DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has urged the BN-led federal government to allow Christians to use the word ‘Allah’ in their Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible.

Lim, in his Christmas message today said in the spirit of the holiday that signifies peace, “A people-centric government can also bring peace and prosperity based on the principles of truth, freedom, justice, democracy and integrity.

NONE“For this reason, DAP urges the BN federal government to allow the use of the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible as has been allowed in Sabah and Sarawak for the last 50 years and practised in the Middle East for more than a thousand years.”

Catholic weekly The Herald in 2009 got into trouble with the Home Ministry when its Bahasa Malaysia edition used the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God in Christianity.

However in a landmark judgment in December 2009, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that the Home Ministry’s blanket ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ is illegal.

The ruling, which triggered a series of arson attacks on churches nationwide in the following month, was then suspended pending an appeal from the BN government that argued that the word ‘Allah’ was exclusive to Muslims.

Meanwhile, Lim said if BN was a principled, people-centric coalition, it should not politicise Christianity to gain support of its Malay voting base.

“...BN should stop using the fear tactics of a Christian state to frighten Malay voters to support BN, when Christians have never sought a Christian state but instead pledged loyalty to the federal constitution that Islam is the religion of Malaysia,” said Lim.

“Although principles and idealism has been dismissed by some irresponsible quarters as incompatible with running a government, a people- centric government can be both principled but practical, idealistic and yet realistic.”

He said BN’s lack of faithfulness to principles was evident from the latest fiascos such as the Lynas rare earth plant’s effects on the safety of the people, the Automated Enforcement System (AES) and the RM871 billion illicit money outflows.

Integrity test

“A people-centric government should never allow these projects that put profits over people.

“Further, these projects would never pass the integrity test, as accountability and transparency would quickly expose the lies, injustice and cronies who benefit the most at the expense of public interest.

“Let us advance efforts to establish a people-centric government based on integrity that gives preference to people over profits to put a stop to any future Lynas rare earth plant, the AES and RM 871 billion illicit outflow of dirty money scandals.” added Lim.