The 23rd of June 2014 will go down as one of the darkest days in Malaysia’s history. On that very day, the Federal Court (Malaysia’s apex court) decided not to grant the Catholic church leave for appeal on the use of the word “Allah” for its weekly newsletter publication called ‘The Herald’
The whole saga began in 2007 when the Home Ministry of Malaysia decided to issue a ban prohibiting The Herald from using the word “Allah” in its newsletter. The Herald had been peacefully doing so since 1995
The Catholic church was in a state of shock as the weekly publication was meant for internal circulation, thus dispelling any fears that it would be used to propagate to Muslims
The High Court in 2009 ruled in favor of the Catholic church and quashed the prohibition. Subsequently the government appealed and the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the High Court
The Catholic church exercised their legal right to further pursue the matter up the hierarchy of courts but was turned down by the Federal Court. 4 out of the 7-man bench decided against allowing the leave for appeal
The leave for appeal is basically a permission to appeal a previous judgement/ruling. Without the leave for appeal, one is stuck with the decision of the earlier court
So what is the aftermath of the decision? It can’t all be that bad because Putrajaya has assured that the decision is only applicable to The Herald and would have no effect whatsoever on Christians that practice their faith in the national language
Putrajaya’s assurance counts for nothing as even their 10 point solution is not legally binding whereas the Court of Appeal’s decision is binding precedent and has to be followed by courts of equal and lower status
The Federal Court’s refusal to grant The Herald leave for appeal means that the Court of Appeal’s decision is good law. The obiter dicta (persuasive precedent) is that the word “Allah” is not an integral part of the Christian faith
Obiter dicta can crystallize into ratio decidendi (binding precedent). For example, if a court in a future case (e.g. the 321 Bibles seized by JAIS) decides to use that “mere observation” made by the Court of Appeal as the basis for its decision, the mere observation becomes a binding precedent.
Tell me again how that legal principle will only be bound to The Herald? From then onwards, whenever a case appears before the courts regarding the use of “Allah” in any Christian publication, all lower courts will be bound by the decision of the court which based its decision on the Court of Appeal’s obiter dicta
This has major ramifications on the rights of Christians to practice and profess their religion as per Article 11 of the Federal Constitution. Christians that practice their faith in Bahasa Malaysia will be unable to read the Bible in the language they have used all this while
That is only the beginning of the aftermath. Before we know it, the holy book of the Sikhs will also be seized and prohibited because of the use of the word “Allah”
What is most saddening is that the highest court of the land (i.e. the Federal Court) which has the ability to remedy this wrong refused to get involved. May we never forget this dark moment!
*Read it also at The Malay Mail Online
Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah never fails to find himself in the limelight as a result of his statements. He reportedly said that Christians do not deserve big places of worship as they only make up 10% of Malaysia’s population
Apparently he was perturbed by the size of the Calvary Convention Centre (CCC) in Bukit Jalil, as it is the largest church in Southeast Asia
It comes as no surprise that Dr Ridhuan Tee is popularly referred to as a ‘controversial columnist.’ Despite all the valuable education he has received (including a PhD in Politics and Government from Universiti Putra Malaysia), he continually succeeds in churning out gibberish
I fail to comprehend what Dr Ridhuan Tee’s problem is with mega churches. Article 11(3)(c) gives every religious group the right ‘to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with law’
The construction and existence of mega churches in Malaysia are constitutional, provided everything is right in the eyes of the law
Furthermore, churches aren’t built using public funds. Most, if not all churches have building funds in which members have contributed/contribute money to.
Money from the building fund would then be utilised in the construction, purchase, and/or renovation of any land, building, or property. It would only seem logical that churches are allowed to spend their money as they see fit (provided it is done legally)
Ridhuan Tee went on to say that “Buddhists deserved bigger temples because they accounted for 20% of the population.” Well, instead of talking about it, why not urge the Government to set aside funds for the construction of more Buddhist temples?
In case Ridhuan Tee doesn’t realise, knowing what is right and doing what is right isnt the same. The latter requires initiative and effort while even a primary school kid would side with the former
On his point that “the comfortable conditions enjoyed by the non-Muslims here did not exist in neighbouring countries,” Ridhuan Tee has clearly not done his research about mega churches in Malaysia’s neighboring countries
Upon quick inspection, I came across the Messiah Cathedral in Indonesia which can house more than 4,500 people. Furthermore, City Harvest Church in Singapore has main hall with a capacity of 2,300 as well as 2 halls which can fit 250 people each
Isn’t it pretty evident that the comfortable conditions enjoyed by non-muslims in Malaysia does exist in neighboring countries? Unless of course Dr Ridhuan Tee decides to acknowledge that Indonesia and Singapore are not regarded as “neighboring countries”
If that happens, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. It would end up joining the long list of things he said which doesn’t make any sense
A reply to:
Ganti Tuhan dengan Allah strategik Kristianisasi kata NGO
The Secretary-General of Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia, Mr Abdul Karim Omar claims that the use of the word “Allah” to replace God in the Bible was/is part of the Christianisation strategy. The statement cannot be further from the truth.
