jenayah biasa, di bawah satu undang-undang yang telah lama wujud. Ia tidak sewajarnya dipolitikkan.

We have heard only Christians allowed to speak on Allah in Court why they have the right to use it, let’s hear now what Moslems have to say why they rejected Christians using it!

Tags

,

Religious Councils, Association Can Be Parties In Allah Dispute

NAMESPUTRAJAYA, May 23 (Bernama) — Six state Islamic religious councils and an association were allowed to be made parties in a dispute over the use of the word “Allah” in the Catholic Weekly publication The Herald.

This means that lawyers representing the Terengganu, Selangor, Kedah, Malacca, Wilayah Persekutuan and Johor councils and the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association can participate and make submissions at the hearing of the government’s appeal.

The government and home ministry are appealing against a High Court’s decision in 2009 to allow the Roman Catholic Church’s judicial review to lift the Home Ministry’s ban on the use of the word “Allah” in its weekly paper, to refer to the Christian God.

The decision to allow the seven organisations to be made opposing parties in the Church’s judicial review came about following a consent agreement reached by the church, the councils, the association and the government.

A three-member Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin recorded the consent agreement today.

Justices Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi and Datuk Rohana Yusuf were the other two judges on the panel.

Lawyer Mubashir Mansor representing the Terengganu Islamic Religious Council earlier informed the court that parties in the case had reached an agreement on five terms as set out in the consent order with respect to the councils’ appeal seeking to intervene in the matter.

Among the terms was to allow the councils and association to be made parties.

The other term was to set aside the High Court decision on Dec 31, 2009 which dismissed their application to be made parties in the judicial review.

Another term was that the councils and the association be deemed to have been a party to the judicial review proceedings in the High Court.

Lawyer Porres Royan, representing the church, confirmed that they had reached a consent agreement.

On May 8, this year, the same Court of Appeal panel questioned the propriety of the procedure adopted by the High Court to simultaneously hear the church’s judicial review and the councils’ intervener applications and ordered the parties in the case to submit on that issue.

The panel had said if there was an irregularity in the High Court’s procedure, the case could be remitted back to the High Court for a retrial.

Today, upon reaching the consent agreement, Mubashir also told the panel that all parties agreed that there was no irregularity in the procedure.

In her ruling on Dec 31, 2009, High Court judge Lau Bee Lan, declared the decision by the Home Minister prohibiting Herald publications from using the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia publication which was specially to cater to the people in Sabah and Sarawak, was illegal, null and void.

The suit was filed by the Catholic Church led by Archbishop Murphy Pakiam on Feb 16, 2010, naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents in the judicial review application.

They sought, among others, a declaration that the decision by the ministry on Jan 7, 2009, prohibiting the use of the word, ‘Allah’, in the Herald – the Catholic Weekly publication – was illegal and that the word, ‘Allah’, was not exclusive to the religion of Islam.

The weekly, published in four languages, has been using the word ‘Allah’ as a translation for God in its Malay-language section, but the government argued that ‘Allah’ should be used exclusively by Muslims.

The government’s appeal is scheduled for case management on May 30. It (the government) was represented by senior federal counsel Arik Sanusi Yeop Johari. — BERNAMA

Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas View on using Kalimah Allah by non-muslim in Malaysia.


I asked one of my ‘students’ who is studying Usuluddin in Cairo ro clarify the hot issue. He gave this -(Petikan ceramah Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas)

Question: The using of kalimah “Allah” by other people in this country?”.

Answers by Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas:

Well I have been talking about this long time ago. I remember about this in ISTAC, when we first established ourselves (late 80’s and early 90’s), I think the Arcbishop of Penang was asking this question. And I have answered that.

And then we had a meeting with the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and about all the representatives of Christianity, including the ministers, we had a meeting at ISTAC.

And I said, “Why you want to use the word ‘Allah’ for yourself?”

They said “we are going to pray in Bahasa Malaysia”.

That’s the way they put it. So my answers to them, “Why you have to change praying into Bahasa Malaysia. You have been praying in English all the time. Why suddenly change into Bahasa Malaysia?”

Ok, so they said they want to change so that it is more patriotic. Then in that case I’m saying that “why don’t you use Tuhan while praying in Bahasa Malaysia? Because you are talking about God isn’t it?…God is not just a name…”Allah” is a name of this Being whom you called God… and in fact a Being whom even higher than what you called to be God”

And then I said, “ …and “Allah” is not from Bahasa Malaysia. It is not a national language. It belongs to the language of Muslim all over the world. Therefore your argument using this for the word “Allah” does not fit into your idea of God. Because “Allah” does not have a son, It is not one of three (Trinity), that is why out of respect to Allah we can’t allow you to use this.“

But when we Muslim, when we write in English we say God, or when we talk to people we say God but we mean “Allah”…but they cannot say when they speak about God it means “Allah” as they don’t mean it.

So in this particular respect, we have to be clear about this, not was-was (hesitate)…whomever responsible in our governing, they have to be clear about this and to explain to others.
We agree you want to use God, then use Tuhan as we also use that…but we understand in the Malay language that Tuhan is not a translation of Allah..that is why we say “tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah” not “tiada Tuhan melainkan Tuhan”. We don’t say “there is not God but God”..at least the ulama’ among the Muslim Malays, we understand what is the meaning of that (word “Allah”).

So “Allah” cannot be translated as no language has translated Allah. The Arabs themselves they only use that after Islam..although the word existed (before)..the Christians Arab they also did not use Allah (in theological, epistemological and ontological sense in the same manner as the Muslim)..if they say that it is just a language..they are talking about language..because they say “Allah” like the Muslim when they (melatah)…

So it appears they want to do that in order to confuse the Muslim into thinking that all is the same..that is why I say one of the problems about religion is the nature of God..about who Allah is..that is why in Arkanul Iman (The Pillars of Faith), the first thing is “amana billah”.

“Who is this Allah?” and that need to be explain at higher institution in a proper way.

So we have answer the question. It is not proper to allow them using this, since they asking us and there is no point bringing this to court since this is not a matter of court to decide it whether they have the freedom to use it or not. It is up to the Muslims.

But then if they used it and said “in Indonesia they have use it, why can’t we?”…but it is because of the Muslims..if Muslims don’t care they will go on and use it..and in Indonesia they are using not only that, other things they even call it “choir” as “selawat”. Choir is not a “selawat”, as “selawat” is for Prophet..it’s not singing hymn.

And they also talk about..in Indonesia they are also confuse..Muslims..that is why this thing happen. Sometimes the language when you come across English words like “Prophet of Doom” in Indonesia they said “Nabi celaka”. How can there be “Nabi celaka”? What is meant by the “Prophet of Doom” is…even the word Prophet in English does not mean “Nabi” only…it means “yang meramalkan malapetaka”..that what it means…so the “Prophet of Doom” means “yang meramalkan malapetaka”, not “Nabi celaka”.

They (the Muslims in Indonesia) seem not to bother about this. What we can say is that ultimately well they say “God is not Allah”…well if you want to use the word God, we are saying we also use the word God, we refer to Allah as we know and we are not saying that your God ultimately will not refer to Allah. You can’t run away from Allah. You can only escape Him and so in the Qur’an (surah An-Naas) says: “Qul aAAoothu birabbi annas, Maliki annas, Ilahi annas”. He (Allah) is saying “ I am the real Ilah (God) of naas (mankind)”, although mankind (non-Muslim) does not interpret it that way.

Pendapat Profesor Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas

Soalan: penggunaan kalimah “Allah” oleh orang lain di negeri ini? “.

Jawapan oleh Prof Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas:

Yah saya telah bercakap tentang hal ini sudah lama. Aku ingat tentang ini di ISTAC, ketika kami pertama kali ditubuhkan diri (akhir 80-an dan awal 90-an), saya pikir Pulau Pinang Arcbishop menanyakan soalan ini. Dan aku telah menjawab itu.

Dan kemudian kami telah mengadakan pertemuan dengan Uskup Agung Kuala Lumpur dan tentang semua wakil daripada kekristenan, termasuk para menteri, kami telah mengadakan pertemuan di ISTAC.

Dan aku berkata, “Mengapa anda ingin menggunakan kata ‘Allah’ untuk diri sendiri?”

Mereka berkata “kita akan berdoa dalam Bahasa Malaysia”.

Itulah cara mereka mengatakannya. Jadi jawapan saya kepada mereka, “Mengapa anda perlu menukar berdoa ke dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Anda telah berdoa dalam Bahasa Inggeris sepanjang masa. Mengapa tiba-tiba berubah menjadi Bahasa Malaysia? ”

Ok, jadi mereka mengatakan mereka ingin menukar sehingga lebih patriotik. Kemudian pada kes saya katakan bahawa “mengapa tidak anda gunakan Tuhan ketika berdoa dalam Bahasa Malaysia? Kerana anda berbicara tentang Allah bukan? … Allah bukan hanya sebuah nama … “Allah” adalah nama yang anda Menjadi ini dipanggil Tuhan … dan pada kenyataannya sebuah Menjadi yang lebih tinggi daripada apa yang kamu dipanggil untuk menjadi Tuhan ”

Dan kemudian aku berkata, “… dan” Allah “bukan berasal dari Bahasa Malaysia. Ini bukanlah bahasa kebangsaan. Milik Bahasa Muslim di seluruh dunia. Oleh kerana itu hujah anda menggunakan ini untuk Perkataan “Allah” tidak sesuai dengan gagasan tentang Tuhan anda. Kerana “Allah” tidak mempunyai anak, itu bukan salah satu daripada tiga (Trinitas), itulah sebabnya keluar daripada rasa hormat kepada Allah kita tidak boleh membenarkan anda untuk menggunakan ini. ”

Tapi ketika kita muslim, ketika kita menulis dalam Bahasa Inggeris kita berkata Allah, ataupun ketika kita berbicara kepada orang-orang yang kita katakan Tuhan, tetapi kami bermaksud “Allah” … tapi mereka tidak boleh mengatakan apabila mereka berbicara tentang Allah itu bererti “Allah” kerana mereka tidak bermaksud ini.

Jadi dalam hal khusus ini, kita harus jelas tentang hal ini, tidak itu-itu (ragu-ragu) … siapa yang bertanggungjawab dalam menetapkan, mereka perlu jelas tentang hal ini dan untuk menjelaskan kepada orang lain.
Kami bersetuju anda ingin menggunakan Allah, kemudian gunakan Tuhan seperti kami juga menggunakan … tapi kita faham dalam bahasa yang bahasa melayu Tuhan bukanlah penterjemahan Allah .. itulah sebabnya mengapa kita mengatakan “tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah” bukan “tiada Tuhan melainkan tuhan “. Kami tidak mengatakan “tidak ada Tuhan selain Allah” .. setidaknya ulama ‘di kalangan Muslim Melayu, kita memahami apa erti itu (Perkataan “Allah”).

