KOTA KINABALU: Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) welcomes the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court to allow the use of the word ‘Allah’ and three other Arabic words in all Christian publications.
In a statement here today, STAR President Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said he was relieved the issue had finally been put to rest and the country and its people could finally move on.
“This issue has been a source of discord among the people for so many years and I am glad we can finally move forward now.
“I hope no party will politicise the decision as this issue has never been about politics, but it is a legal matter to be decided by the court,” he said.
Kitingan who is also the Deputy Chief Minister said focus should now be turned into healing the wounds caused by the over-politicisation of religious issues, including the use of Arabic terms in non-Muslim publications.
He said as a government of a multicultural and multireligious society, the Sabah government would concentrate its energies not only on the economic growth of Sabah, but also on ensuring the state’s image as an inclusive and united nation remains intact.
“In Sabah, we have always been united and respectful towards one another regardless of our religious and racial background.
“There has never been a problem with non-Muslims using Arabic words in their worship even before this landmark ruling,” he said.
Commenting on the call by Umno and PAS to the federal government to refer the decision to the Appeal Court, Kitingan said it was up to the federal government to decide whether or not to do so.
“For me, Umno and PAS have a right to their opinions. At the same time, they should also respect the court’s decision,” he said.