KOTA KINABALU: Mantaining that Christians in East Malaysia has always been free to use the word “Allah”, Parti Bersatu Sabah today called on the Federal Government to reconsider its move to appeal against the High Court’s decision over the matter.
Its Secretary General Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the issue is nothing new and that it has been sorted out in the case of Sabah and Sarawak since a decade ago with the so-called Idris Jala 10-point SOP (Standard Operations Procedure) for Christians in both East Malaysia states.
“There is no hindrance for Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to use the word ‘Allah’ in their religious practices. It is time for our fellow Christians in West Malaysia to enjoy similar privilege,” he said, responding to certain calls for the Federal Government to appeal against the High Court’s decision.
He added that PBS’ position and stand is the same as what the Sarawak State Government has adopted.
“We fully identify and concur with the position stated by them.
“PBS is also aware that this is also the unspoken stand of the GRS (Gabungan Rakyat Sabah), since even before independence and before we became part of Malaysia we have always enjoyed peaceful co-existence with all Sabahans irrespective of their religious beliefs.
“We will continue to preserve this religious unity and harmony. PBS as a multiracial party has always adhered to this belief and stand. There is no need to politicise the issue and we need not be influenced by the tactics of the opposition,” said Bangkuai.
On March 10, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ruled that the government directive via a December 5, 1986 circular issued by the Home Ministry’s publications control division was unlawful and unconstitutional.
This government directive was the one that banned the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications.