Sunday, January 10, 2010

Here is a piece of comment I worte in a Malay blog which I amended a bit! The Blog is written by a so call educated Malay and if that is what education has made him I am lucky i am not educated for i am a simpleton and after all my moniker is bozo!

My Comment

Dear Sir
True ordinary Malays are unhappy! They are unhappy thinking the approval receive by the church is blanket which is not true. The Ministry of Home Affairs have the right to regulate the use of Allah by the church thus Allah can and should be allowed to be used in the congregation but not allowed to be used publicly! This was the stand made by all Ministers before Syed Hamid! It include Tun Mahathir who was at one time The Minister Of Home Affairs!

Regulating and not allowing the usage is two different thing. What the Judge did to my mind is correct because the judgment affirm the rights of people to call God in whatever name and Allah whether we as Malay might not be happy is not the monopoly of Muslim. If the Malays aspire to be Glokal instead of Lokal then we must accept this right.

But we can limit her use to only the congregation and members only! Remember the Sikh too use Allah and in their holy book Guru Granth Sahib Allah name is mention 46 times! While Baha'i too call their God Allah but as long it is use in the temple or church there should be no problem.

I blame this fiasco on the propaganda of UMNO and her media. Instead of disseminating the correct information and asking the Ulamak to help they heighten the emotion of the ignorant Malays. This was the result of their foolhardiness. In RukunNegara the 4 item is 'kedaulatan undang2" again this piece of pledge created by UMNO, the brainchild of Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie was forgotten, in place the fanning of emotions was played out which result in all this unnecessary commotions and heightened tension so please understand the issue and as an educated Malay which I am not although I am a Malay, what you wrote smack of arrogance and lack self piety which is not the attributes of our "penghulu" Muhammad pbuh!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Torched Churches... Reaping What Is Sown

Churches are now being torched, four at last count. I believe more churches will be torched, stoned, graffitied, sullied, picketed, etc, for as long as the use of the word 'Allah' by the Catholic church issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of Muslims in this country. Note that Muslims, in Malaysia include not just Malays, but also non-Malay Muslims, Indonesian, Bangladeshi and other foreign workers as well as an increasingly large overseas student population.

The description of Malays being comprised of all these groups in Malaysia is not a cop-out, but helps me with emphasis, as quite contrary to the view of Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, who DOES NOT understand NOR represent the majority of Malays (we don't understand or represent her either), THE MAJORITY OF MALAYS ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE MISUSE OF THE WORD ALLAH BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!

Unlike Datin Paduka Marina, I'm not claiming to represent the majority of Malays, but am conveying their "whispered screaming", via gossip at kenduris, from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi through to the organising of protests by Malay and Muslim NGOs that do formally represent the majority Malay view. As pro-tem VP of the Malaysian Association of Youth Clubs (MAYC), I have also been approached by other organisations to join them in protest. (We've declined... for now...)

Now, there has been calls for calm from the Malay 'leadership'. Unfortunately, Malays may choose not to listen to the same leadership that has continuously failed to defend their rights or to correct past wrongs against them. Whilst non-Malays leaders who insult Malays, calling us 'Pendatang' say, are allowed to remain in power, Malays are expected to weather escalating insults, with one mainstream newspaper recently happily questioning our very existence!

Now we see even the opposition so-called 'Islamic' party, PAS, dithering, projecting confused statements in a pathetic attempt to gain political mileage out of the issue! What Malays want is LEADERSHIP in addressing this issue, not posturing for votes! To also then have so called Malay 'thought leaders' like Marina persist with liberal drivel when the matter has past the point of her comprehension of the Malay mind and sociological history adds insult to injury.

Malay history is punctuated by incidents of violence, with the common theme leading up to such being the continued denigration of the race simply due to our good nature. No majority ruling race has happily allowed for the culture of other races to bloom other than this country ruled by Malays. Also, in no other country has everything been shared so equitably, as even in the USA, for all the hype over Obama, the political and economic leadership is still overwhelmingly white.

