Jan 30, 2010

Tun Mahathir not surprised Khairy unpopular

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today renewed his tirade against Khairy Jamaluddin, saying he was not surprised the Umno Youth leader was unpopular and openly wondered how the latter won the post.

The former party president has never seen eye-to-eye with Khairy, who not only won the youth wing’s top post against his son, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, but is also the son-in-law of his nemesis, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“It unimaginable that an Umno Youth leader was told not to campaign during an election because the party feared if he did, they would lose,” the former prime minister said in reference to the Bukit Gantang by-elections last year.

A blog has claimed that two-thirds of the Umno Youth executive council was ready to resign to pave the way for fresh polls and that there were calls for Khairy to resign.

Khairy’s deputy, Datuk Razali Ibrahim has publicly denied the blog’s claims.

Razali and Mukhriz are deputy ministers but Khairy was not given the traditional posting, similar to Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi when he was Umno youth chief during Dr Mahathir’s time in power.

Dr Mahathir persisted to cast aspersions against Khairy today, saying he did not know how Khairy could have won the Umno Youth chief post in the first place.

“They took seven hours to count 700 votes and that’s strange,” he said, alluding to the elections where both Mukhriz and Datuk Seri Khir Toyo lost to Khairy.

Dr Mahathir noted that Khairy won the deputy youth chief post unopposed in the previous party election because no one stood against him.

“That’s his way, and that’s why they can’t accept it,” he said.

The party’s longest-serving president, who founded Umno again after it was declared illegal in 1988, had always won unopposed, after putting in strict rules governing the eligibility to contest top party posts.

He retired in 2003 and handed over the party and prime minister’s post to Abdullah, but a public between the two then saw Dr Mahathir openly campaigning against his successor and son-in-law.

Dr Mahathir also quit Umno in May 2008 to protest Abdullah’s leadership, but rejoined a day after Datuk Seri Najib Razak was affirmed as party president.

Jan 28, 2010

Tun Mahathir blames PAS, PKR for dividing Malays

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed (picture) delivered a history lesson on Malay unity today and blamed PAS and PKR for dividing the community because of what he claimed was their greed for power.

He also described PAS and PKR among many other Malay-based political parties as Umno splinter groups responsible for disrupting unity among Malays.

Speaking at the National Library today at a special “Bicara Perdana” talk, he said that it was a historical fact that the first political party which was united and fought against the British for Malay rights was Umno.

He added that it was the unity of the Malays in backing Umno that made the British pull out and abandon their plans for a Malayan Union at the end of World War Two.

The former PM pointed out that it was the Umno ulamas, who had split from the Malay nationalist party in the 1950s to form PAS.

This was because they were “dissatisfied” when they were not given positions within the state and federal legislatures, according to Dr. Mahathir.

“PAS, in the beginning, were ulamas from Umno. They were upset that they were not chosen in the legislative and state legislative assembly...more educated and English-speaking Malay leaders were chosen and they were not happy with this.

“If you get selected, you become a YB, and then you got paid RM300,” he said.

The former premier said that these ulamas went into seclusion, then formed a new party so that they could “contest” to become candidates.

“The split between the Malays started just because they wanted positions. That was when PAS was formed.

“Later on the same thing happened with Keadilan, as well as the now-defunct Semangat 46..all these were splinter groups from Umno.”

Dr Mahathir also defended the social contract, the so-called unwritten agreement between the Malays and the non-Malays during independence, by affirming that without the agreement, Malaysia would not have been formed.

“If there was no social contract, the terms and conditions of allowing citizenship to non-Malays would have not taken place. One million outsiders were given citizenships at the time.”

Jan 27, 2010

Tun Mahathir : Research funds not disbursed due to old mindsets

SHAH ALAM: The Government has funds for research but these have not been distributed because of the “conventional mindsets” of those in charge of them.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the people in charge of these funds look at research as an investment and expect returns.

“Research is not about making profits. This kind of thinking is not up to date,” he told journalists and guests during a visit to I-City at Section 7 here Wednesday.

He said that government officers in charge of the funds think about making and getting profits only.

Dr Mahathir said given this mindset, people involved in research would find it difficult to obtain funds to carry out their work.