Firstly, he clearly did not do his research or he would’ve found out that in the Bible, there are many verses using the phrase ‘Lord God’. If the word Allah (currently used as the translation for “God” in the Al-Kitab), is replaced by Tuhan, the verses would translate Lord God as “Tuhan Tuhan”
That is a fundamental doctrinal error as it gives the impression that Christians worship more than one God. Furthermore, the word Lord and the word God carries different meanings. It would be inaccurate to use one word (i.e. Tuhan) to replace both the words “Lord” and “God”
Furthermore, the use of the word “Allah” is an integral part of the Christian faith, especially those in Sabah & Sarawak. Christians there have been praying and worshipping using the word “Allah” for hundreds of years. This is evidenced by “a century old Catholic prayer book” in BM
Article 3(1) allows religions other than Islam to be practiced in peace and harmony. If Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been using it for more than 100 years in peace and harmony, who are we to say it is not an integral part of their faith? Who are we to infringed their freedom to practice their religion? (Article 11 Federal Constitution). It’s pretty evident that the whole fight is just so that the Christians in Sabah and Sarawak can maintain their current practice and is NOT meant to proselytize to the muslims
What is more epic is that even PAS agrees that non-muslims can use the word “Allah” provided it is not misused
Moreover, the secretary general of Muafakat’s statements that, “komuniti Kristian evangelis yang cuba memurtadkan komuniti Islam mula menggunakan kaedah “Strategi Kontekstualisasi” untuk lebih mendekati komuniti Melayu Islam melalui budaya dan adat resam mereka.” is not supported by any hard evidence. Propagation of any religion to Muslims is an offence. If Muafakat has any evidence at all to corroborate their claim, I suggest you make a police report and let the authorities handle it
Even the Al-Kitab’s which were seized by JAIS were meant to be for the BM speaking Christians, be it in Semenanjung Malaysia or in Sabah or Sarawak. The Bibles are NOT used to confuse Muslims and convert them (as claimed by certain parties)
As to Mr Abdul Karim Omar’s statement, “sekiranya trend memurtadkan umat Islam berkembang, menjelang tahun 2100, penganut Islam
dan Kristian akan berada dalam sekitar 40%, manakala lain-lain kaum berada pada paras 20%,” I answered it quite extensively in one of my earlier articles
Mengambil Korea Selatan sebagai contoh, Karim berkata pada 1905 jumlah Kristian hanya 0.5% daripada populasi negara itu. Tetapi akibat perkembangan pesatnya pada tahun 1970an dan 1980an, ia meningkat kepada 30% pada 2005, katanya.
“Ia berlaku di Korea Selatan dan boleh berlaku di sini,” tambahnya
He clearly did not take into account that it is a crime to proselytize to Muslims in Malaysia. *facepalm* A failure to look into the social setting will lead to such skewed views
In conclusion, please stop spreading all these false anti-christian sentiments. Unless of course you want to tear our nation apart and cause our forefathers to roll in their graves out of disappointment and disgust
In a multi-religious country like Malaysia, confusions are bound to happen. After all, there are so many denominations under Christianity. Then there are the cults claiming to be Christians as well.
The objective of this article is to distinguish between Mormons and Christians based on the core beliefs of the two. Hopefully at the end of this article, you will know that Mormons =/= Christians
Firstly, Mormons believe that humans can become gods if they are good Mormons (as per Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354). Christians on the other hand believe there is only one God. “This is what the LORD says– Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6)
Mormons also believe that there are many gods (Mormon Doctrine , p. 163) while Christians believe that “there is no God but one” (1 Corinthians 8:4)
Furthermore, Mormons believe that there is a mother god (Articles of Faith , by James Talmage, p. 443) as well as that God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children (Mormon Doctrine , p. 516). Meanwhile, the Bible only mentions God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Nothing suggests an existence of a “mother god”
They (the Mormons) also believe that there would be no salvation without Joseph Smith (founder of the religion) and the restoration [Mormon Doctrine, p. 670]. Christians on the other hand, believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6) and in order to be saved, you must declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9)
Mormons also claim the idea “that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is
needed for salvation,” is a “doctrine originated by Satan” (Miracle of Forgiveness, by Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206). Not forgetting the fact Mormons believe good works are necessary to obtain salvation (Articles of Faith, p.
Meanwhile the Bible in Ephesians 2:8 tells us that, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” So Christians believe salvation cannot be earned. It was given to us as a result of God’s grace
John 3:16-17 forthrightly says,
“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” So clearly it was God’s plan and not a doctrine originated by Satan. God sent His Son as an atonement for our sins because of His love for mankind
The points brought up above are only some of the contradictions between the core beliefs of Christianity and Mormonism. For a more detailed explanation on the subject, www.carm.org/mormon-beliefs and
www.mormon.org/what-do-mormons-believe would prove to be of great help.
Mormons cant be Christians if their fundamental beliefs are different. Hence, Mormons =/= Christians
I have been involved in numerous online debates regarding the issue. Many of my opponents engage in cherry picking of Bible verses in order to solidify their point that Christians who eat pork arent following the teachings of Jesus. They quote verses in the Old Testament such as:
1. Leviticus 11:7-8
7 And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.
8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you
2. Deuteronomy 14:8
8 The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses
3. Isaiah 66:17
17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord
Dont get me wrong. I believe in the truth of the Word of God. Regardless of whether the verse is found in the Old Testament or New Testament. However, it is erroneous to just quote Scriptures like this while ignoring the others. There are a lot of Jewish cultural practices which Christians do not do. Why? Because we have been saved by grace and not by works (Ephesians 2:8).
Jews do not believe that Jesus died to reconcile them to God, hence they take part in a lot of things in order to be “right with God.” Christians believe Jesus death on the cross absolved them from having to do good works in order to be right with God. Of course this DOESN’T mean that Christians can sin and do whatever they want. Christians are called to live holy lives (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
B. What did Jesus say?
1. Mark 7:15,17-20
15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.
18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?
19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them
2. Matthew 15:11
11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
C. What else does the Bible say?
1. Genesis 9:1-3
1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.
2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.
3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything
2. 1 Timothy 4:3-5
3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer
3. Romans 14:14
14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean
I personally believe it is not wrong for Christians to eat pork (as evidenced by the scriptures aforementioned). Whether to eat it or not is your personal choice. If your religion tells you to abstain from it, by all means do so. But DO NOT cherry pick scriptures and claim that Christians aren’t true followers of Jesus.