As any mention of past Malay physical violence in the face of our continued denigration will be labelled 'racist', let us look at recent 'non-violent' history:

When Malays exercised electoral 'violence' against their UMNO leaders during PRU-12, throwing BN leadership out of 4 states and severely weakening it in 1 other, the message sms-ed by the DAP leadership,"... don't provoke the Malays...", worked well to halt the momentum towards Malay physical violence. However, the denigration of Malays has neither ceased nor been reversed, and if anything, has continued to escalate as many began to forget...

E.g., Malays are still dissatisfied with their reduced quotas at local universities, whilst non-Malays in their quest for 'equality' remain uninterested in the reasons why Malays need them. MOST MALAY STUDENTS HAVE NO-WHERE ELSE TO GO OTHER THAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES WHILST NON-MALAYS CAN GO PRIVATE! The result is, now, many otherwise university-bound Malays are on the streets, hungry, angry and with the intelligence to organise...

And for the Catholic Church to then venture down the silly path of robbing Malays of the exclusive use of the word Allah... Malays may be lobbing molotov cocktails at all churches indiscriminately, but this is only fair. It is not just the Catholic church that is responsible for this Malay anger, but also the Protestant and Evangelical (that have no use for Allah, to them, a pagan moon-god) for not joining ranks with Malays against the Catholic stand...

Soon...
  • Malays will figure out that it is not just the fault of the churches, or the Christian heirarchy for robbing us of Allah, but the fault of all Christian congregations for letting their religious leaders continue to insult us.

  • Malays will figure out that now that they're in for a penny, might as well go for the pound by attacking Hindu temples for their original insults towards Malay communities by claiming the 'historical right' to build anywhere.

  • Malays will believe since many non-Malays were sitting idle by the side allowing Malays to be insulted, maybe they should be reminded to that they are condoning these insults.

  • Malays in organised mobs will turn on our leaders for being so limp in their defence of our rights.

  • By then it would be too late, as even intelligent Malays will figure out that as we're being accused of being racists anyway by the ungrateful children of 'Pendatang' in this country, might as be racists... the worst kind of racists...

Am I advocating violence? No I am not. I am saying that Malay violence is inevitable, at least if the current trend of apologising for Malay anger rather than addressing it continues. And in this case, Christian dogma does ring true, one reaps what is sown. The seeds of discord had been sown in this country for far too long in the guise of quest for 'equality'. And so it comes to pass that the road to hell is lined with 'good' intentions, or rather, pretentious excuses.

As for me, a rational educated Malay that Marina Mahathir assumes to know all about, there is little to do but sit back and protect what I can from the violence that will come... and pray... to Allah Subhana-Wa-Ta'ala... the correct, singular and unique one...

http://thoughtsintangents.blogspot.com/

A few articles worth noting!

Failed attack at Taiping church, convent school

The All Saints Church in Taiping. - Picture from asiaexplorer.com

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Arsonists failed to set fire to Taiping’s historic All Saints’ Church and the Convent School last night, making it the fifth church and first Christian school attack linked to the controversial ‘Allah’ ruling that has riled many Muslims.

Police confirmed both incidents, saying Molotov cocktails were lobbed at the church and school but the petrol bombs did not explode. Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau also sent out a news alert reporting police confirmation that a Baptist church in Durian Daun, Malacca was splashed with black paint.

The country’s first Anglican church is also the first outside Klang Valley to be attacked since Friday.

The church in Jalan Taming Sari was built in 1886 and is considered one of Malaysia’s precious heritage sites with its humble timber facade.

Church officials said the petrol bomb found at the convent school was probably meant for the St Louis Church next door.

Convent Taiping. - Picture from www.asiaexplorer.com

The convent school, renamed SMK Convent Taiping, started in 1899 but moved to its present location in Convent Lane in 1938.

Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Pahlawan Zulkifli Abdullah said that it was suspected that both cases were just acts of mischief by opportunists taking advantage of the other incidents of church attacks in Kuala Lumpur.