“You are going to have problems interacting with the Government; I am sorry,” he said.

He said the Government should have an open mind and offer support even if the officers in charge do not understand some of the things involved.

Dr Mahathir said research was all about acquiring information and making discoveries, adding that researchers might even make fantastic discoveries that they themselves may not know how to develop.

He also said one of the things Malaysia must learn to do is to set up incubators for young people with ideas.

He said this was important as the country had moved away from the labour-intensive industries of the past into “brain-intensive” industries.

“We need to train people for these brain-intensive industries,” he said.

Jan 24, 2010

Tun Mahathir : I am not anti-Christian

GEORGE TOWN: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied claims that he is trying to stir up anti-Christian sentiments by saying that the Sept 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York was staged.

“Many people may think that I am trying to stir up the matter by publicly commenting that the attack on the United States was staged but I am firm with my point of view,” he told reporters after attending a dinner organised by the Penang Medical Practitioners’ Society here Saturday.

The former prime minister said there were groups of people who thought that he was trying to stir anti-Christian sentiments by commenting on the attack at this point of time.

“What do I gain from a publicity stunt? I’m not going to run for Prime Minister again.”

Earlier in his blog Mahathir said that he had watched a three-hour video showing the attack and suggested that the World Trade Centre and surrounding buildings collapsed due to controlled demolition.

“A lot of people in America (the apologists will dismiss them as conspiracy theorists) questioned whether the towers collapsed because the planes crashed into them or that something else caused them to come down.

“These people have reproduced videos taken by media people showing the attack and the collapse of the towers, pointing out certain peculiar features.

“If you have seen the three-hour long video which is widely distributed you would be convince by it.

“People fear of saying anything political on this issue, especially when we are accusing the government of a very powerful country of doing something wrong. Don’t forget they (even) told lies to go to war,” he said.

On another note, Tun Mahathir said Malaysia should not solely depend on foreign direct investments (FDI) and should instead build up its own economy. -- Bernama

Jan 22, 2010

Tun Mahathir persists with 9/11 conspiracy theories

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued today with his claims that the 9/11 attacks in the United States were staged. He now suggests that the collapse of the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings in New York nine years ago was the result of controlled demolition.

His remarks, published in his blog today, backs conspiracy theories put forward by fringe groups, and comes just days after he had also said that the Holocaust had failed as a final solution against the Jews.

“It is of course a fact that the two towers were destroyed after two aircraft crashed into them,” he said in reference to a speech he made on Wednesday when he said that “if they can make Avatar they can make anything.”

“A lot of people in America (the apologists will dismiss them as conspiracy theorists) questioned whether the towers collapsed because the planes crashed into them or that something else caused them to come down. These people have reproduced videos taken by media people showing the attack and the collapse of the towers, pointing out certain peculiar features. I have seen the three-hour long video which is widely distributed.”

He argued that the collapse of the twin towers was typical of controlled demolitions which are common in the United States.

In his posting, he also provides a link to a video on the Internet which is based on a book written by a conspiracy theorist who claims that elements in the US government had staged the attacks.

The former prime minister’s decision to lend his weight to such theories appears to be part of his campaign to highlight the plight of Palestinians, a cause which he has championed since he was still in government.

But by targetting the United States, in suggesting this week that the 9/11 attacks were staged as an excuse to mount attacks on the Muslim world, he could pose some problems for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the latter’s efforts to develop better ties with Washington.

In his posting, Dr Mahathir reproduces a number of claims and allegations which have been rejected by engineers and other investigators, including how the aircraft that crashed into the Pentagon was never found.

The former PM, who still retains significant influence among conservative Malay-Muslims and Umno members, also claimed that he met a janitor who worked in the twin towers and who had told him of explosions unrelated to the plane crash.

“As I said in my speech I am not so certain now that the Arab ‘terrorists’ hijacked four commercial aircrafts simultaneously and flew them into the twin towers, the Pentagon and somewhere unknown .

“Some people have condemned me for doubting that the attack was mounted by Arab Muslim terrorists. Perhaps one of the television stations would care to air the videos mentioned without censorship.”