Jadi “Allah” tidak boleh diterjemahkan sebagai Bahasa yang diterjemahkan tidak ada Allah. Orang-orang Arab sendiri mereka hanya menggunakan bahawa selepas Islam .. walaupun kata ada (sebelum) .. orang-orang Kristian Arab mereka juga tidak menggunakan Allah (dalam teologi, epistemologis dan ontologis pengertian dengan cara yang sama sebagai Muslim) .. jika mereka berkata bahawa itu hanya sebuah bahasa .. mereka bercakap tentang bahasa .. kerana mereka berkata “Allah” seperti Muslim ketika mereka (melatah) …

Jadi, tampaknya yang ingin mereka lakukan bahawa dalam rangka untuk mengelirukan Muslim berfikir bahawa semua adalah sama .. itu sebabnya aku mengatakan salah satu masalah tentang agama adalah sifat Tuhan .. tentang siapa yang Allah .. itu sebabnya dalam Arkanul Iman (The Pillars of Faith), hal pertama adalah “amana billah”.

“Siapakah Allah?” Dan yang perlu menjelaskan tentang lembaga yang lebih tinggi dalam cara yang tepat.

Jadi kita telah menjawab soalan. Hal ini tidak pantas untuk membolehkan mereka menggunakan ini, kerana mereka meminta kami dan tidak ada gunanya membawa ini ke mahkamah kerana ini bukan masalah mahkamah untuk memutuskan apakah mereka mempunyai kebebasan untuk menggunakannya ataupun tidak. Terserah kepada kaum Muslim.

Tapi kemudian jika mereka menggunakan itu dan berkata “di Indonesia mereka telah menggunakannya, mengapa kita tidak boleh?” … Tetapi itu adalah kerana umat Islam .. jika umat Islam tidak peduli mereka akan pergi dan menggunakannya .. dan dalam Indonesia yang mereka gunakan tidak hanya itu, hal-hal lain mereka bahkan menyebutnya “koor” sebagai “SELAWAT”. Koir bukanlah “SELAWAT”, sebagai “SELAWAT” untuk Nabi .. itu bukan menyanyikan lagu.

Dan mereka juga bercakap tentang .. di Indonesia, mereka juga bingung .. muslim .. itu sebabnya hal ini berlaku. Kadang-kadang Bahasa ketika anda menjumpai kata-kata Inggeris seperti “Prophet of Doom” di Indonesia, mereka mengatakan “Nabi celaka”. Bagaimana bisa ada “Nabi celaka”? Apa yang dimaksudkan oleh “Prophet of Doom” adalah … bahkan Perkataan Nabi dalam Bahasa Inggeris tidak bererti “Nabi” hanya … itu bererti “yang meramalkan Malapetaka” .. itu apa artinya … sehingga “Prophet of Doom” bermaksud “yang meramalkan Malapetaka “, bukan” Nabi celaka “.

Mereka (umat Islam di Indonesia) tampaknya tidak peduli tentang hal ini. Apa yang boleh kita katakan adalah bahawa pada akhirnya baik mereka berkata, “Allah bukanlah Allah” … dengan baik jika anda ingin menggunakan perkataan Allah, kita mengatakan bahawa kami juga menggunakan perkataan Allah, kita merujuk kepada Allah seperti yang kita tahu dan kita tidak mengatakan bahawa Tuhan pada akhirnya anda tidak akan merujuk kepada Allah. Anda tidak boleh melarikan diri daripada Allah. Anda hanya boleh melarikan diri-Nya dan begitu dalam Al-Quran (surah An-Naas) berkata: “qul aAAoothu birabbi anna, Maliki anna, anna Ilahi”. Dia (Allah) berkata “Aku yang sesungguhnya Ilah (Tuhan) daripada Naas (manusia)”, meskipun umat manusia (non-muslim) tidak menafsirkan seperti itu.

Penghakiman bertulis Mahkamah Tinggi atas kes kalimah Allah

Januari 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm 23 comments

helenmugPenghakiman bertulis oleh Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Datuk Lau Bee Lan pada 31 Dis 2009

DALAM MAHKAMAH TINGGI MALAYA DI KUALA LUMPUR

(BAHAGIAN RAYUAN DAN KUASA-KUASA KHAS)
PERMOHONAN UNTUK SEMAKAN KEHAKIMAN
NO: R1-25-28-2009

Dalam perkara keputusan Responden-Responden bertarikh 7.1.2009 yang menyatakan bahawa Permit Penerbitan Pemohon untuk tempoh 1.1.2009 hingga 31.12.2009 adalah tertakluk kepada syarat bahawa Pemohon dilarang menggunakan istilah/perkataan “Allah” dalam “Herald –The Catholic Weekly” sehingga Mahkamah memutuskan perkara tersebut

Dan, Dalam perkara Permohonan untuk Perintah Certiorari di bawah Aturan 53 Kaedah 2(1) Kaedah-Kaedah Mahkamah Tinggi 1980

Dan, Dalam perkara Permohonan untuk Deklarasi-Deklarasi di bawah Aturan 53, Kaedah 2(2) Kaedah-Kaedah Mahkamah Tinggi 1980

Dan, Dalam perkara Roman Catholic Bishops (incorporation) Act 1957.

ANTARA

TITULAR ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF KUALA LUMPUR … PEMOHON

DAN

1. MENTERI DALAM NEGERI … RESPONDEN PERTAMA
2. KERAJAAN MALAYSIA  … RESPONDEN KEDUA

JUDGMENT

1.    The Applicant, the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, is the publisher of “Herald – the Catholic Weekly” (‘the said publication”) is published on behalf of the Bishops of Peninsular Malaysia pursuant to a publication permit issued by the 1st Respondent, the Minister of Home Affairs under the Printing Presses and Publications Act1984 (Act 301). The 2nd Respondent is the Government of Malaysia.

2.    On 8.1.2009 the Applicant received by way of facsimile a letter dated 7.1.2009 (Exh. MP-25) signed by one Che Din bin Yusoh on behalf of the KSU Kementerian Dalam Negeri cancelling a previous letter dated 30.12.2008 (Exh.MP-22) and approving the publication
permit subject to the following conditions:

Permohonan penerbitan dalam Bahasa Melayu adalah dibenarkan, namun demikian, penggunaan kalimah “ALLAH” adalah dilarang sehingga mahkamah membuat keputusan mengenai perkara tersebut.

(ii) Di halaman hadapan penerbitan ini, tertera perkataan`TERHAD’ yang membawa maksud penerbitan ini adalah terhad untuk edaran di gereja dan kepada penganut Kristian sahaja (“the impugned decision”).

3.    The Applicant being dissatisfied with the impugned decision dated 7.1.2009 vide an application for judicial review No.R1-25-28-2009 dated 16.2.2009 (Encl.1) sought leave pursuant to 0.53 r.3(1) of the Rules of the High Court 1980 (“the RHC”) for the following relief:

(1) for an Order of Certiorari to quash the decision of the Respondents dated 7.1.2009 that the Applicant’s 1.1.2009 Publication Permit for the period until 31.12.2009 is subject to the condition that the Applicant is prohibited from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” pending the Court’s determination of the matter;

(2) Jointly or in the alternative, for the following declarations:

(i) that the decision of the Respondents dated 7.1.2009 that the Applicant’s publication permit for the period 1.1.2009 until 31.12.2009 is subject to the condition that the Applicant is prohibited from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” pending the Court’s determination of the matter is illegal and null and void;

(ii) that pursuant to Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” in the exercise of the Applicant’s right that religions other than Islam may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation;

(iii) that Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution which states that Islam is the religion of the Federation does not empower and/or authorise the Respondents to prohibit the Applicant from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly;

(iv) that pursuant to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” in the exercise of the Applicant’s right to freedom of speech and expression”;

(v) that pursuant to Article 11 of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” in the exercise of the Applicant’s freedom of religion which includes the right to manage its own religious affairs;

(vi) that pursuant to Article 11 and Article 12 of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” in the exercise of  the Applicant’s right in respect of instruction and education of the Catholic congregation in the Christian religion”;

(vii) that the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 does not empower and/or authorise the Respondents to prohibit the Applicant from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly”;

(viii) that the decision of the Respondents dated 7.1.2009 that the Applicant’s publication permit for the period 1.1.2009 until 31.12.2009 is subject to the condition that the Applicant is prohibited from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” pending the Court’s determination of the matter is ultra vires the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984; and

(ix) that the word “Allah” is not exclusive to the religion of Islam.

(3) An Order for stay of the decision of the Respondents dated 7.1.2009 that the Applicant’s publication permit for the period 1,1.2009 until 31.12.2009 is subject to the condition that the Applicant is prohibited from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” pending the Court’s determination of the matter and/or any or all actions or proceedings arising from the said decision pending determination of this Application or further order;

(4) Costs in the cause; and

(5) Any further and/or other relief that this Honourable Court may deem fit to grant.

3.1    The application for judicial review is supported by the Affidavit of Tan Sri Datuk Murphy Nicholas Xavier a/l Pakiam dated 16.1.2009 (Encl.3) and the Affidavit of Che Din bin Yusoh affirmed on 26.5.2009 (Encl. 9) (relied on by the Applicant by a Notice of Intention to Use Affidavit dated 1.7.2009 (Encl.15). The Respondents opposed the application vide the Affidavit of the 1st Respondent affirmed on 6.7.2009 (Encl.17).

4.    Learned leading Counsel for the Applicant, Mr. Porres Royan informed the Court that Encl.1 was filed to obviate any objection that the proceeding in an earlier application No.R1 -25-73-08 be rendered academic. On 24.4.2009 the Court granted leave after it was informed the Attorney-General’s Chambers had no objection to the leave application as the Court had in an earlier application No.R1-25-73-08 (reported in [2008] 9 CLJ 503) involving a similar permit application granted leave.

5.    Encl.7 is the substantive application for judicial review has been fixed for hearing on 14.12.2009 together with the issue on non-justiciability as the Applicant has yet to make a Reply submission and to expedite proceedings after taking into consideration the observation of the Rt. Honourable CJ Malaysia Zaki Tun Azmi at pp.312-313 of Majlis Agama Islam Selangor v. Bong Boon Chuen & Ors. [2009] 6 MLJ 307. For completeness, the issue of non-justiciability was taken up earlier by the Interveners, the Majlis Agama Islam (MAI) and Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (MACMA) who became interveners by the Order of Court made on 3.8.2009 and which was then set aside by Order of the Court made on 11.11.2009.

I had earlier on 3.8.2009 (after granting the Order for intervention) directed that the issue of non-justiciability be tried as a preliminary point upon an oral application made by the interveners.

5.1    The learned SFC, Dato’ Kamaluddin on behalf of the 1st and 2nd Respondents expressed they were in full agreement with the Written Submission of the Interveners dated 21.8.2009 (Encl.62) made on behalf of the MAI Pulau Pinang, Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Terengganu and Perak and he supplemented it orally whilst Tuan Hj. Sulaiman on behalf of MAI Wilayah Persekutuan likewise adopted Enci.62 and orally added to it. The Applicant has yet to make a Reply submission on the return date (14.9.2009) as other intervening events occurred (I shall advert to the non-justiciability issue at the appropriate time).

6.    The Court has considered the Written Submissions of the 20 Applicant dated 30.11.2009, Enct.79 – substantive judicial review, Encl. 80- Applicant’s Reply Submission to the then 4th, 5th and 7th Respondents / the then Interveners (MAI Pulau Pinang, Terengganu and Perak), Encl.82 – Applicant’s Further Submission to the Summary of the 1st and 2nd Respondents together with the Applicant’s Bundles of Authorities (Encls. 81, 83 and 85) and the Written Submission of the Respondents dated 14.11.2009 and Supplemental Written Submission (Encls.104 and 104A respectively) and the Respondents’ Bundle of Authorities Vols.1 to 3 (Encls,105(1) to (3) respectively.) The Court’s findings are the following.