“We suspect that the incidents have no link to the other attacks on churches regarding the Allah issue. These were probably just mischievous acts by opportunists.

“However, we are not taking this matter lightly and we will be investigating both cases for arson. The perpetrators will be punished,” he said.

In the incident at the All Saints Church, the caretaker of the premises lodged a report with the police upon discovering two broken bottles just outside the wall of the church at about 7.30am this morning.

DCP Zulkifli said the caretaker had also discovered black marks on the wall, leading to the belief that it was a case of attempted arson.

In the other incident, the security guard of SM Convent Taiping had found a similar broken bottle just outside the school premises.

Police suspect that the bottle had been flung at the school at about 3.30am this morning.

“In both incidents however, no damages were recorded. Our forensic experts are presently investigating to see if both were attempted arson cases,” said DCP Zulkifli, adding that so far, the police had no suspects.

Meanwhile, he warned the public against repeating such attempts and said that the police would spare no mercy towards those involved in such criminal acts.

PAS youth members just outside the Taiping church today. - Picture from Perak PAS

“We are also heightening our patrols across the state at all churches and mosques. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation,” he said.

Police have stepped up patols at most houses of worship in the country but appealed to church authorities to hire their own security guards due to a lack of policemen.

The Perak PAS Youth condemned the attempted arson attemps at the All Saints’ Church and St Louis Church and asked for immediate investigations into the incidents.

They also appealed for calm after visiting the churches in Taiping.

The heightened alert came after the Dec 31 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” to describe the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia section. Muslim groups then organised protest for Friday when the church attacks began.

The first and worst hit was the Metro Tabernacle in Desa Melawati which had its office gutted in the early hours of Friday. The government has given RM500,000 to rebuild the church, which is part of the Assemblies of God church.

The Life Chapel in Section 17 Petaling Jaya suffered scorch marks in another attack, similar to that seen in the Lutheran Good Shepherd Church in the city’s old town quarter.

Another Molotov cocktail attack failed at the Catholic Assumption Church in Jalan Templar in Petaling Jaya.

Some churches cancelled services on Friday while others have started vigils to pray for safety and peace.

The Metro Tabernacle church had its Sunday service at the MCA headquarters today.

Government plans private inter-faith dialogue

Koh (left) at the Tabernacle service today. - Picture by Choo Choy May

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon today confirmed that the government plans to hold a series of dialogues between religious leaders, after the spate of church arson attacks in the country.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department explained that the government had already met the religious groups separately but will soon hold a meeting with the different leaders privately.

“Well, we are planning to do so (interfaith dialogue). For example Ikim has started and my department would be holding closed-door interfaith dialogues or discussion,” Koh said, referring to the Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia led by former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“We will hold closed-door [meetings] among the leaders first because it is important to arrive at certain common denominators of understanding,” he told reporters, after attending Metro Tabernacle Church’s first service since Friday’s attack, at the MCA headquarters here.

The Gerakan president added that the government has been meeting with the religious groups prior to the attacks, which came after the Dec 31 High Court ruling that Catholic weekly Herald has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” to describe the Christian God in their Bahasa Malaysia section.

There has been five attacks against churches over three days thus far.

Petrol bombs were also found at a convent school in Taiping earlier today.

“We have had discussions with every group separately, even before this but as you could understand, every faith has different groupings with different views.

“Every religious faith has [a] different understanding and interpretation, so we do need to engage [them] separately,” he added.

But Koh refused to commit to a public interfaith dialogue.

“I think let’s take it one step at a time,” he said.

He also reiterated that the arson attacks were isolated and did not represent the sentiments of the whole country.

“Let this be a defining moment and these are trying times for all of us. The way that the vast majority of Malaysians [have] responded actually gives us great hope.

“It is very often in the times of trial like these that we discover our true commitment,” he said.