At a separate press conference today at the Islamic Arts Museum, Dr Mahathir scoffed at suggestions that Malaysia’s attempts to attract foreign investments would be dampened as a result of his controversial comments about Jews.

“During my time (as Prime Minister) I was nasty about the Americans. And I was branded anti-Semitic too. But even then we still obtained FDIs,” said Dr. Mahathir.

The former PM also asserted the fact that Malaysia cannot depend solely on FDIs and should, instead, build up its own economy.

“There is a fear among people to say anything political of this issue... especially when we are accusing a government of a very powerful country of doing something wrong.

“Don’t forget they (even) told lies to go to war,” said Dr. Mahathir.

He also rebuked a reporter for suggesting that his comments could be viewed as insensitive given the current racial tension within Malaysia itself.

“Why is it the worst time to talk about this? Why should you call it racist? Does Malaysia’s race problems have something to do with the Jews?”

He laughed at suggestions that this was a cheap publicity stunt on his part.

“What do I gain from a publicity stunt? I’m not going to run for Prime Minister again...well, that is, unless you want me to,” said the former prime minister in jest.

Jan 20, 2010

Tun Mahathir says 9/11 attacks staged to hit Muslim world

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today claimed the 9/11 attacks in the United States, that killed nearly 3,000, was staged as an excuse to “mount attacks on the Muslim world”, saying killing as an excuse for war is not new to the US.

The former prime minister also argued that Israel was created to solve the “Jewish problem” in Europe, saying the Holocaust had failed as a final solution against the community.

“In September 2001, the World Trade Centre was attacked allegedly by terrorists. I am not sure now that Muslim terrorists carried out these attacks. There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything,” said Dr Mahathir during his speech at the General Conference for the Support of Al-Quds here. Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

“Killing innocent people to provide an excuse for war is not new to the US. But whether the real or staged 9/11 attacks have served the United States and Western countries well. They have an excuse to mount attacks on the Muslim world,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also argued the creation of the Jewish state was decided after Europeans failed to massacre the community.

“The Jews had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom.

“Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world. The Holocaust failed as a final solution,” said the outspoken Malaysian leader who was noted for his anti-Western and anti-Zionist stand while in power for 22 years, until October 2003.

Dr Mahathir added that it was easier for the European powers to set up a Jewish state in Palestine.

“Creating a state for them was thought to be a better solution. It could be if some European territory had been allocated to make a permanent ghetto for the Jews. But of course if this was done then the affected European state would rise in arms and kill all the Jews the way they had been doing before. So the debate was about creating an Israeli state in Uganda, Africa, or somewhere in Latin America or Palestine of course.

“It was so easy to decide on Palestine, a British mandated territory. Restrictions on the disposal of mandated land could be ignored. This is nothing new — reneging on solemnly given undertaking is endemic with Europeans,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also accused democratic countries for being “hypocritical” and pointed out that the world is “partially civilised.”

“We live in a world that is only partially civilised. I say this because we still believe that the way to resolve conflicts between nations is to kill people in what is called war. The winner is the side which succeeds in killing the most number of people. Yet we vehemently declare that killing people is murder, a terrible crime worthy of the most severe punishment.

“We are being openly hypocritical. Mass killing is glorious but killing one man is a heinous crime,” he said in his speech.

Dr Mahathir also expressed his disappointment in Barack Obama and said that the US president has failed. Obama celebrated his first year in office today.

“Well, I am a bit disappointed because so far none of his promises have been kept. He promised to get out from Afghanistan but he ended up sending more troops there instead. He promised to close down Guantanamo but he has not closed down Guantanamo. Even other things he has not been able to do.

“It is quite easy to promise during election time but you know there are forces in the United States which prevents the president from doing some things. One of the forces is the Jewish lobby, IPAC,” he said.

Dr Mahathir had previously blamed the Jews for causing the Asian financial crisis.

Jan 14, 2010

Nik Sapeia gets six months’ jail

KOTA BARU: The Magistrates Court here sentenced businessman Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusoff to six months’ jail for voluntarily causing hurt by spraying a dangerous substance at former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on July 28, 2006.

Magistrate Azman Mustapha, however, allowed a stay of execution of the sentence pending appeal.