7.    As to the grounds upon which any person who is adversely affected by the decision of any public authority for purposes of 0.53 r.2(4) of the RHO can canvass in seeking judicial review, the Applicant has referred to the oft-cited House of Lords case of Council of Civil Service Unions & Ors. v. Minister For The Civil Service[1985]1 A.C.374 (“CCSU”) (also relied on by the Respondents) where the principles enunciated therein was followed in Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (supra)(p.124). In CCSU (supra) at pp.410-411 Lord Diplock apart from stating further heads upon which the grounds whereby administrative action is amenable to judicial review may develop including the principle of proportionality (recognised in the administrative law of several members of the European Economic Community) opined – “one can conveniently classify under three heads the grounds upon which administrative action is subject to control by judicial review. The first ground I would call “illegality,” the second “irrationality” and the third “procedural impropriety.”.

8.    The grounds of challenge in this application for judicial review are that the Respondents —
(a) acted in breach of the rules of natural justice, procedural and substantive fairness and the duty to act fairly;
(b) asked the wrong questions in the decision making process;
(c) took into account irrelevant considerations;
(d) omitted to take into account relevant considerations,
(e) acted in violation of the Applicant’s legal rights in line with the spirit, letter and intent of Articles 3, 10, 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution;
(f) were irrational and unreasonable within the ambit of the principles laid down in Associated Provincial Picture Houses Limited v. Wednesbury Corporation (1948) 1KB 223;
(g) acted irrationally and unreasonably by prohibiting the Applicant from using the word “Allah” or directly quoting the word “Allah” from the Al-Kitab”;
(h) acted illegally, misconstrued and misapplied the relevant provisions of the Printing Presses and Publication Act;
(i) acted ultra vires the Printing Presses and Publication Act;
(j) imposed conditions on the Applicant which are oppressive and onerous; and
(k) acted mala fide.

8.1    Thus broadly, the Applicant seeks to challenge the impugned decision of the Minister (1st Respondent) under the heads of illegality, unconstitutionality, “Wednesbury unreasonableness” and ultra vires the Act.

9.    Basically the 1st Respondent sought to justify his decision as follows:

(i) “… Larangan yang dikenakan hanyalah berhubung penggunaan kalinah Allah di dalam penerbitan majalah tersebut yang bertujuan untuk memastikan tidak berlakunya kekeliruan agama yang boleh mengancam keselamatan dan ketenteraman awam serta menimbulkan sensitiviti keagamaan di Negara ini” (paragraphs 25 (sic) (should read as 6, 23 and 46 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit);

(ii) “Larangan yang dikenakan adalah kepada penggunaan kalimah “Allah” di dalam penerbitan majalah tersebut kerana kalimah “Allah” di dalam penerbitan majalah tersebut kerana kalimah “Allah” secara matannya adalah merujuk kepada Tuhan Yang Satu bagi penganut agama Islam sebagaimana termaktub di dalam Al-Quran iaitu dalam surah Al-Ikhlas” (paragraphs 28.2 and 40.1 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit);

(iii) “… kelulusan permit penerbitan tersebut adalah tertakiuk kepada syarat dan garis panduan penerbitan khususnya perenggan 4.1.10 yang jelas memperuntukkan bahawa penerbitan agama seiain daripada agama Islam dilarang menggunakan istilah khusus agama Islam iaitu “Allah”, “Baitullah”, “Solat” dan “Kaabah”(paragraph 33 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit);

(iv) “… perlanggaran peruntukkan Enakmen Kawalan dan Sekatan Pengembangan Agama Bukan Islam Kepada Orang Islam (Negeri-Negeri) (paragraph 39 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit);

(v)    “… terdapat perkataan alternatif lain yang Pemohon boleh gunakan kerana dari segi terjemahan, adalah jelas bahawa tiada sebarang kamus yang diiktiraf yang mendefinasikan perkataan “God” sebagai Allah dalam Bahasa Melayu (paragraph 40.2 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit);

(vi) ‘”… keputusan tersebut adalah sah dan munasabah sebagaimana yang diperuntukkan oleh polisi kerajaan dan undang-undang terpakai termasuk peruntukan Enakmen Kawalan dan Sekatan Pengembangan Agama Bukan Islam Kepada Orang Islam (Negeri-Negeri)” (paragraph   41 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit);

(vii) “… dalam hal perkara penerbitan, Responden Pertama mempunyai bidangkuasa di bawah peruntukan undang-undang untuk mengenakan apa-apa syarat kepada permit penerbitan sebagaimana yang difikirkan perlu dan wajar dan sebagaimana arahan kerajaan” (paragraph 42 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit);

(viii) “… kalimah Allah adalah nama khas bagi Tuhan Yang Maha Esa bagi penganut agama Islam dan ini jelas termaktub di dalam Al-Quran dan dimartabatkan di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.” (paragraph 45 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit); and

(ix) “… di kalangan rakyat Malaysia, kalimah “Allah” secara matannya merujuk kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Esa bagi penganut agama Islam.” (paragraph 46 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit).

10.    The learned SFC, Data’ Kamaludin submitted by virtue of rule 3 of the Printing Presses and Publications (Licenses and Permits) Rules 1983 (sic-should read as 1984) (P_U(A) 305/84)(“the 1994 Rules”) read together. with ss. 6 and 26 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (“the Act”), the decision made by the 1st Respondent is legal and in accordance with the law and the 1st Respondent may attach any conditions which he deemed fit.

10.1    S.6 of the Act provides (the material part) -

“(1) The Minister may in his absolute discretion grant-

(a) to any person a permit to print and publish a newspaper in Malaysia…

(2) The Minister may at any time revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable…”

10.2     S.26 of the Act (material parts) provides -

“(1) The Minister may from time to time make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), such rules may provide for-
(a) …
(b) …
(c) …
(d) The procedure for application of, the fees for and the conditions to be attached to, a licence or permit, the payment of a deposit upon the issue of a licence or permit and the circumstances in which the deposit may be forfeited;
(e) …
(f) …”
(Emphasis added).

10.3    I agree with Mr Royan that it appears that the learned SFC contends that the source of power to impose conditions are the 1994 rules made pursuant to s. 26 of the Act. With regret I cannot accept Respondents’ contention. I agree with the Applicant’s submission that the source of the Minister of Home Affair’s power to impose conditions is s.12 of the Act which reads “A licence or permit granted under this Act shall be subject to such conditions as may be endorsed therein and shall, unless sooner revoked or suspended, be valid for a period of twelve months from the date of the granting or issue of such licence or permit or for such shorter period as may be specified in the licence or permit”. (Emphasis added).

10.4    I also agree with Mr. Royan that rule 3 of the said 1994 Rules relied on by the learned SFC merely provides the mechanism by which conditions are imposed. In the case of a permit the standard form permit is in Form B of the First Schedule titled “Publication Permit (Malaysia) bearing the specified standard conditions on the reverse of the permit as is apparent from a reading of rule 3 “The licence and permit granted under the Act shall be in the forms appearing in the First Schedule containing such conditions as are specified therein and such further conditions as may be endorsed therein by the Minister.” (Emphasis added). In other words s.12 is the enabling provision under the Act by which the Minister derives his power to impose conditions and the form of the permit and the standard conditions in the permit including the further conditions which the Minister may endorse are governed by rule 3 of the 1994 Rules.

11.     Flowing from this I am of the view that the learned SFC’s contention that the Applicant cannot challenge the 1St Respondent’s decision because of the ouster clause in s.13a of the Act is
misconceived.

11.1     S.13a (1) of the Act reads “Any decision of the Minister to refuse to grant or to revoke or to suspend a licence or permit shall be final and shall not be called in question by any court on any ground whatsoever.” On the face of it, under s.13a (1) of the Act, a decision of the Minister to refuse to grant or to revoke or to suspend a licence or permit cannot be challenged; however, I am of the view that it does not apply to the imposition of conditions, more so where the conditions impinge on matters of the Constitution and in this regard I agree with Mr. Royan any provision which restricts a constitutional right should be construed strictly. There are a plethora of authorities which indicate that judicial review is not ousted to correct errors of law by an administrative body or tribunal. It would suffice to refer to two authorities cited by Mr. Royan. The first is Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang v. Syarikat Bekerjasama – sama Serbaguna Sungai Gelugor Dengan Tanggungan [1999] 3 CLJ 65 where at p.97 the Federal Court in considering the 2nd part of a question in respect of which leave was given, i.e. the issue of the effect of an ouster clause on the jurisdiction of the Court to grant judicial review held at p. 101 g “In our view, therefore, unless there are special circumstances governing a particular case, notwithstanding a privative clause, of the “not to be challenged, etc.” kind, judicial review will lie to impeach all errors of law made by an administrative body or tribunal and, we would add, of inferior courts. In the words of Lord Denning in Pearlman v. Harrow School (ibid) at p. 70, “No Court or tribunal has any jurisdiction to make an error of law on which the decision in a case depends. If it makes such an error it goes outside its jurisdiction and certiorari will lie to correct it’.

11.2    The 2nd authority is Syarikat Kenderaan Melayu Kelantan v. Transport Workers’ Union [1995] 2 MLJ 317 referred to in Majiis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (supra) at p.97 where the Court of Appeal at p.342 E-H speaking through His Lordship Gopal Sri Ram now FCJ), inter alia, said “An inferior tribunal or other decision-making authority, whether exercising a quasi-judicial function or purely administrative function, has no jurisdiction to commit an error of law [which categories of such error are not closed] … Since an inferior tribunal has no jurisdiction to commit an error of law, its decisions will not be immunized from judicial review by an ouster clause however widely drafted.”

