Taken from MalaysianInsider
By Clara Chooi
IPOH, Jan 16 — DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang has asked all Cabinet ministers from East Malaysia to declare if they agreed with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s bid to strike a compromise by allowing only Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to use “Allah”.
The Ipoh Timur MP today slammed Nazri for his statement, which was front-paged in Kuching daily The Borneo Post yesterday, saying that his words made a total mockery of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept.
“It seems now we are having more and more segmentation and departmentalisation rather than 1 Malaysia,” Lim noted.
“I was struck by Nazri’s announcement because just a day earlier, our deputy prime minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) said, in his talk at the Oxford Islamic Centre, that there would be no more Allah contention in the future.
“I wonder what he meant by that?” he added.
He questioned if, by making such a statement, Muhyiddin had meant that there would no longer be any “insensitive statements” made by both the home minister and the prime minister — such as those stating they would not object to any demonstrations over the “Allah” issue — which he said had caused the series of attacks on churches nationwide.
“Or did he mean that in the future, the home minister would never impose a ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ like what happened in 2007?
“But now, looking at Nazri’s statement, it appears that the deputy prime minister probably meant different things,” said Lim.
He said that all ministers, whether from Umno, MCA, MIC or Gerakan should speak up and voice their opinions on the matter.
“Do they agree with Nazri’s contention? Because if they do not speak up, they are only serving to move away from 1 Malaysia,” he said.
Lim also accused the government of being insincere in talking about resolving the issue through an inter-religious conference or a dialogue.
“What Nazri said makes nonsense of the talk of resolving the matter through an interreligious dialogue.
“It appears that the government has already decided that the dialogue is not to find a solution to the controversy but to ensure that the government’s approach is accepted by all,” he said, adding advocating such a dialogue meant no pre-conditions should be set.
“All must be open, all must come without a pre-set mind, which does not appear to be the case, with Nazri’s statement,” he said.
Lim also lambasted Nazri for saying that the present spate of church attacks was proof that the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims would spur acts of violence.
“What he is doing is justifying the act and he is not contributing to a proper solution to the problem,” said Lim.
Nazri’s statement, which was made during an interview with The Borneo Post has received flak from many parties from both sides of the religious divide.
Church ministers were quick to slam his words, saying that it was a ridiculous arrangement and undermined freedom of expression.
The federal government’s highest Islamic body, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) also maintained today that the “Allah” ban should affect all Christians in the country.
The department’s director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said that by allowing Christians in East Malaysia to use the word, it would not solve the present controversy due to the migration of people from Sabah and Sarawak to the peninsular.