The Church’s senior pastor Reverend Ong Sek Leang thanked MCA for allowing his followers to use the hall for free. He said this before receiving a RM100,000 donation from CIMB Group CEO Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

Nazir’s brother, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had earlier pledged RM500,000 in government funds to the church.

Ong was grateful for the generosity of Malaysians but asked for the Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to expedite the approval for the church’s new building near Batu Caves.

He also confirmed that the church suffered RM1.5 million in damages from the arson attack.

Tsu Koon wants win-win solution over ‘Allah’

By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon today supported the use of the word “Allah” by Christians but said the Muslims’ concern over the abuse must also be addressed.

“I understand that the Christian Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak have been using the term ‘Allah’ to refer to God even before independence and so have the Sikh community in their holy book. Hence, it is not a recent phenomenon or even an intentional attempt to confuse or convert Muslims,” said Koh (picture) in a statement today.

He is the second member of the Cabinet to back the use of Allah by Christians. Yesterday Plantations Industry and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God is caused by the widespread usage of the Malay language among the younger generation.

“To bar them from using the term ‘Allah’ will be tantamount to restricting their religious practice and use of languages, as the term has become part of their own languages and in Bahasa Malaysia,” said Koh.

The Gerakan president added that despite the prohibition to convert Muslims, the community’s concern that the Christians’ use of the word “Allah” would confuse Muslims must also be addressed.

“Therefore, in the spirit of 1 Malaysia, both sides must try to understand and empathise with the concerns and fears of each other and be as inclusive as possible in seeking a solution, said Koh.

Last Thursday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that the Catholic weekly Herald has a constitutional right to use the term.

The Home Affairs Ministry, which is a respondent in the case, filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal on Monday. It also filed an application for a stay of execution.

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

Several Muslim groups are planning a nationwide protest this Friday to express their unhappiness over the court’s decision.

Turnout not affected by attacks

For Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevesan and political scientist Wong Chin Huat attended service this morning in a show of solidarity following a statement by 127 NGOs protesting the church attacks. - Picture by Jack Ooi

By Adib Zalkapli

PETALING JAYA, Jan 10 — Yesterday’s firebomb attack at the Good Sheperd Lutheran church did not affect the turnout its Sunday service this morning.

Some 60 worshippers were present during the English service at 10.30am.

The attack believed to have occurred early yesterday morning was discovered by church pastor reverend Augustine Muthusamy later that afternoon, who then lodged a police report.

The firebomb was thrown from outside the worship hall and missed the glass window by a few inches, leaving burnt marks on the church’s wall.

In his sermon today Muthusamy urged the worshippers to pray for peace and work towards maintaining harmony.

“One important thing to do is to stop pointing fingers,” he said in his sermon emphasising the importance of offering forgiveness.

Speaking to reporters after the service he said the attack on the church was shocking as there has been too many rumours on such incidents.

“When SMS of attacks or riot in Bangsar were circulated, I was in Bangsar, nothing happened so I took for granted all these,” said Muthusamy referring to the rumours circulating last Friday.

“I always thought the country is very safe,” he added.

Muthusamy (right) also said that the incident should not be seen as a Muslims versus Christians issue.

“The police officer who took my report told me he was ashamed of what happened and many Muslims have come forward condemning the attacks,” he said.

“For most people this shouldn’t have happened,” he added.

Two other churches here were also attacked with the Life Chapel in Section 17 suffering scorch marks while Assumption Church was not damaged.

The Metro Tabernacle Church near the city centre was the worst hit and the government had allocated RM500,000 for the relocation of the church.

Failed attack at Taiping church, convent school

The All Saints Church in Taiping. - Picture from asiaexplorer.com

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Arsonists failed to set fire to Taiping’s historic All Saints’ Church and the Convent School last night, making it the fifth church and first Christian school attack linked to the controversial ‘Allah’ ruling that has riled many Muslims.

Police confirmed both incidents, saying Molotov cocktails were lobbed at the church and school but the petrol bombs did not explode. Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau also sent out a news alert reporting police confirmation that a Baptist church in Durian Daun, Malacca was splashed with black paint.