(i) Illegality

12.    The Applicant submits the 1st Respondent has failed to take into account one or more of the relevant considerations appearing at paragraph 52 (i) to (xxii) of the Applicant’s Affidavit in Support which I have reproduced below as it is pertinent to the issue at hand -

“(i) The word “Allah” is the correct Bahasa Malaysia word for “God” and in the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the Bible, “God” is translated as “Allah” and “Lord” is translated as “Tuhan”;

(ii) For 15 centuries, Christians and Muslims in Arabic-speaking countries have been using the word “Allah” in reference to the One God. The Catholic Church in Malaysia and Indonesia and the great majority of other Christian denominations hold that “Allah” is the legitimate word for “God” in Bahasa Malaysia;

(iii) The Malay language has been the lingua franca of many Catholic believers for several centuries especially those living in Melaka and Penang and their descendants in Peninsular Malaysia have practised a culture of speaking and praying in the Malay language (Exh.MP-26);

(iv) The word “God” has been translated as “Allah” in the “Istilah Agama Kristian Bahasa Inggeris ke Bahasa Malaysia” first published by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia in 1989;

(v) The Malay-Latin dictionary published in 1631 had translated “Deus” (the Latin word for God) as “Alla” as the Malay translation (Exh.MP-27);

(vi) The Christian usage of the word “Allah” predates Islam being the name of God in the old Arabic Bible as well as in the modern Arabic Bible used by Christians in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and other places in Asia, Africa etc;

(vii) In Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, the word “Allah” has been used continuously in the printed edition of the Matthew’s Gospel in Malay in 1629, in the first complete Malay Bible in 1733 and in the second complete Malay Bible in 1879 until today in the Perjanjian Baru and the Alkitab;

(viii) Munshi Abdullah who is considered the father of modern Malay literature had translated the Gospels into Malay in 1852 and he translated the word “God” as “Allah”;

(ix) There was already a Bible translated into Bahasa Melayu in existence before 1957 which translation was carried out by the British and Foreign Bible Society where the word “Allah” was used (Exh.MP-28);

(x) There was also already in existence a Prayer book published in Singapore on 3.1.1905 where the word “Allah” was used (Exh.MP-29);

(xi) There was also a publication entitled “An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine” published in 1895 where the word “Allah” was used (Exh.MP-30);

(xii) Another publication entitled “Hikajat Elkaniset” published in 1874 also contains the word “Allah” (Exh.MP-31);

(xiii) The Bahasa Indonesian and the Bahasa Malaysia translations of the Holy Bible, which is the Holy Scriptures of Christians, have been used by the Christian natives of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak for generations;

(xiv) The Bahasa Malaysia speaking Christian natives of Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah had always and have continuously and consistently used the word “Allah” for generations and the said word “Allah” is used in the Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesian translations of the Bible used throughout Malaysia;

(xv) At least for the last three decades the Bahasa Malaysia congregation of the Catholic Church have been freely using the Alkitab, the Bahasa Indonesia translation of the Holy Bible wherein the word “Allah” appears;

(xvi) The said publication is a Catholic weekly as stated on the cover of the weekly and is intended for the dissemination of news and information on the Catholic Church in Malaysia and elsewhere and is not for sale or distribution outside the Church;

(xvii) The said publication is not made available to members of the public and in particular to persons professing the religion of Islam;

(xviii) The said publication contains nothing which is likely to cause public alarm and/or which touches on the sensitivities of the religion of Islam and in the fourteen years of the said publication there has never been any untoward incident arising from the Applicant’s use of the
word “Allah” in the said publication;

(xix) In any event the word “Allah” has been used by Christians in all countries where the Arabic language is used as well as in Indonesian/ Malay language without any problems and/or breach of public order and/or sensitivity to persons professing the religion of Islam in these countries;

(xx) Islam and the control and restriction of religious doctrine or belief among Muslims professing the religion of Islam is a state matter and the Federal Government has no jurisdiction over such matters of Islam save in the federal territories;

(xxi) The subsequent exemption vide P.U(A) 134/82 which permits the Alkitab to be used by Christians in churches ipso facto permits the use of the word “Alah” in the said publication;

(xxii) The Bahasa Malaysia speaking congregation of the Catholic Church uses the word “Allah” for worship and instruction and that the same is permitted in the Al-Kitab”.

12.1    The Applicant further submits that none of the above-mentioned factual considerations were ever disputed or challenged by the 1st Respondent as factually incorrect. I am incline to agree with the Applicant as the response of the 1st Respondent to the factual averments is a feeble denial in paragraph 41 of the Affidavit of the 1st Respondent which reads “Keseluruhan pernyataan-pernyataan di perenggan-perenggan 50, 51 dan 52(i)-(xxii) Affidavit Sokongan Pemohon adalah dinafikan…” (Emphasis added). In Minister of Labour & The Government of Malaysia v. Lie Seng Fatt [1990] 1 CLJ(Rep) 195 (case relied on by the Respondents) the issue turns on the extent of the power of the Minister of Labour to refer or not to refer the representations to the Industrial Court under s.20(3) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 wherein the operative words are “the Minister may, if he thinks fit refer the representations to the Court.”. The Supreme Court followed, inter alia, Padfield and Ors. v. Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food & Ors. [1968] 1 AER 694 (HL) (cited by the Applicant) and at p.199 stated “The Minister’s discretion under s. 20(3) is wide but not unlimited. As stated earlier so long as he exercises the discretion without improper motive the exercise of discretion must not be interfered with by the Court unless he had misdirected himself in law or had taken into account irrelevant matters or had not taken into consideration relevant matters or that his decision militates against the object of the statute. Otherwise he had a complete discretion to refuse or refer a complaint which is clearly frivolous or vexatious which in our view this is one”. (Emphasis added).

12.2    Therefore I find the 1st Respondent in the exercise of his discretion to impose further conditions in the publication permit has not taken into account the relevant matters alluded to above, hence committing an error of law warranting this Court to interfere and I am of the view that the decision of the Respondents dated 7.1.2009 ought to be quashed.

13.    The Applicant also contends in paragraph 30 of the Applicant’s Affidavit that the Respondents have taken into account one or more of the following irrelevant considerations which are reproduced:

“(i) that Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution states that Islam is the official religion of the Federation;

(ii) that Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution permits laws to be made to control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam;

(iii) that several states have made laws to control or restrict propagation among persons professing the religion of Islam and have prohibited the use of certain words or phrases of the religion of Islam in publications of other religions;

(iv) that due to the differences in the words and phrases prohibited in the various states, confusion has arisen as to what words and phrases are prohibited especially in Christian publications in the Indonesian language which were brought into Malaysia;

(v) that in the late 1970s and early 1980s there was uneasiness [kegelisahan] among the community and problems of enforcement among religious officers in the various states due to differences as to the words and phrases prohibited;

(vi) that following the above, the issue had become sensitive and had been classified as a security issue;

(vii) that the Second Respondent had decided that the Ministry of Internal Security which controls published materials under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses And Publications Act 1984 is to deal with the issue;

(viii) that vide P.U.(A) 15/82, the Second Respondent had gazetted the prohibition of the Al-Kitab in Malaysia under Section 22 of the Internal Security Act 1960;

(ix) that after considering the appeals from various Christian bodies and institutions, the Second Respondent granted a special exemption to the said prohibition vide P.U.(A) 134 dated 13.5.1982 by stating that the use and possession of the Al-Kitab is allowed by Christians only in churches;

(x) that there was continuing confusion and uneasiness in the community when enforcement on the use of the words and phrases in religious publications was not effective;

(xi) that on 19.5.1986, the Second Respondent decided that from the 16 prohibited words, the words “Allah”, “Kaabah”, “Baitulfah” and “Solat” are words and phrases exclusive to the religion of Islam and cannot be used in published materials of other religions save to explain concepts
pertaining to the religion of Islam;

(xii) that the Second Respondent issued a circular vide KKDN. S.59/3/6/A dated 5.121986 to Christian publishers to comply with that decision;

(xiii) that the Second Respondent had permitted the use of the Al-Kitab by Christians in churches only and not in any other place;

(xiv) that the aforesaid permission did not extend to other Christian publications other than the translation of the Bible in Bahasa Melayu, i.e. the Al-Kitab”.

13.1    In rebuttal, the Respondents in paragraph 30 of the 1st Respondent’s Affidavit, “perenggan 30 Afidavit Sokongan Pemohon dirujuk dan saya sesungguhnya mempercayai dan menyatakan bahawa pernyataan-pernyataan di dalamnya adalah kesimpulan yang dibuat oleh Pemohon sendiri tanpa merujuk kepada surat-surat Responden Pertama yang dikeluarkan kepada Pemohon secara spesifik”.

13.2    I find the reply of the Respondents to be inaccurate as in paragraph 30 of the Applicant’s Affidavit, it is stated that the matters set out as irrelevant considerations for imposing the prohibition of use of various words and phrases by religions other than Islam were gleaned from “[the Respondents'] various letters … over the last 10 years.” To drive home the point in fact the “Arahan Kerajaan” dated 5.12.1986 (Exh.DSHA-1) (paragraph 8 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit) and dated 19.5.1986 (Exh.DSHA-2) (paragraph 9.1 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit) are the very same directives averred to in paragraph 30(xi) and (xii) of the Applicant’s Affidavit.

13.3    As to the constitutional provisions of Articles 3(1) and 11(4) of the Federal Constitution referred to in paragraph 30 (i) and (ii) of the Applicant’s Affidavit, I shall be reverting to them when addressing the issue of unconstitutionality and the constitutionality of the State Enactments.

13.4    With respect to the averments made by the 1st Respondent referred to paragraph 9(i), (viii) and (ix)( see pp.9-11) alluded to above, I am incline to agree with the Applicant that there is no factual basis in view of the uncontroverted historical evidence averred in paragraph 52 of the Applicant’s Affidavit (see paragraphs 12 -12.1 above at pp. 15-20) above. I find support in the case of Sagnata Investments Ltd. v. Norwich Corp [1971] 2 QB 614 (cited by the Applicant), which relates to an application for a permit under the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act by the company for the provision of amusements with prizes were refused by the licensing committee of the local authority, which adopted a general policy not to permit amusement arcades. On appeal by the local authority against the Recorder’s order allowing the company’s appeal which was affirmed by the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal (majority decision) dismissed the appeal and held that there was no factual basis for a policy that the amusement arcade would be likely to have undesirable social effects on young people and upheld the company’s claim for a permit (see pp.631,632 H–I to 633; 637-639 E).

14.   The case of Minister of Home Affairs, Malaysia v. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara [1990] 1 CLJ (Rep) 186 cited by the Respondents, albeit a case under the Act is in my view an authority which favours the Applicant rather than the Respondents as it reinforces the point regarding the three grounds upon which administrative action is subject to judicial review as referred to in CCSU (supra); one ground is “illegality” and one of the factors for consideration is whether the Minister of Home Affairs has taken into account all relevant considerations and has not taken irrelevant maters into consideration in exercising his discretion to reject Aliran’s application for a permit and in this instant case to impose the condition under dispute in the publication permit.

(ii) Unconstitutionality

15.   The Applicant’s grounds for the reliefs of certiorari and declaration is premised on the unconstitutional acts and conduct being inconsistent with Articles 3(1), 10 ,11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution namely -

“(i) The Applicant’s legal right to use the word “Allah” in the said publication stems from the Applicant’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech and expression and religion, to practise its religion in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation and to manage its own religious affairs and to instruct and educate the Catholic congregation in the Christian religion as enshrined in Articles 3, 10, 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution. The exercise of these rights extends to propagating the faith amongst the non-English speaking faithful in Malaysia especially the Indonesians and the Arabic-speaking of the Christian faith (paragraph 48 of Applicant’s Affidavit);

(ii) The Applicant has a very important role in instructing and educating the Catholic congregation in the Christian religion in various languages and the said publication serves as a very effective avenue and medium by which the teachings of the Catholic Church are imparted to the Catholic faithful throughout Malaysia and elsewhere. Since the teaching of Catholic doctrines is effectively carried out by the said publication in fulfillment of the Applicant’s apostolic mission and this teaching includes the use of the word “Allah” especially with regard to the Bahasa Malaysia and Arabic speaking community, any action by the Respondents to revoke the Publication Permit of the said publication on the grounds that the said publication is prohibited from using the word “Allah” would result in the Applicant losing a very important teaching tool and this would be a very serious violation of the Applicant’s constitutional right under Article 12 of the Federal Constitution” (paragraph 49 of Applicant’s Affidavit).