Nik Sapeia, 56, who was calm when Azman read out the sentence, smiled after the court allowed the stay of execution of the sentence.

Soon after Thursday’s proceeding was over, Nik Sapeia, who was in the witness dock, looked towards his family members and supporters seated at the public gallery and said, “Be patient as there is still a chance (for an appeal).”

Prior to sentencing Nik Sapeia, Azman said the decision had to be taken in the interest of the public.

“This will also serve as a lesson for the society,” he said.

Nik Sapeia’s lawyer, Saseedharan Menon, then applied for a stay of execution of the sentence, saying they would file an appeal.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Idham Abdul Ghani however objected, saying the court should take into consideration relevant factors.

“What the accused has done is serious and I object any stay of execution of the sentence,” he said.

Saseedharan, however, said that the court should take into consideration Nik Sapeia’s position in politics and society.

“The accused is a PPP vice-president and it will affect his good name in the eyes of the people and supporters. He is a respected man as he has been helping the people irrespective of their race,” he said.

Another lawyer of the accused, Zainal Abidin Mustaffa, said that if Nik Sapeia was jailed, it would destroy his political career and business.

“His business has been affected for nearly three years and he suffered losses due to this case.

“Jail will destroy his career. If he is fined, we request that the amount will be limited to only RM2,000,” he said.

Idham, however, asked that the court impose a jail sentence, saying the offence committed by the accused was serious.

Nik Sapeia was charged with committing the offence at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Pengkalan Chepa, at 11am on July 28, 2006.

He was charged under Section 324 of the Penal Code which carries a jail sentence of up to three years or a fine or whipping, or any two of the punishments.

Apart from Dr Mahathir, Nik Sapeia was also charged with voluntarily causing hurt to three others namely Datuk Ibrahim Ali, 58, Mohd Nasir Muda, 48, and Suberi Sahidan, 50. -- Bernama

Jan 10, 2010

Resolve situation privately, reiterates Tun Mahathir

SHAH ALAM: Tun Dr Mahathir Moha mad has reiterated his call for a closed-door discussion to resolve the situation following the attacks on four churches in the Klang Valley.

He said although Christians and Muslims enjoyed a harmonious relationship, there were “immature minds” out to cause havoc.

“These people are unable to digest the matter in a rational manner and it is more important to have discussions behind closed doors,” he said, adding that while the more sophisticated or educated groups would respond positively, one could never be sure of the irrational ones.

Dr Mahathir pointed out that using the legal avenue to settle certain matters might not take into account sensitive issues, which could provoke tension.

“So, for the best interest of the nation, we must choose a better approach,” he said after attending Proton’s Family Day yesterday.

He also cautioned the Govern ment against giving into the demands of people who were more liberal than others.

“Some people might make demands because they are mature but there are those around them who might not be. I think we should not be toeing the line of Western countries on the idea of being liberal,” he added.

In Muar, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the rakyat should heed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s call to remain calm and respect all places of worship.

He said arson attacks could affect the business sector as foreigners might not want to invest in Malaysia.

Penang MCA deputy chairman Eng Hiap Boon said the attacks had created a bad impression among foreign investors and businessmen, adding that if the situation is not contained they might move out of the country.

Jan 9, 2010

IGP : Stop to all speculation over church attacks

The public including political parties, NGOs and religious groups have been urged to stop speculating about who is responsible for the attacks on three churches in the Klang Valley. Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the police were investigating the matter and assured everyone they would conduct a thorough investigation.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan has urged the public and politicians to stop speculation surrounding yesterday's attacks on three Christian churches.

He gave an assurance that the police would conduct a thorough investigation on the attacks which came amid an escalating row over a recent High Court ruling allowing the Catholic Church to use the word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its Herald newspaper.

Tensions had risen in the past week with Muslim groups and some Umno politicians criticising the court ruling, and defending the right to hold public demonstrations despite the IGP's decision not to allow such gatherings.

Following yesterday morning's church attacks, demonstrations after Friday prayers were a muted affair with small groups gathering within mosque compounds for brief protests amid heavy police presence.

Umno leaders, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, have angrily denied they were to blame for raising the mercury in the "Allah" debate.

Musa pledged today there would be no cover up in investigations.