The country’s first Anglican church is also the first outside Klang Valley to be attacked since Friday.

The church in Jalan Taming Sari was built in 1886 and is considered one of Malaysia’s precious heritage sites with its humble timber facade.

Church officials said the petrol bomb found at the convent school was probably meant for the St Louis Church next door.

Convent Taiping. - Picture from www.asiaexplorer.com

The convent school, renamed SMK Convent Taiping, started in 1899 but moved to its present location in Convent Lane in 1938.

Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Pahlawan Zulkifli Abdullah said that it was suspected that both cases were just acts of mischief by opportunists taking advantage of the other incidents of church attacks in Kuala Lumpur.

“We suspect that the incidents have no link to the other attacks on churches regarding the Allah issue. These were probably just mischievous acts by opportunists.

“However, we are not taking this matter lightly and we will be investigating both cases for arson. The perpetrators will be punished,” he said.

In the incident at the All Saints Church, the caretaker of the premises lodged a report with the police upon discovering two broken bottles just outside the wall of the church at about 7.30am this morning.

DCP Zulkifli said the caretaker had also discovered black marks on the wall, leading to the belief that it was a case of attempted arson.

In the other incident, the security guard of SM Convent Taiping had found a similar broken bottle just outside the school premises.

Police suspect that the bottle had been flung at the school at about 3.30am this morning.

“In both incidents however, no damages were recorded. Our forensic experts are presently investigating to see if both were attempted arson cases,” said DCP Zulkifli, adding that so far, the police had no suspects.

Meanwhile, he warned the public against repeating such attempts and said that the police would spare no mercy towards those involved in such criminal acts.

PAS youth members just outside the Taiping church today. - Picture from Perak PAS

“We are also heightening our patrols across the state at all churches and mosques. We will be keeping a close eye on the situation,” he said.

Police have stepped up patols at most houses of worship in the country but appealed to church authorities to hire their own security guards due to a lack of policemen.

The Perak PAS Youth condemned the attempted arson attemps at the All Saints’ Church and St Louis Church and asked for immediate investigations into the incidents.

They also appealed for calm after visiting the churches in Taiping.

The heightened alert came after the Dec 31 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” to describe the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia section. Muslim groups then organised protest for Friday when the church attacks began.

The first and worst hit was the Metro Tabernacle in Desa Melawati which had its office gutted in the early hours of Friday. The government has given RM500,000 to rebuild the church, which is part of the Assemblies of God church.

The Life Chapel in Section 17 Petaling Jaya suffered scorch marks in another attack, similar to that seen in the Lutheran Good Shepherd Church in the city’s old town quarter.

Another Molotov cocktail attack failed at the Catholic Assumption Church in Jalan Templar in Petaling Jaya.

Some churches cancelled services on Friday while others have started vigils to pray for safety and peace.

The Metro Tabernacle church had its Sunday service at the MCA headquarters today.

Miri church attack makes it seven

Police have cordoned off Taiping’s historic All Saints’ Church, target of an unsuccessful arson attack.

UPDATED

RAWANG, Jan 10 – A stone was thrown against a church in Miri today, making it the seventh attack in three days that is linked to the “Allah” ruling which has provoked Muslim anger. Earlier reports of an arson attack proved to be unfounded.

This is the first reported attack in East Malaysia where a large part of the population are Christians who worship in Bahasa Malaysia and also the ruling Barisan Nasional’s “fixed deposit” of votes and parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed the attempt but insisted the situation in the country is under control.

“The situation is under control and the people should not be worried. They should not be influenced by internet reports or text messages,” he told reporters at an Umno event here.

Four churches in the Klang Valley were hit by petrol bombs on Friday while one was hit last night in Taiping. A Malacca church reported it was splashed with black paint while a priest in Penang had his car splashed with red paint.

A convent school in Taiping was also the target of an attempt with petrol bombs found near its guardhouse overnight. Church authorities believe it was meant for the St Louis Church next door.