15.1   In rebuttal to paragraph 48, the Respondents made a bald statement by merely averring “…larangan yang dikenakan sama sekali tidak melanggar hak asasi Pemohon” under the relevant Articles (paragraph 38 of 1st Respondent’s Affidavit). In response to paragraph 49, the Respondents aver “pernyataan Pemohon itu jelas sekali menunjukkan tindakan Pemohon tersebut menjurus kepada perlanggaran peruntukan Enakmen Kawalan dan Sekatan Pengembangan Agama Bukan Islam Kepada Orang Islam (Negeri-negeri)”. I am of the view paragraph 49 of the Applicant’s Affidavit remains uncontroverted as I cannot comprehend how the Applicant’s conduct can amount to a contravention of the various Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Enactments as I find there no nexus between them.

15.2   The Respondents have submitted that the Applicant have not demonstrated in their Affidavit that

(i) they are unable to profess and practise their religion under Articles 3 and 11 because they have been prohibited from using the word “Allah” in the Herald but merely stated that it would be difficult for the Church to teach its Bahasa Melayu speaking followers and the word “Allah” is a translation for “God” which is wrong as the proper translation is “Tuhan”;

(ii) that the prohibition has obstructed the integral practice of their religion citing Meor Atiqulrahman Ishak & Ors v. Fatimah Sihi & Ors [2006] 4 CLJ 1.

15.3   With respect I cannot accept the Respondents contention. Firstly, it is to be noted Article 3(1) reads “Islam is the official religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”. In Meor Atiqulrahman Ishak (supra) the issue was whether the School Regulations 1997, in so far as it prohibits the wearing of “serban”(turban) by students of the school as part of their uniform during school hours violated Article 11(1)of the Federal Constitution. To consider whether a particular law or regulation is constitutional or not under Article 11(1), His Lordship Abdul Hamid Mohamad FCJ (as he then was) (speaking on behalf of the Federal Court) at paragraph 17 p.9 stated that whether a practice is or is not an integral part of the religion is not the only factor to be considered; there are other equally important factors and advocated the following approach : “First, there must be a religion. Secondly, there must be a practice. Thirdly, the practice is a practice of that religion. All these having been proved, the court should then consider the importance of the practice in relation to the religion. This is where the question whether the practice is an integral part of the religion or not becomes relevant. If the practice is of a compulsory nature or “an integral part” of the religion, the court should give more weight to it. If it is not, the court, again depending on the degree of its importance, may give a lesser weight to it”.

15.4   Further His Lordship referred to other factors (i) at paragraph 19 p.9 “The next step is to look at the extent or seriousness of the prohibition. A total prohibition certainly should be viewed more seriously than a partial or temporary prohibition”; and (ii) at paragraph 20 p.9 “Then, we will have to look at the circumstances under which the prohibition is made.”

15.5   Applying the principles enunciated in. Meor Atiqulrahman Ishak (supra) to the instant case, there is no doubt that Christianity is a religion. The next question is whether the use of the word “Allah” is a practice of the religion of Christianity. In my view there is uncontroverted historical evidence alluded to in paragraph 52 (i) to (xxii) alluded to above which is indicative that use of the word “Allah” is a practice of the religion of Christianity. From the evidence it is apparent the use of the word “Allah” is an essential part of the worship and instruction in the faith of the Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) speaking community of the Catholic Church in Malaysia and is integral to the practice and propagation of their faith.

15.6    The next consideration is the circumstances under which the “prohibition” was made. The circumstances to my mind would be the factors which the Respondents rely on to justify the impugned decision which have been alluded to in paragraph 9(i) to (ix) above.

15.7    As to the ground in paragraph 9(i) in my judgment, this is unmeritorious for the reason which has been dealt under the issue of whether the use of the word “Allah” endangers public order and national security. As to the ground in paragraph 9 (ii),viii), (v) and (ix), I have shown unchallenged evidence that there is a well established practice for the use of the “Allah” amongst the Malay speaking community of the Catholic faith in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak and the origin of the word and its translation. With respect to the ground in paragraph 9 (iv), (vi) and (vii) I find this issue is without merit as shown in paragraphs 18 and 19 below.

15.8   Considering all the factors, in my judgment, the imposition of the condition in the publication permit prohibiting the use of the word “Allah” in the said publication, “Herald – the Catholic Weekly” pursuant to the 1st Respondent’s exercise of powers under the Act contravenes the provision of Articles 3(1), 11(1) and 11(3) of the Federal Constitution and therefore is unconstitutional.

16.   In Dr Mohd Nasir bin Hashim v. Menteri Dalam Negeri Malaysia [2006] 6 MLJ 213 (cited by the Applicant), the appellant and 12 others met to form PSM. They formed a committee of seven. An application was made to the Registrar of Societies(ROS) to register themselves as a political party. The ROS declined to grant registration at a national level but was prepared to grant registration in the State of Selangor. Dissatisfied the appellant appealed to the Minister of Home Affairs and was dismissed on 2 grounds, one of which was the registration was not in the interest of national security based on information made available by the police to the Minister. The appellant contended his fundamental right under Article 10(1) (c) of the Federal Constitution to form PSM had been infringed by the ROS and the Minister and argued that the departmental policy of the ROS not to register at the national level is a restriction not authorised by the Constitution. The Applicant has succinctly summarised the findings of the Court of Appeal (pp.218 to 220) as follows: “the Court of Appeal noted that Art 10(2)(c) uses the formula “such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient”. In examining the all important question of whether Parliament is free to impose any restriction however unreasonable that restriction may be, the Court of Appeal referred to Nordin bin Salleh v Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan [1992] 1 MLJ, the Privy Council case of Prince Pinder v The Queen [2002] UKPC 46, and Dato Menteri Othman bin Baginda & Anor v Dato Ombi Syed Alwi bin Syed ldrus [1981] 1 MLJ 29, FC and held that Federal Constitution, especially those articles in it that confer on the citizens the most cherished of human rights, must on no account be given a literal meaning. The Court of Appeal was also mindful of the fact that when interpreting the other parts of the Constitution, the Court must bear in mind the all-pervading provision of Article 8(1). Against the background. of these principles the Court of Appeal read the word “reasonable” into the sub-clauses of Article 10(1). The Court held that it must not permit restrictions upon the rights conferred by Article 10 that render those rights illusory. In other words, Parliament may only impose such restrictions as are reasonably necessary”.

16.1    In the instant case, the Applicant claims there is an infringement of Article 10(1) (a) of the Federal Constitution which reads – “(1) Subject to Clauses (2), (3) and (4) —
(a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression”.

Clause 2 of Article 10 reads —
“(2) Parliament may by law impose –

(a) on the rights conferred by paragraph (a) of Clause (1), such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and restrictions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or of any Legislative Assembly or to provide against contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to any offence”.

16.2   It is to be noted that the same operative words appear in restricting the rights conferred by clause (1)(a) of Article 10 i.e.”such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient”. Applying the principle propounded in Dr Mohd Nasir bin Hashim (supra) to the factual matrix in this case, the Court has to examine whether the restrictive legislative restriction i.e. the imposition of the condition prohibiting the use of the word “Allah” in the said publication amounts to an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of speech and expression under Article 10(1)(c) and an unreasonable administrative act which impinges on the first limb of Article 8 (1) which demands fairness of any forms of State action. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the imposition of the condition prohibiting the use of the word “Allah” in the said publication is unreasonable for the same reasons when I found that the 1st Respondent’s exercise of powers under the Act contravenes the provision of Article 11(1) and 11(3) of the Federal Constitution and therefore is unconstitutional but in this instance it contravenes Article 10(1)(c).

16.3    Thus for all the reasons stated I find that there is merit in the Applicant’s contention that the condition imposed i.e. the Applicant is prohibited in using the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Melayu version of the Herald is illegal null and void.

(iii) Irrationality/ Wednesbury unreasonableness

17. The Applicant challenges the impugned decision under this head of irrationality/ Wednesbury unreasonableness which applies to “a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it”( see CCSU (supra) at p.41Q).

17.1 The grounds upon which the Applicant mounts this head of challenge are those under the heads of illegality and unconstitutionality together with the following additional grounds:

“(a) It is utterly irrational and unreasonable on the part of the Respondents on the one hand not to prohibit the congregation of the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” for worship and instruction in their faith and in the Al-Kitab and on the other hand to state that the same word cannot be used in the said publication which serves to assist these persons in their worship and provide a medium of instruction in their faith and disseminate news and information (see paragraph 52 (xxi) of Applicant’s Affidavit).

(b) It is also utterly irrational and unreasonable on the part of the Respondents to require the Bahasa Malaysia speaking congregation of the Catholic Church to use another word to denote the Bahasa Malaysia word for “God” instead of the word “Allah” when such is and has always been the word used for the word “God” in the Catholic Church and throughout the Bahasa Malaysia speaking community of the Church in Malaysia (see paragraph 52 (iii) and (xiv) of Applicant’s Affidavit)”.

17.2    The Respondents argue the 1st Respondent was acting perfectly within the four corners of his jurisdiction and had taken into account relevant considerations such as the status of Islam under the Constitution, the various enactments on control and restrictions on the propagation of religious doctrine or belief among Muslims, government policy, public security and safety and religious sensitivity.

17.3    Firstly, as far as the two areas of challenge under the heading of illegality and unconstitutionality are concerned, I adopt my views expressed with respect to these two grounds.

17.4    In relation to the 2 additional grounds mentioned in paragraph 17.1 above, the Respondents responded -

(i) “Merujuk kepada perenggan 20 Afidavit Sokongan Pemohon, Responden-Responden menegaskan bahawa Pernyataan YAB Perdana Menteri tersebut yang telah dikeluarkan melalui media cetak “The Star” pada 20/4/2005 adalah amat jelas mengarahkan agar di kulit “Bible” dalam versi Bahasa Melayu dinyatakan secara jelas bahawa ianya bukan untuk orang Islam dan ianya hanya dijual di kedai-kedai orang Kristian. Walau bagaimanapun saya sesungguhnya mempercayai dan menyatakan bahawa kenyataan media yang dirujuk itu adalah berhubung dengan AI-Kitab (Bible) sahaja dan tidak relevan kepada isu permit penerbitan Herald — the Catholic Weekly yang mana syarat yang dikenakan adalah amat jelas dan perlu dipatuhi oleh Pemohon” (paragraph 22 of 1St Respondent’s Affidavit); and

(ii) the circulation of the Al-kitab vide P.U.(A) 134 dated 13.5.1982 was made subject to the condition that its possession or use is only in churches by persons professing the Christian religion, throughout Malaysia.

17.5    I find the 2 additional grounds submitted by the Applicant in paragraph 17.1 above to be of substance. It is to be noted that a common thread runs through like a tapestry in the Respondents’ treatment of restricting the use of the word “Allah” which appears in the Al-kitab are

(i) that it is not meant for Muslims;

(ii) to be in the possession or use of Christians and. in churches only. In fact these restrictions are similar to that imposed as a second condition in the impugned decision save for the endorsement of the word “Terhad” on the front cover of the said publication. Relying on the chapter on maxims of interpretation at paragraph 44 p.156 of N.S.Bindra’s Interpretation of Statute, there is a maxim “Omne majus continet in se minus” which means “The greater contains the less”. One would have thought having permitted albeit with the usual restrictions the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” for worship and in the Al-kitab, it would only be logical and reasonable for the Respondents to allow the use of the word “Allah” in the said publication drawing an analogy by invoking the maxim “The greater contains the less”. Indeed I am incline to agree with the Applicarit that the Respondents are acting illogically, irrationally and inconsistently and no person similarly circumstanced would have acted in a like manner.