“There will be no cover-up. We have to be careful with what we say so as not to cause any unnecessary tension or uneasiness among the various races and religions in this country,” he said today.

He also pointed out that no one was certain yet who the attackers were.

The Metro Tabernacle church in Kuala Lumpur was firebombed at midnight yesterday and Live Chapel in Section 17, Petaling Jaya was attacked with a Molotov cocktail, causing some damage.

Another Molotov cocktail failed to explode in the Church of Assumption in Petaling Jaya at 4am.

The attack on the Metro Tabernacle church gutted its administrative office while a Molotov cocktail tossed into the Life Chapel damaged its porch slightly.

In addition, a priest at St Francis Xavier, a Catholic church in Petaling Jaya, lodged a police report over a caller threatening to torch the church.

Another pastor was reportedly manhandled by four men later in the night.

"We do not know their race or religion and for us to assume or insinuate it was the work of a particular religion or race or political party can be dangerous.

“We cannot allow such matters to escalate like what had happened in certain countries where churches, mosques, temples and other places of worship are attacked and destroyed,” Musa said.

The IGP added that political parties should not seize the opportunity to fuel the situation for their political benefit.

He pointed out that police had tightened security in places of worship.

Jan 8, 2010

Hishammuddin condemns church attacks, warns culprits

(NST) HOME Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today condemned the hurling of home-made bombs at three churches and warned that the government would not hesitate to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) against those responsible for the incidents.
"I strongly condemn these violent acts carried out by irresponsible persons, which has sparked anxiety among the people," he said, adding that the ministry would ensure the safety of everyone in the country, including foreigners.

He also said that the police would ensure that security was stepped up from time to time.

Hishammuddin was commenting on incidents of home-made bombs having been hurled yesterday into three churches -- the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur, the Assumption Church in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, and the Life Chapel in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

He said the ISA would also be used on those who staged demonstrations which could spark disturbances. - Bernama

IGP confirms three churches hit

Assailants attacked three Malaysian churches with firebombs Friday, extensively damaging one amid a growing conflict over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, officials said. The attacks sharply escalated tensions in the Muslim-majority country ahead of planned protests by Muslims later Friday against a Kuala Lumpur High Court verdict which struck down a 3-year-old ban on non-Muslims using “Allah” in their literature.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Police are urging for calm as they secure churches nationwide, after three were attacked with firebombs in separate pre-dawn incidents in the Klang Valley, which have been linked to protests against the recent “Allah” ruling.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed the attacks, saying the first attack was by motorcyclists who threw a helmet filled with flammable liquid at the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, causing a fire that burned books and chairs near here, at midnight. Its administrative office was gutted in the attack.

He confirmed that they have identified one suspect who was seen by a guard at the church, which is part of the Assemblies of God.

“This is not a well-planned, coordinated attack so people should not be scared,” he told reporters at Bukit Aman here.

The second attack was at about 4am at the Church of Assumption in Petaling Jaya, where a Molotov cocktail thrown by a motorcyclist failed to break and explode. There were several Catholics attending a prayer session at the time, police added.

The third incident took place at the Life Chapel Church in Section 17, Petaling Jaya at 9am, where two Molotov cocktails, also thrown by a motorcyclist, exploded to blacken the walls of the porch and upper-storey window of the two-storey church building.

Musa also confirmed that he has a received a phone call from an undisclosed church saying there have been threats against them.

The national police chief had directed his men to be alert nationwide and all patrol teams to monitor churches since 6pm yesterday.

“I advise all the churches to make police reports if they receive any threats or they can contact me directly at 019-282-3701,” Musa said.

Musa said that the motives of the attack are still unknown. Police forensic teams and fire investigators have swung into action searching for clues in the three attacks.

The top cop also warned the demonstrators that the police will take the necessary action and every means to ensure national security including using the Internal Security Act (ISA) to dampen rising tension in the country.

"I will do whatever is needed to ensure that the country is safe," he promised.

He reiterated that the demonstrations being planned after Friday prayers today were illegal as no permits have been issued.

"I have told all of my officers to monitor all the mosques in the country, especially those that will have the demonstrations," he said.