Hishammuddin reminded the people not to be influenced by foreign and internet media reports as these could be inaccurate and project the country as unstable.

He said the ministry would brief foreign envoys on the actual situation

“We have to brief the international community as we have our citizens out there who want to know the actual situation which has been played up by certain quarters, including what is taken from the Internet,” he said.

Hishammuddin said the government will give an accurate picture of what has happened in the spate of church attacks.

Church attacks worry Tourism Ministry

RAUB, Jan 10 – The Tourism Ministry fears that attempts of arson on several churches in the country may threaten its tourism industry’s growth.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen sad the religious tension could cause fear among foreign tourists of visiting Malaysia, hence affecting its economy.

“This is the communicaton era, so information travels fast...tourists will choose not to visit a country faced with conflicts, especially religious conflicts,” she told reporters after officiating at a Christmas and New Year celebration attended by about 150 Christians, here, today.

Dr Ng said the church attacks were sending the wrong message to foreign tourists when Malaysia was always touted as a harmonious country despite its multiracial and multi-religious society.

While the ministry had not received information on the effects of the incidents on tourist arrivals in Malaysia, she said, “We are monitoring the developments through our offices overseas.”

Dr Ng, who condemned the church attacks, said the people should not be influenced by the actions of a few who were out to create chaos in the country.

She said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, which at all times wanted to safeguard peace and religious freedom in this country, would ensure the individuals involved would face appropriate action.

So far, seven churches with the latest in Miri, Sarawak as well as the church and guard post at Sekolah Menengah Convent in Taiping, Perak have been attacked. – Bernama

Anwar meets Christians to defuse tension

Anwar speaking to reporters before the start of the dialogue with the Christian community at the Luther Centre in Petaling Jaya. – Picture by Jack Ooi

By Adib Zalkapli

PETALING JAYA, Jan 10 – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today had a dialogue here with the Christian community in an attempt to defuse tension caused by the series of firebomb attacks at churches.

The dialogue, attended by about 100 members of the Christian community from various denominations, was hosted by Bishop Phillip Lok from the Lutheran Church.

Speaking to reporters before the start of the closed-door dialogue, Anwar urged the Muslims to honour the pledge made the second Islamic Caliph to defend the rights of the Christians.

He also slammed the police for not seriously protecting the places of worship.

“The Caliph Umar, who visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 638 AD, was careful to ensure that the Muslims respect the sanctity of Christian places of worship,” said Anwar, reading from a prepared statement.

“What, then, of our own police’s hesitation to offer an assurance of safety and security for Malaysian churches,” he added.

Anwar reiterated his stand that the Umno-controlled Utusan Malaysia should be made responsible for the attacks.

“Much of the blame for the recent attacks can be placed at the doorstep of the Umno-led BN ruling party,” he said.

PKR leaders, including Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (centre), and members of the Christian community before the dialogue with the Christian community at the Luther Centre in Petaling Jaya. – Picture by Jack Ooi

“Its incessant racist propaganda over the Allah issue and the inflammatory rhetoric issued by the government-controlled mainstream media, including in particular Utusan Malaysia, are reprehensible,” said Anwar.

He called for an inter-faith dialogue to resolve the issue of the use of the word Allah.

“With respect to the use of the word Allah, for example, it cannot be disputed that Arabic speaking Muslims, Christians and Jews have collectively prayed to God as Allah throughout the last 14 centuries,” said Anwar.

“While sensitivities over its usage have arisen in Malaysia, the way to resolve these conflicts is not by burning churches and staging incendiary protests but by reasoned engagement and interreligious dialogue,” he added.

Since the court ruling on Dec 31 allowing the Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God in Malay, seven churches have been attacked.

PJ church attacked, minor damage

PETALING JAYA, Jan 9 — Arsonists attempted to set fire to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church here, causing minor damage to the building, the fourth Klang Valley Christian church attacked over two days.