17.6   The Applicant submitted that in a review on the grounds of Wednesbury unreasonableness the Court of Appeal in Harris Solid State & Ors. v. Bruno Pereira & Ors[1996] 4 CLJ 747 at p.749 held “it is not merely confined to an examination of the decision-making process but may go into the merits of the decision itself.” I find there is merit in the Applicant’s contention that when viewed on its merits, the reasons given by the Home Ministry in the various directives defies all logic and is so unreasonable.

(iv) The constitutionality of the State Enactments

18. The Respondents submitted (i) the 1st Respondent in his Affidavit had stated that he had also taken into consideration the existence of the laws to control and restrict the propagation of religious doctrine or belief among Muslims in various states; (ii) these laws are valid under Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution and cited Mamat bin Daud & Ors. v. Government of Malaysia [1988] 1 MLJ119 (SC) and Sulaiman Takrib v. Kerajaan Negeri Terengganu, Kerajaan Malaysia (Intervener) & Or. Cases [2009] 2 CLJ 54(FC) in support; (iii) if the 1st Respondent allows the use of the word “Allah” when there is in existence these laws, the decision will be illegal because it is going against them; (iv) one of the reason for the decision is to avoid confusion and misunderstanding among Muslims; there is no guarantee that the said publication will be circulated only among Christians and will not fall into the hands of Muslims and it has gone online and is accessible to all.

18.1    Pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, ten States have enacted laws to control and restrict the propagation of religious doctrine or belief among Muslims. The laws are —

(i) Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Enactment 1980 (State of Terengganu Enactment No.1/1980),

(ii) Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Enactment 1981 (Kelantan Enactment No.1111981);

(iii) Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions to Muslim Enactment 1988 (Malacca Enactment No.1/1988);

(iv) Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Enactment 1988 (Kedah Darulaman Enactment No.11 /1988);

(v) The Non Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988 (Selangor Enactment No.1/1988);

(vi) The Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Enactment 1988 (Perak No.10/1988);

(vii) Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Enactment 1989 (Pahang Enactment No.5/1989);

(viii) Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Enactment 1991 (Johor Enactment No.12/1991);

(ix) The Control and Restriction (The Propagation of Non Islamic Religions Amongst Muslims) (Negeri Sembilan) Enactment 1991 (Negeri Sembilan Enactment No.9/1991); and

(x) Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Religious Doctrine and Belief which is Contrary to the Religion of Islam Enactment 2002 (Perlis Enactment No.6 of 2002).

18.2    It is not disputed that s. 9 of the various State Enactments provide for an offence relating to the use of certain words and expressions listed in Part 1 or 11 of the Schedule or in the Schedule itself as the case maybe of the State Constitutions and which includes the word “Allah”. Further, all these State Enactments are made pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution which reads “State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.” (Emphasis added).

At this juncture it is appropriate for the Court to bear in the forefront of its mind the instructive principles of constitutional interpretation pronounced by the Federal Court in the recent case of Sivarasa v. Badan Peguam Malaysia & Anor (Rayuan Sivil No.01-8-2006(W) dated 17.11.2009 — unreported) cited by Mr. Royan where the appellant challenged the constitutionality of s.46A(1) of the Legal Profession Act, which prohibits him, an advocate and a solicitor and also an office bearer of a political party and a Member of Parliament from holding office in the Bar Council. The principles are —

(i) the fundamental liberties guaranteed under Part 11 of the Federal Constitution must be generously interpreted and that a prismatic approach to interpretation must be adopted; the provisions of Part 11 contain concepts that house within them several separate rights and the duty of the Court is to discover whether that particular right claimed as infringed by state action is indeed submerged within a given concept;

(ii) provisos or restrictions that limit or derogate from a guaranteed right must be read restrictively;

(iii) the test to be applied in determining whether a constitutionally guaranteed right has been violated is “whether it directly affects the fundamental rights or its inevitable effect or consequence on the fundamental rights is such that it makes their exercise ineffective or illusory.”;

(iv) the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part It is part of the basic structure of the Constitution and. that Parliament cannot enact laws (including acts amending the Constitution ) that violate the basic structure (per Gopal Sri Ram FCJ at paragraphs 3.5 and 6).

18.3    Mr Royan drew to the Court’s attention (I) that Article 11(4) which is the restriction does not state that State law can forbid or prohibit but “may control or restrict”; does not provide for State law or any other law to control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing a religion other than Islam; the word propagate” means “to spread from person to person, … to disseminate … (… belief or practise, etc)” citing Rev. Stainislaus v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors.[1977] A.I.R. 908 (SC) at p.911 let column Mr. Royan submits ex fabie, s. 9 of the State Enactments make it an offence for a person who is not a Muslim to use the word “Allah” except by way of quotation or reference; so it appears that a Christian would be committing an offence if he uses the word “Allah” to a group of non-Muslims or to a non-Muslim individual. Mr. Royan then argues that that cannot be the case because Article 11(4) states one may “control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.” I am persuaded such an interpretation would be ludicrous as the interpretation does not accord with the object and ambit of Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

18.4    I find there is merit in Mr Royan’s submission that unless we want to say that s.9 is invalid or unconstitutional to that extent (which I will revert to later), the correct way of approaching s.9 is it ought to be read with Article 11(4). If s.9 is so read in conjunction with Article 11(4), the result will be that a non-Muslim could be committing an offence if he uses the word “Allah” to a Muslim but there would be no offence if it was used to a non-Muslim. Indeed Article 11(1) reinforces this position as it states “Every person has the right to profess and practise his religion, and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it”. Clause 4 restricts a person’s right only to propagate his religious doctrine or belief to persons professing the religion of Islam. So long as he does not propagate his religion to persons not professing the religion of Islam, he commits no offence. It is significant to note that Article 11(1) gives freedom for a person to profess and practise his religion and the restriction is on the right to propagate.

18.5    I find Mr Royan’s argument is further augmented by the submission of Mr Benjamin Dawson, learned Counsel for the Applicant which I find to be forceful stating that this rule of construction is permissible in the light of the mischief the State Enactments seek to cure and the provision has to be interpreted to conform to the Constitution (See Sivarasa Rasiah (supra) and Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan & Anor v. Nordin bin Salleh & Anor [1992] 1 MLJ 697(S.C) followed in the former case at paragraph 6). He submitted that apart from Article 11(4) itself, from the preamble to the State Enactments the mischief of the State Enactments is none other than what is set out in Article 11(4) i.e. restriction and propagation among persons professing the religion of Islam. For completeness I shall spell out the preamble in full “WHEREAS Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution provides that State law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam. AND WHEREAS it is now desired to make a law to control and restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religious doctrines and beliefs among persons professing the religion of Islam.” (Emphasis added).

18.6    If the Court does not adopt such a construction, it would render the fundamental rights as enshrined in Articles 3, 8 ( see Dr. Mohd Nasir bin Hashim (supra) at paragraph 16 above and Sivarasa Rasiah (supra) at paragraph 27 as to why Article 8 becomes applicable) 10, 11 and 12 relied on by the Applicant as illusory.

19.    The other approach of interpretation which I would adopt is the doctrine of proportionality which, is housed in the equal protection limb, the 2 limb of Article 8(1) advocated in Sivarasa Rasiah (supra) (per Gopal Sri Ram FCJ at paragraph 19) submitted by Mr. Royan and Mr. Dawson. From paragraphs 27-31 of the judgment, after examining several high authorities, His Lordship Gopal Sri Ram FCJ (speaking on behalf of the Federal Court) stated the test is whether the legislative state action which includes also executive and administrative acts of the State is disproportionate to the object it seeks to achieve and in determining whether the limitation is arbitrary or excessive the threefold test is applicable – “whether legislative or executive — that infringe a fundamental right must

(i) have an objective that is sufficiently important to justify limiting the right in question;

(ii) the measures designed by the relevant state action to meet its objective must have a rational nexus with that objective; and

(iii) the means used by the relevant state action to infringe the right asserted must be proportionate to the object it seeks to achieve”.

19.1    Applying the said test to the factual matrix of the present case the Court has to bear in mind the constitutional and fundamental rights of persons professing the Christian faith to practise their religion and to impart their faith/religion to persons within their religious group and in this case, the Catholic Church comprises a large section of people from Sabah and Sarawak whose medium of instruction is Bahasa Malaysia and they have for years used religious material in which their God is called “Allah”; for that matter there is a large community who are Bahasa Malaysia speaking from Penang and Malacca. On the other hand the object of Article 11(4) and the State Enactments is to protect or restrict propagation to persons of the Islamic faith. Seen in this context by no stretch of imagination can one say that s.9 of the State Enactments may well be proportionate to the object it seeks to achieve and the measure is therefore arbitrary and unconstitutional. Following this it shows the 1st Respondent has therefore taken an irrelevant consideration.

20. As to the concern of the Respondents there is no guarantee that the magazine would be circulated only among Christians and it will not fall into the hand of Muslims, I agree with Mr Royan there is no requirement of any guarantee be given by anyone in order to profess and practise and even to propagate it. In my view if there are breaches of any law the relevant authorities may take the relevant enforcement measures. We are living in a world of information technology; information can be readily accessible. Are guaranteed rights to be sacrificed at the altar just because the Herald has gone online and is accessible to all? One must not forget there is the restriction in the publication permit which serves as an additional safeguard which is, the word “TERHAD” is to be endorsed on the front page and the said publication is restricted to churches and to followers of Christianity only.

21.   With respect to the learned SFC, I am of the view that the contention of the Respondents that Mamat bin Daud & Ors. v. Government of Malaysia [1988] 1 MLJ119 (SC) and Sulaiman Takrib v. Kerajaan Negeri Terengganu, Kerajaan Malaysia (Intervener) & Or. Cases [2009] 2 CLJ 54(FC) is authority for the proposition that the State Enactments are valid under Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution is misconceived. I agree with Mr. Royan that the two authorities have nothing to do with the State -Enactments. In Mamat bin Daud (supra), the issue was whether s.298A Penal Code which was enacted by Parliament by an amending Act in 1983 is ultra vires Article 74(1) of the Federal Constitution. The petitioners contended the law was invalid as being ultra vires the Constitution because having regard to the pith and substance of the section, it is a law which ought to be passed not by Parliament but by the State Legislative Assemblies except in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, it being a legislation on Islamic religion under Article 11(4) and item 1 of List 11, Ninth Schedule. By a majority decision of 3-2, the Supreme Court held that s.298A Penal Code is invalid null and void after having considered and examined the section as a whole, it is a colourable legislation in that it pretends to be a legislation on public order, when in pith and substance it is a law on the subject of religion with respect to which only the states have power to legislate under Articles 74 and 77 of the Federal Constitution (see Headnotes at p.119). As for Sulaiman Takrib (supra) the petitioner, a Muslim was charged with offences under ss10 and 14 Syariah Criminal Offences (Takzir)(Terengganu) Enactment 2001 (“SCOT”). The proceedings before the Federal Court was commenced under Article 4(4):of the Federal Constitution for a declaration that s.51 of the Administration of Islamic Religious Affairs (Terengganu) Enactment 2001 and ss10 and 14 SCOT which were enacted by the State Assembly of Terengganu (“SLAT”) were invalid on the ground SLAT has no powers to make such provisions.