He said that every individual, including those writing blogs including updates in the social networking website Facebook, will be investigated for sedition if they flamed sentiments and encouraged people to break the law.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein also condemned the attacks.

"I am assuring not only minorities but all Malaysians that they are safe. The issue of race and religion is always sensitive and it is not something new to Malaysia.

"We saw the signs, signals, warning after the court made its decision. We have been monitoring the situation," he said.

He added that the government has always and will engage with religious leaders in the country which is in line with the prime minister's vision of 1 Malaysia.

Hishamuddin again denied he and the PM had condoned the planned demonstrations.

"We never said that the demonstration could go on, do not put words in my mouth," he said. Hishammuddin and Najib, who are cousins, have said over the past few days that Muslim groups have a right to express their feelings about the “Allah” ruling but they should not break the law.

Hishammauddin also laughed off allegations made by Pakatan Rakyat that the Umno-led government should take responsibility for the spate of church attacks.

"If they want to blame us for the attacks, then the Pakatan Selangor government should take responsibility (because all the attacks happened in the state)," he said.

Jan 6, 2010

Court allows stay of order on use of "Allah"

The High Court granted the Home Ministry a stay of execution on the recent ruling allowing the Herald weekly magazine to use the word “Allah” in its Malay-language edition, pending the hearing of an appeal.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 (Bernama) -- The High Court today allowed a stay of an earlier order to allow the use of "Allah" by Catholic weekly, Herald, following consent by the Home Ministry and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Malaysia on the grounds of national interest.

Justice Datuk Lau Bee Lan, who had issued the earlier order on Dec 31 last year, made the ruling in chambers after meeting Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and counsel Derek J. Fernandez for Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam for 30 minutes.

Fernandez told reporters that Lau agreed to record the stay by consent.

Abdul Gani was grateful that there was agreement for a stay.

"As far as I am concerned, it involves national interest, there is no necessity to get involved in an argument for a stay," he said.

"I am very grateful to my learned friend who has agreed for a stay and we will try to have this matter be heard as soon as possible in the Court of Appeal. I believe it can be very, very soon," said the attorney-general.

Yesterday, the ministry filed an application for a stay of the earlier court ruling after lodging an appeal with the Court of Appeal, a day earlier.

Abdul Gani said the speediness of the process should not be misconstrued because the issue should be resolved as soon as possible.

"I should say this again, there should be no kind of perception on this matter since it is better this matter is being heard so fast. It doesn't mean that something is wrong, let's not have such perception.

"The important thing is that the matter should be settled as soon as possible. All of us should respect the court decision," he said.

Asked if there was pressure on this case, he replied, "You can't say there is pressure in this case since there is a pressure in all cases. I don't want to give any kind of perception now, let the matter settle."

Fernandez said his side had agreed to the attorney-general's request for a stay due to national interest, pending the next course at the Court of Appeal.

"We are concerned of the breach of subjudice rule by many parties who are showing disrespect to the court. Tan Sri assured us he would look into those matters," he said.

On Dec 31, Lau ruled that pursuant to Articles 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, the Herald had the constitutional right to use the word, in respect of instruction and education of the congregation in the Christian religion.

She also said that pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, it was an offence for non-Muslims to use the word "Allah" to Muslims to propagate the religion but it was not an offence for non-Muslims to use the word to non-Muslims for the purpose of religion.

On Feb 16, the archbishop filed for a judicial review on the use of the word "Allah" in the church's publications for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31, last year, naming the ministry and the government as respondents and claiming that the word "Allah" was not exclusive to the religion of Islam.

The Herald, which is printed in four languages, has been using the word "Allah" as a translation for 'God' in its Malay-language section.

The word "Allah" is widely used among the indigenous Christian groups in Sabah and Sarawak, most of whom speak Bahasa Malaysia.

The minister had justified the ban on the grounds of national security and to avert misunderstanding and confusion among Muslims.

Jan 5, 2010

Tun Mahathir says law cannot solve the current "Allah" usage controversy

(Malaysiakini) Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has disagreed with the government's attempt to seek a solution for the 'Allah' controversy through the courts.

Hinting in his latest blog posting that the executive should flex its muscles on this case, he said the government cannot resolve the issue by turning to the court of appeal.