Church authorities said the building in Petaling Jaya Old Town was believed to be firebombed betweeen last night and this morning.

"The fire-bomb missed a window and caused minor damage," said Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, the general-secretary of the Council of Churches, Malaysia.

He told The Malaysian Insider that the Lutheran Church bishop informed him of the incident.

Shastri said a report has been lodged and police have started investigations.

The police had secured all churches in the country following attacks on three yesterday.

The worst-hit was the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati which had its administrative office gutted in a midnight attack.

The Life Chapel in Section 17 here suffered scorch marks in another attack while the Assumption Church, also here, was not damaged in a separate attack.

1 Malaysia intact despite church attacks, says Najib

Najib and other Umno leaders at the launch of the party's People's Champion programme. — Picture by Choo Choy May

UPDATED
By Adib Zalkapli

HULU SELANGOR, Jan 9 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed today the attack on three churches early yesterday would not affect his 1 Malaysia policy or ideas.

Speaking to some 7,000 Umno supporters here, Najib also reiterated his stand that the Malay nationalist party should not be blamed for the latest religious tension.

"Do not simply blame Umno when there is any problem, when churches were torched, fingers were pointed at Umno. We have condemned the attack," said Najib at the launch of the party's People's Champion programme.

He also said the party leaders and government are serious in handling the matter and want those responsible to be brought to justice.

"Just because one or two churches were attacked 1 Malaysia is said to be under threat. 1 Malaysia will not be in danger," said Najib, referring to his slogan to unite all Malaysians which he introduced soon after taking over the premiership in April last year.

Later at a press conference, Najib told reporters that the majority of Malaysians do not condone the church attacks.

“What is important is the mainstream is on our side, you cannot judge based on the actions of one or two individual,” said Najib when asked on the report yesterday that a priest was manhandled by four men last night.

When asked if the government would invoke the ISA, he only said there are enough laws to deal with the situation.

Najib also confirmed that he would visit the gutted Metro Tabernacle church in Kuala Lumpur later today.

On Dec 31 the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that the Home Ministry's prohibition against the Herald weekly using the word Allah was invalid, thereby allowing the Catholic publication to continue using Allah in national language articles.

The ruling resulted in protest by some Muslim groups and reached its peak yesterday with firebomb attacks on three churches near Kuala Lumpur.

The police have since fanned out to secure all churches in the country and have warned against demonstrations of any kind for and against the ruling.

The government has also dispatched Christian members of the administration to calm the Christian community.

But opposition politicians are already saying Najib’s 1 Malaysia idea has suffered a setback because of the attacks which stemmed from an escalating row over the “Allah” ruling.

Najib's vision of 1 Malaysia is a concept aimed at uniting Malaysians through their common, shared experiences but it has faced internal opposition within the ruling coalition and has been scoffed as another empty slogan by the opposition.

The attack on the Metro Tabernacle Church gutted its administrative office while a Molotov cocktail tossed into the Life Chapel damaged its porch slightly. Meanwhile, the firebomb hurled at the Assumption Church failed to explode.

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.

Allah: Suara dari Sabah — Zanna Roach

JAN 9 — Jika diamati, Herald mempertahankan penggunaan perkataan “Allah” dan bukannya kalimah Allah. Terdapat perbezaan yang ketara diantara perkataan dan kalimah. Ini boleh membawa kekeliruan dikalangan umat Islam yang mungkin beranggapan kalimah yang terdapat di dalam Al-Quran.

Tidak pernah digunakan kalimah Allah seperti mana di dalam Al-Quran di dalam doa mahupun upacara sembahyang. Perkataan “Allah” bukan tiba-tiba digunakan tetapi telah digunakan sekian lama di Sabah dan Sarawak yang menggunakan Bahasa Melayu di dalam upacara sembahyang.

Tuhan, Bapa, Allah digunakan di Sabah dan Sarawak dan terdapat bukti cetakan dan umat Kristian yang boleh memberikan saksi penggunaannya dari dulu lagi.