(v) Public security and order

22.   Learned SFC submits in paragraph 6 of the 1st Respondent’s Affidavit the 1st Respondent states “(b) Dalam mencapai keputusan tersebut, saya berpuashati bahawa penggunaan kalimah “ALLAH” dalam penerbitan majalah Herald — The Catholic Weekly akan mengancam keselamatan dan ketenteraman awam serta menimbulkan sensitiviti keagamaan di kalangan rakyat Malaysia”. Based on this, learned SFC further submits the grounds of public security, public order and religious sensitivity are legal, rational and reasonable of which the judges are the executive and the Court is not in a position to question the issue and must accept these reasons citing Kerajaan Malaysia v. Nasharuddin Nasir [2004]9 CLJ 81 and R v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex Parte MC Avoy [1984] All ER 417.

22. 1   The Respondents also allege the Applicant did not file any affidavit to dispute the facts, hence security reasons are deemed admitted by the Applicant citing Ng Hee Thoong & Anor v. Public Bank Bhd [1995] 1 MLJ 281. I find this submission is inaccurate as the Applicant has at paragraph 60 of the Applicant’s Affidavit averred – “60. I wish to state that the First Respondent’s reported statement that the continued use of the word “Allah” in the said publication will bring about confusion or unease to other faith communities is clearly unfounded as the Applicant has no intentions or has never done anything to bring about any such conflict, discord or misunderstanding. Further, I reiterate that the reality of the matter is that in the lass 14 years of the said publication there has never been any untoward incident arising out of the use of the word “Allah” in the said publication”.

22.2   The Applicant submits the Respondents’ reply to paragraph 60 is in paragraph 45 -”45 -Merujuk kepada perenggan-perenggan 59, 60 dan 63 Afidavit Sokongan Pemohon, saya sesungguhnya mempercayai dan menyatakan bahawa kalimah Allah adalah nama khas bagi Tuhan Yang Maha Esa bagi penganut agama Islam dan ini jelas termaktub di dalam Al-Quran dan dimartabatkan di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan”. I find from the said reply, there in merit in the Applicant’s contention that the 1st Respondent has not rebutted the Applicant’s averment in paragraph 60 and thus the averment “the Applicant had never intended or caused any conflict, discord or misunderstanding and that there has never been any untoward incident arising out of the use of the word “Allah” in the said publication in the last 14 years is to be
accepted” is deemed to be accepted.

22.3   There is merit in the Applicant’s argument that the Respondents in paragraph 45 of his Affidavit.(also in paragraphs 6, 25 and 46) sought to justify imposing the condition in purported exercise of his powers under the said Act on a mere statement that the use of the word “Allah” is a security issue which is causing much confusion and which threatens and endangers public order, without any supporting evidence. A mere statement by the 1st Respondent that the exercise of power was necessary on the ground of national security without adequate supporting evidence is not sufficient in law (see JP Berthelsen v Director General of Immigration, Malaysia & Ors [1987] 1 MLJ 134 (EC); Dr. Mohd Nasir bin Hashim v Menteri Dalam Negeri Malaysia [2006] 6 MLJ 213)(CA) which followed JP Berthelsen(supra)). In my view the cases of Nasharuddin Nasir (supra) and Ex Parte MC Avoy (supra) do not spell out there ought to be total prohibition of interference from the Court, rather it ought to be slow to intervene as can be inferred from the dictum of His Lordship Steve Shim CJ (Sabah & Sarawak) (as he then was) at p.97a “It seems apparent from these cases that where matters of national security and public order are involved, the court should not intervene by way of judicial review or be hesitant in doing so as these are matters especially within the preserve of the executive, involving as they invariably do, policy considerations and the like”.

22.4  I agree with the Applicant there is no material to support the Respondents’ argument that the use of.the word “Allah” is a threat to national security or from which an inference of prejudice to national security may be inferred; all there is before the Court is a mere “ipse dixit” of the 1st Respondent “… Larangan yang dikenakan hanyalah berhubung penggunaan kalimah Allah di dalam penerbitan majalah tersebut yang bertujuan untuk memastikan tidak berlakunya kekeliruan agama yang boleh mengancam keselamatan dan ketenteraman awam serta menimbulkan sensitiviti keagamaan di Negara ini.” (see paragraphs 6, 25 and 46 of Enclosure 17). Therefore I am of the view that this ground ought to be rejected.

22.5   I find there is merit in Mr. Dawson’s argument that the Court ought to take judicial notice that in other Muslim countries even in the Middle East where the Muslim and the Christian communities together use the word “Allah”, yet one hardly hear of any confusion arising (see paragraph 52(xix) of the Applicant’s Affidavit which is not rebutted). Further, I am incline to agree that the Court has to consider the question of “avoidance of confusion” as a ground very cautiously so as to obviate a situation where a mere confusion of certain persons within a religious group can strip the constitutional right of another religious group to practise and propagate their religion under Article 11(1) and to render such guaranteed right as illusory.

(vi) Other Matters

23. Mr Royan submits the Respondents have made references to various opinions and views in their Written Submission (Enc.104) namely (i) p.14 at paragraph 15 (dated 6.2.2009) (this article “entitled “Isu Penggunaan Kalimah Allah” of Abu Bakar (Fellow of IKIM) is also referred in p.2 of the Respondents’ Supplemental Submission (Encl.104A) (ii) p.17 at paragraph 24 (dated 7.5.2008); (iii) p.26 at paragraph 12 (dated 6.1.2008); (iv) p.27 at paragraph 13 (dated 6.2.2009); (v) p.28 at paragraph 14 (dated 20.2.2008) (this article entitled “Heresy Arises From Words Wrongly Used” of Dr. Syed Ali Tawfik Al- Attas / Dr. Mohd Sani b. Badron is also referred in p.3 of the Respondents’ Supplemental Submission; (vi) p.29 at paragraph 18 (dated 6.1.2008) and (vii) p.52 at paragraph 5 (dated 6.1.2008). I agree with Mr. Royan that the passages are from articles and they have not been adduced as affidavit evidence in the usual way. O.53 r.6 of the RHC provides any party to a judicial review application may, inter alia, apply for discovery and inspection of documents (under O.24) or to cross-examine the deponent of any affidavit filed in support or in opposition to the application pursuant to O.38. It is my opinion from the existence of O.53 r.6 it is envisaged any documentary evidence which the Respondents seek to rely as proof to substantiate their claims out to be adduced by affidavit evidence which will then give an opportunity to the Applicant if they wish to challenge the “evidence” to invoke the processes thereunder.

23.1   As the passages at paragraphs 16 and 17 of Encl.104 are unsubstantiated with no mention as to the source or origin at all, agree with Mr. Royan that these are purely statements from the Bar and cannot be admitted.

23.2 It is to be noted that the dates of the articles are either in 2008 or 2009. The instant judicial review application was filed on 16.1.2009 whilst the application that preceded this instant application (R1-25-73- 2008) was filed on 19.3.2008. In the light of this I agree with the Applicant these articles all of which were written round about the time when the judicial review applications were filed are self-serving documents which when weighed against the historical evidence of the Applicant which is uncontroverted. I am incline not to attach any weight to these articles and opinions.

24.  The Applicant contends there is a serious doubt as who is the decision maker by referring to paragraph 5 of the 1st Respondent’s Affidavit and paragraphs 2 and 10 of the Affidavit affirmed by Che Din bin Yusoh and whether the grounds set out in the Affidavit of the 1st Respondent which form the basis for the decision of 7.1.2009 are valid. I find nothing turns on this contention and it is a non-starter. I agree with Dato’ Kamaluddin that in all likelihood the word “keputusan” in paragraph 10 was wrongly quoted by Che Din because it must be read in the context of paragraph 2 which refers to a letter dated 7.2.2009 (Exh.MP-25). In paragraph 2 of the said letter it is written “Bahagian ini”; thus the word “keputusan” in paragraph 10 would logically refer to “keputusan Bahagian saya” or “keputusan Bahagian ini”.

(vi) Issue of justiciability

(a) Position of 4th, 5th and 7th Respondents.

25.    I had on 31.12.2009 dismissed the applications of the Majlis Agama Islam (MAI) of Wilayah Persekutuan, Johore, Selangor, Kedah, Malacca, the MAI dan Adat Melayu Terengganu and MACMA to be heard in opposition under O.53 r.8 of the RHO (It is to be noted that the MAI dan Adat Melayu Perak and MAI Pulau Pinang did not file any application under O.53 r.8 ). That being the case their submission contending the, issue of whether any publication in whatever form by a non-Muslim individual or body or entity that uses the sacred word of “Allah” can be permitted in law is one that is within the absolute discretion of the Rulers and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) (in respect of Penang, Malacca, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territories) as the respective Heads of Islam and is therefore non-justiciable is irrelevant at the substantive hearing of the judicial review application and need not be considered by this Court.

26.    In the event I err in my finding, I shall now consider the arguments put forth by them. As highlighted by the Applicant, the 4th, 5th and 7th Respondents had made extensive references to the Federal Constitution, State Enactments to establish that the Rulers and the YDPA are the Heads of Islam in the various states and Federal Territories. They then submit -

(i)    that by virtue of their position as Head of Islam, the Rulers and the YDPA have an absolute discretion on the matter of whether any publication by a non Muslim entity which uses the word “Allah” can be permitted in law; and

(ii) that the States Enactments that control the propagation of religious doctrine or belief among Muslims which prohibit, amongst others, the use of the word “Allah” by non Muslims confer absolute discretion on the Ruler or the Ruler in Council to determine whether any of the prohibited words can be used by non Muslims and therefore the issue is non justiciable.

27.   I adopt the following responses of the Applicant contending the application is justiciable and I am of the view there is substance -

(i) the Federal Constitution and the State Constitutions clearly provide that the Rulers and the YDPA as the Head of Islam in the States and the Federal Territories have exclusive authority only on Islamic affairs and Malay customs;

(ii) subject to Articles 10 and 11 of the Federal Constitution, the control and regulation of all publications and matters connected therewith are governed by federal law namely the Act and only the Minister for Home Affairs is involved in the ‘implementation and enforcement of its provisions. Under this Act, only the Minister can decide what is permitted to be published and in this regard the Rulers and the YDPA have no role whatsoever under the scheme of this Act;

(iii) the present judicial review is not a judicial review of a decision of the Rulers or the YDPA as Head of Islam concerning the exercise of their duties and functions. It is only a judicial review of the 1st Respondent’s decision to impose a prohibition on the use of the word “Allah” by the Applicant in a publication. Since the Rulers or the YDPA cannot make any decision in respect of any publications and matters connected therewith, the issue of non justiciability does not arise;

(iv) the 1st Respondent has taken the position contrary to the contention of the 4th, 5th and 7th Respondents that he has the exclusive power to make an administrative decision to impose a condition on the Applicant’s publication permit to prohibit the use of the word “Allah”. The 1st Respondent consented to leave being granted and has filed an Affidavit in Reply stating that he had the requisite powers to make such decisions and accordingly sought to justify his decision. Since he has taken such a position, any argument that only the Rulers or the YDPA has such powers or absolute discretion to determine such an issue makes a complete mockery of the 1st Respondent’s stated position and the enforcement of his powers under the Act;

(v) if this Court accedes to the 4th, 5th and 7th Respondents’ contention this would mean that the 1st Respondent did not have the power and was not the proper person to decide on the prohibition of the use of the word “Allah” in the first place and surely this cannot be the correct position in law in view of the clear provisions of the Act ;

(vi) that the civil courts only decline jurisdiction on the grounds of non justiciability when it is absolutely clear that the “judicial process is totally inept to deal with the sort of problems which it involves” (per Lord Diplock in CCSU(supra)). The civil court are not only competent to do so, they are duty bound to do so especially when the issue is one that concerns the fundamental liberties of freedom of expression and religion of the Applicant under Articles 10 and 11 of the Federal Constitution respectively;

(vii) the Court had granted leave to commence judicial proceedings and thus the Court is seised with jurisdiction to hear the substantive application. This Order cannot be set aside (save the Order was made without jurisdiction in the 1st place) except by an appeal under O.53 r.9 RHC.

