Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christians Free to Use Allah

The High Court of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur today declared that the ban on Christians using the word "Allah" is invalid.

Justice Lau Bee Lan ruled that the Home Ministry has failed to show how the use of the word "Allah" by Christians can create confusion among Muslims.

The case was filed by The Herald, a weekly-publication of the Roman Catholic Church. The Home Ministry had initially banned the Herald from using the word "Allah".

The Herald had sought to seek a nullification of the ban. The decision by the Home Ministry to ban the word by Christians is baffling. Christians, especially in Sabah and Sarawak have used the word "Allah" long before the formation of Malaysia. The word "Allah" has become part of the Christian tradition in the Malay Archipelago.

Therefore the High Court's decision is most welcome. Christians however should not be too overjoyed, as the Home Ministry has yet to make a stand on whether it would appeal the decision.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Professor Makes Wild Accusation Against Christians

Recently, a renowned Muslim professor from Malaya, Dr.Ridhuan Tee Abdullah had written a politically-charged article in the Malayan-based Malay-language daily, Utusan Malaysia* which could upset the feelings of native Christians in Sabah and maybe even in Sarawak.

His article entitled "Tuduhan Penjahat Lebih Baik dari Berjahat" which translates as "Being Accused of a Crime is Better Than Committing a Crime" had many underlying political tones. It is very unfortunate however that in doing so he has touched on religious sensitivities.

In one line he wrote the following:

Selama inipun mereka tidak pernah menggunakan kalimah Allah di negara kita, kenapa secara tiba-tiba kalimah Allah hendak digunakan? Tidak lain dan tidak bukan adalah strategi jahat mereka untuk mengelirukan umat Islam supaya mengikut agama mereka.

Translated, the above means:

"All this while they (Christians) have never used the word Allah in this country,so why now all of a sudden they want to use it? This is an evil strategy to confuse Muslims into converting to Christianity."

This so-called professor had demonstrated his ignorance here and he dares calls himself a professor. Sabahan and Sarawakian Christians have used the word "Allah" long before the formation of Malaysia.

It has never been an issue until religious extremists within the ruling coalition decided to make it an issue. If there is anyone with evil strategies here, it must be Dr.Ridhuan who is trying to confuse Muslims into thinking that the use of the word Allah is very recent and aimed at confusing Muslims!

We should be wondering then whether the title of his article is about himself!

*this newspaper though based in Malaya, is easily available in Sabah

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The North Borneo Herald wishes all its readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2009! Thank you for supporting the North Borneo Herald.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

English is the Language of the Courts in Sabah and Sarawak

A high court in Malaya recently dismissed a case filed by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the latter's case was filed in English. The judge who threw out the case stated that Malay is the official language of Malaysia, therefore all court cases should be filed in the Malay language.

However this is not true for all of Malaysia. In Sabah and Sarawak, the official language of the courts are English, therefore any case filed in the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in the English language is valid. And any case in the Court of Appeal or Federal Court which originates from a high court in Sabah and Sarawak too shall be allowed to be filed in English.

This is provided for in Article 161 of the Federal Constitution. So please note here that the judge who threw out Anwar's case was not speaking for the whole of Malaysia.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seditious Book

The North Borneo Herald has received report of a highly seditious book that is being allowed to be sold in Malaysia. Whether this book has reached bookstores in Sabah is not known.

But so far the book has been made available in bookstores in Kuala Lumpur. The book written in the Malay language takes a swipe at Christianity and accuses Christians of trying to propagate the religion to Muslims.

It also seems that there is an entire chapter in the book about the alleged confession of a former Roman Catholic priest. The North Borneo Herald has learnt that this chapter is purely fictional and is aimed at confusing Muslims and inciting them to be suspicious of Christians.

The book also accuses Christians of propagating their faith under the guise of providing aid to the needy around the world.

There are many other lies leveled at Christians and the Christian church in this book. The book also accuses Christianity as a threat to Muslims!

Though Christians could easily recognize this book as pure rubbish, Muslims who read this book might be duped into hating Christians. This does not augur well for the harmony of the nation. It is hoped the authorities concerned would ban this book with immediate effect.

Details of the book are as follows:

Title of Book:Gerakan Orientalisme & Kristianisasi
Colour:Yellow (paperback)
Author:Haji Nik Azran Muhamed & Haji Mohd Mahadi Haji Isa
Publisher:Hijjaz Records Publishing
Year: May 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bible Knowledge, Iban and Kadazandusun Languages

The decision by the Federal Cabinet to allow students taking the Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) examination to sit for a maximum of 12 subjects is most welcome.

When the government had earlier limited the number of subjects to 10, it was worrisome to many students in Sabah and Sarawak. This is because in Sabah and Sarawak apart from the six core subjects and the 3 elective subjects, many students also sit for the Bible Knowledge paper.

It is learned that this year many students had to drop the Bible Knowledge paper when the government imposed the 10 subject limit. Apart from Bible Knowledge, many Iban students in Sarawak also sit for the Iban language paper.

In Sabah, by 2012, students would have the opportunity to sit for the Kadazandusun language paper. So apart from the 6 core and 3 elective subjects that they have to sit, they would be sitting for 2 additional papers, making them a total of 11 papers.

Therefore the government's previous limit of 10 was not good for students in East Malaysia. It is therefore heartening to note that the government has decided to increase the number of subjects SPM candidates could sit for.

The government's latest decision is therefore hailed.

LATEST UPDATE: The government has decided that the additional 2 subjects would not count in determining the SPM grade. This has been opposed by several NGOs in West Malaysia. The North Borneo Herald regrets the governments decision and hopes NGOs from Sabah and Sarawak would also present a memorandum to the authorities concerned.