"The law does not take into account whether a particular issue is sensitive or otherwise and whether it has the potential to spark off tension or animosity between the believers of different faiths," he added.

Mahathir, who stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in power, said a similar controversy had arose during his tenure as prime minister.

At that time, he added, the cabinet felt that the usage of the word 'Allah' in the Bible was sensitive.

As an analogy, Mahathir said the term 'kaum pendatang' or immigrants (used to describe non-Malays in a derogatory manner) can also be referred to the courts.

"But this is something sensitive which cannot be resolved by the courts," added the 84-year-old politician.

Furthermore, the former premier said the term 'Allah' is not used in the Jewish Torah, which is in the Hebrew language, or the Bible in Latin, Greek or other European languages.

"In Judaism, God is called 'Yahweh' which is translated in English as 'Jehovah'. In the Bible, Jesus and God are the same. There is no use of 'Allah' in these languages," he said.

Jan 4, 2010

Pak Lah - Use of the word ‘Allah’ must be clearly defined

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 (Bernama) — The issue of the use of the word “Allah” in the Catholic church’s weekly publication, the Herald, must be clearly explained immediately to the people, including non-Muslims, to avoid tension and confusion, said former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Abdullah, who is the chairman of the Institute of Islamic Understanding of Malaysia (Ikim), said the stand was made by the institute at its three-hour meeting chaired by him today.

“The issue must be well understood, so it must be clearly explained with the facts,” Abdullah told Bernama here.

He said Ikim has the religious experts or scholars who could provide the explanations on the issue through articles or forums.

“We can do this almost immediately. If non-Muslims want explanations on the issue, Ikim officials are prepared to meet them,” he added.

On Thursday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed the Herald to use the word “Allah”.

Last Feb 16, Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, as the publisher of the weekly, filed for a judicial review on the use of the word “Allah” in the church’s publication, seeking a declaration that the Home Minister’s decision to prohibit the use of the word in the publication was wrong and that the word “Allah” was not exclusive to Islam.

Abdullah said he was worried that if the issue was not explained clearly, it could bring harm to the country in the form of racial tension and conflict.

He also hoped the people would show restraint so as not to confuse the situation that could result in undesirable actions and reactions.

“Be careful about this issue. Acting on emotions cannot resolve it, but understanding based on facts can, God willing,” he said.

Abdullah said as the issue would again be brought to court, the legal process should not be disturbed, while it was the government’s right to appeal against the High Court’s decision.

The Home Ministry today filed the appeal against the High Court’s decision. Tomorrow, it will apply for a stay of execution of the court order made on Dec 31. — Bernama

Jan 2, 2010

Tun Mahathir : Use of ‘Allah’ must be strictly governed

KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 2 – The High Court’s decision allowing a Catholic weekly publication to use the term “Allah” must be governed by strict conditions, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).

Whatever justifications offered for the approval, he said, it would not diffuse the anger of Muslims in the country.

“This is because ‘God’ in other religions is translated as “Tuhan” in Bahasa Melayu or Arabic, not ‘Allah’. Allah’ specifically referred to God in Islam. If they understand that, they would use the word ‘Tuhan’, not ‘Allah’.

“I accept the term ‘Allah’ had been used in Sabah and Sarawak before the two states joined Malaysia, but it is difficult to stop them from doing so now ... but in the peninsula, we have not heard of such practice,” he told reporters after presenting a keynote address at the Malay Undergraduates Convention at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu here today.

On Friday, the High Court ruled that the Catholic weekly, The Herald, can use the term ‘Allah’ in its articles to propagate Christianity among its followers.

Judge Datuk Lau Bee Lian had ruled that usage of the term was constitutional as long as the periodical was confined to educate the followers of the Christian faith.

Dr Mahathir said, “What I am afraid of is that the term ‘Allah’ might be used in such a way that could inflame the anger of Muslims, if they were to use it on banners or write something that might not reflect Islam.”

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir extended his condolence to the family of former information minister Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat, who passed away yesterday.

“During his tenure as a minister, Allahyarham had carried out his work diligently and I appreciated his work.

“I am indebted to him as a minister in my cabinet before he was appointed Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia with ministerial status.” – Bernama