28.   For the foregoing reasons, I dismiss the 4th, 5th and 7th Respondents’ objection that the subject matter of these proceedings is non-justiciable with no order as to cost:

(b) Position of 1st and 2nd Respondents

29.   As alluded to earlier, the learned SFC, Dato’ Kamaludin is in full agreement with the submission of the 3rd to the 11 Respondents that the proceedings is non-justiciable. The salient arguments submitted by the learned SFC are:

(i) the Federal and State Constitutions recognise the YDPA and the Rulers as the protectors of the religion of Islam;

(ii) the decision of the 1s` Respondent to attach a condition to the publication permit of the “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” as stated by ‘the 1st Respondent in his Affidavit is due to national security and to avoid confusion and misunderstanding among Muslims;

(iii) there is no guarantee that the publication will only be circulated among Christians and that it will not fall into the hands of Muslims;

(iv) The “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” has gone online;

(v) it is obvious that the decision taken by the 1st Respondent had taken into account the powers of the YPDA and the Rulers in the protection of the religion of Islam and also the existence of the State Enactments pertaining to the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non Islamic Religions among Muslims.

30. The Court can only examine the ‘ reasons given by the 1st Respondent as decision maker to: determine the validity of the grounds of challenge mounted by the Applicant. The reasons given by the Minister justifying the impugned decision are as stated in paragraph 9 (i) to (ix) above. Since there is nothing in the 1st Respondents’ Affidavit either expressly or impliedly that the 1st Respondent took into account the powers of the YPDA and the Rulers in the protection of the religion of Islam, I find the contention of the 1st and 2nd Respondents that the 1st Respondent took into account the powers of the YPDA and the Rulers in the protection of the religion of Islam is flawed.

30.1    In any event I agree with the Applicant since the 1st Respondent derives his powers from the Act and even if he stated that his decision took into account the powers of the YPDA and the Rulers in the protection of the religion of Islam, the Court still has to consider whether this was a relevant consideration to take into account in light of the legislative scheme of the Act.

30.2   I agree even if the 1St Respondent cites this reason, it still remains the 1st Respondent’s decision which is the subject of judicial review unless it can be established that it falls within the established category of non-justiciable matters.

30.3   With respect to the contention of the 1st and 2nd Respondents that the publication permit is governed by considerations of national security, merely citing national security is not ‘ sufficient to make a subject matter of a decision justiciable (see Chan Hiang Leng Colin & Ors.v. Minister For Information and the Arts [1996] 1 SLR 609; Chng Suan Tze v. Minister of Home Affairs & Other Appeals [19891 1 MLJ 69; Ahmad Yani Ismail & Anor v, Inspector-General of Police & Ors [2005] 4 MLJ 636). The Court has to determine whether the impugned decision was in fact based on ground of national security.

30.4   With regard to the ground that the condition on the publication permit is to avoid confusion and misunderstanding among the Muslims, this goes to the merits of the substantive motion which warrants the Court to determine whether it satisfies the Anisminic principles and this does not impinge on the issue of justiciability.

30.5   With regard to the contention that the publication permit is governed by the existence of the State Enactments pertaining to the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions among Muslims, it is open to the Applicant in these proceedings to challenge by way of collateral attack the constitutionality of the said Enactments on the ground that s.9 infringe the Applicant’s fundamental liberties under Articles 3, 10,11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution.

30.6   The Court can review the constitutionality of Federal and State legislation relied on by the decision maker following the test in Nordin bin Salleh (supra).

30.7   Issues on what is the “polisi kerajaan” and “arahan kerajaan” referred to in the Affidavit of the 1St Respondent and whether the word “Allah” is a proper name exclusive to Muslims in the context of the Malaysian society and whether there is an alternative word for “God” other than “Allah” for the non Muslims are questions for determination at the merits stage of these proceedings and are clearly justiciable.

30.8    For the foregoing reasons, Idismiss the 1st and 2nd Respondents’ objection that the subject matter of these proceedings is non-justiciable with no order as to cost.

(c) Position of the 11th Respondent.

31.    Learned Counsel for the 11th Respondent, Tuan Hj. Sulaiman submitted-

(i) the Rulers and the YDPA are the Heads of Religion of Islam and the protectors of that religion;

(ii) pursuant to the prerogative powers enjoyed by the Rulers and the YDPA, they have stated that the word “Allah” is special to the religion of Islam and can only be used by Muslims;

(iii) pursuant to this, anti propagation laws, namely the Non Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactments had been passed and these laws are the reflection of the Rulers and YDPA’s prerogative to defend and protect Islam;

(iv) whatever the 1St and 2nd Respondents are doing is merely to ensure that the laws which the Rulers and YDPA have sought to be promulgated are observed;

(v) the impugned actions of the 1st and 2nd Respondents is merely a carrying into force of the various State Laws that are within the prerogative of the Rulers and YDPA;

(vi) since the impugned actions are merely to enforce the prerogative of the rulers and YDPA, this issue is non- justiciable.

32.  I am of the view that the proceeding is justiciable on some of the grounds submitted in the reply submission made by the Applicant-

(i) the Rulers and YDPA have no prerogative powers to govern the affairs of other religions and the fact that the affairs of other religions are governed not by the Rulers and YDPA but by their own religious groups is clearly enshrined in Article 11(3) of the Federal Constitution. If any action is taken by the Rulers and YDPA which affect the affairs of non Islamic religions, such action would be construed as unconstitutional. Further, if any laws other than those set out in Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution are passed, such laws would also be construed as unconstitutional;

(ii) the legislative intent of the State Enactments is determined by the language of the Enactments and in so determining, the Court when called upon to do so can examine the constitutionality of these Enactments in so far as they affect the fundamental liberties of non Muslims;

(iii) in any event the contention of the 11th Respondent that the 1st and 2nd Respondents’ actions in making the decision dated 7.1.2009 were governed by the prerogative powers of the Rulers and YDPA is itself not supported by the 1st Respondent in his Affidavit.

32.1   For the foregoing reasons, I dismiss the 11th Respondent’s objection that the subject matter – of these proceedings is non-justiciable with no order as to cost.

33.   The 3rd, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th Respondents adopted the Submission of the 1st, 2nd 4th, 5th, 7th and 11th Respondents and therefore the Court’s findings at pp.48 to 55, will likewise apply mutatis mutandis.

34.   As regards the other points raised in the course of the arguments, I have considered them and in my view it would not alter my conclusion in any event.

35.   In conclusion in the circumstances the Court grants the Applicant the following order:

(1) an Order of Certiorari to quash the decision of the Respondents dated 7.1.2009 that the Applicant’s Publication Permit for the period 1.1.2009 until 31.12.2009 is subject to the condition that the Applicant is prohibited from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” pending the Court’s determination of the matter;

(2)  Jointly the following declarations:

(i) that the decision of the Respondents dated 7.1.2009 that the Applicant’s Publication Permit for the period 1.1.2009 until 31.12.2009 is subject to the condition that the Applicant is prohibited from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” pending the Court’s determination of the matter is illegal and null and void;

(ii) that pursuant to Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” in the exercise of the Applicant’s right that religions other than Islam may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation;

(iii) that Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution which states that Islam is the religion of the Federation does not empower and/or authorize the Respondents to prohibit the Applicant from using the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly;

(iv) that pursuant to Article 10. of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” in the exercise of the applicant’s right to freedom of speech and expression”;

(v) that pursuant to Article 11 of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly” in the exercise of the Applicant’s freedom of religion which includes the right to manage its own religious affairs;

(vi) that pursuant to Article 11 and Article 12 of the Federal Constitution the Applicant has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in “Herald — The Catholic Weekly “in the exercise of the Applicant’s right in respect of instruction and education of the Catholic congregation in the Christian religion.

(3) No order as to costs.

Dated: 31.12.2009

SGD.    (DATUK LAU BEE LAN) Judge

Counsel for the Applicant:
Encik Porres Royan
Encik S. Selvarajah
Encik Leonard Tech
Encik Annou Xavier and
Encik Benjamin Dawson

T/n Fernandez & Selvarajah

Peguambela & Peguamcara
No. 12-B, 2nd Floor
Jalan Yong Shook Lin
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Counsel for the 1st and 2nd Respondents:

Y.Bhg. Dato’ Kamaludin bin Md. Said
Tuan Hj. Mohd Nasir bin Desa
Puan Suzana Bte Atan
Encik Arik Sanusi bin Yeop Johari
Encik Andi Razalijaya A. Dadi

Peguam Kanan Persekutuan
Jabatan Peguam Negara
Aras 5, Blok 4G7, Presint 4
No.45, Persiaran Perdana
62100 Putrajaya

Counsel for the Interveners:

Encik Mubashir bin Mansor
Encik Abdul Rahim bin Sinwan
Majlis Agama Islam Dan Adat Melayu Terengganu
Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan

T/n Zainul Rijal Talha & Amir
Peguambela & Peguamcara
No.15-5, Jalan USJ 9/5Q
Subang Business Centre
47620 UEP Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Majlis Agama Islam Melaka

T/n Adli & Co.
Peguambela & Peguamcara
No.12A, Jalan Cempaka 1
Taman Seri Cempaka
Peringgit
75400 Melaka

Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Kedah

T/n Omayah, Nawal & Partners
Peguambela & Peguamcara
No.1562, Tingkat Satu
Jaian Kota
05000 Alor Setar
Kedah Darul Aman
Majlis Agama Islam Selangor

T/n Azra & Associates
Peguambela & Peguamcara
1008 Block A, Phileo Damansara ii
Off Jalan Damansara
46350 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Encik Mohd Tajuddin bin Abd Razak
Malaysia Chinese Muslim Association

T/n Tajuddin Razak
Peguambela & Peguamcara
NW-02-42, Cova Square
Jalan Teknologi
Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Encik Ikbal Salam
Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Johor

T/n Ikbal Salam & Associates
Peguambela & Peguamcara
No.50A & 50B, Jalan Molek 2/2
Taman Molek
81100 Johor Bahru
Johor Darul Takzim

Salinan yang diakui sah

setiausaha kepada hakim Datuk Lau Bee Lan

PDF here

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.