Penggunaan “kalimah” adalah propaganda satu saluran media eletronik yang tidak bertanggungjawab yang hanya telah mengibarkan dan menghangatkan sentimen satu pihak sahaja dengan paparan dari pelbagai sudut: pendapat ulama, pendapat ahli politik dan kumpulan bantahan hari demi hari sebagai tajuk utama.

Saya yang berasal dari Semenanjung mengikuti upacara dan sembahyang di Sabah di dalam Bahasa Melayu yang telah menggunakan nama Allah dari turun-temurun.

Suratkhabar Herald adalah suratkhabar yang memenuhi keperluan umat Katolik yang fasih Bahasa Melayu dan mereka yang telah menggunakan nama Allah sebelum kemerdekaan lagi.

Orang Kristian terutamanya di Sabah dan Sarawak keturunan pelbagai etnik yang menggunakan Bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa pengantara telah lama menggunakan perkataan Allah di dalam doa dan upacara sembahyang seperti mana umat Kristian di negara Arab dan Indonesia. Penggunaan Bahasa Melayu di dalam upacara sembahyang di Semenanjung menyusuli dan ini pun sudah melebihi 10 tahun. Upacara sembahyang Kristian tidak terhad dengan bahasa Inggeris sahaja dan kesedaran ini perlu ada sebab Kristian selalu dikaitkan dengan Negara Barat dan Inggeris sahaja.

Asal usul penggunaan perkataan “Allah” ini adalah di kalangan penganut-penganut Kristian, Yahudi dan Islam yang asal kepercayaan dari Nabi Ibrahim (Abrahamic faith).

Perkataan “Allah” telah digunakan lebih kurang 500 tahun sebelum Islam. Nama bapa Nabi Mohammad sendiri adalah Abdallah yang membawa maksud “Hamba Allah” yang menunjukkan penggunaanya sebelum agama Islam lagi. Orang Kristian Arab menggunakan perkataan Allah. Orang Kristian Indonesia menggunakan perkataan Allah.

Kenapa penggunaan nama Allah didalam satu-satunya media iaitu akhbar Herald dilihat sebagai satu ancaman? Umat bukan Islam di Malaysia tidak ada saluran radio dan televisyen untuk berhubung dengan umat mereka.

Apa yang biasa diperdengarkan ialah negara ini adalah Negara Islam dan kami adalah minoriti. Ditambah lagi, Perlembagaan menjelaskan bahawa perkara ini tidak boleh dipersoalkan (boleh masuk ISA jika dipersoalkan).

Oleh itu umat Islam sahaja boleh menggunakan saluran media elektronik untuk berdakwah. Kenapa khuatir tergugat agama walaupun ada pelbagai saluran media elektronik seperti didalam bentuk dokumentari, cerita tentang Nabi-Nabi, panggilan sembahyang lima waktu, siaran langsung sembahyang Jumaat, forum, drama Islam, nasyid, mengaji Al-Quran dan media cetakan: ruangan khas di dalam majalah dan suratkhabar.

Kenapakah lagu negeri contohnya di Selangor dan Perak mengandungi perkataan Allah? Kenapakah rakyat dari pelbagai bangsa dari kecil lagi telah menyanyi dan menghayati lagu negeri untuk bertahun-tahun lamanya yang mengandungi perkataan Allah?

Bukankah kita sama-sama mendoakan Allah melanjutkan usia Raja-raja kita?

Saya bertuah menjadi rakyat Malaysia kerana memiliki kawan-kawan dari pelbagai bangsa dan keturunan. Mari kita meluangkan masa untuk berdoa supaya persaudaraan dikekalkan, keamanan diberatkan.

Zanna Roach ialah pembaca The Malaysian Insider.

1 Comments:

Blogger Yusf said...

I love to watch Paula AbdULLAH of American Idol. She is nice, intelligent and juicy. Her forefathers from Sham or Levantine or Greater Syria. Maybe she is a marooniy or maronite.

7:01 PM  

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