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M'sian opposition alliance firm on 'Allah' stance
Publication Date : 24-01-2013
Opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat’s stand on the use of the word “Allah” remains unchanged despite its key constituent Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) Syura Council’s decision that the word cannot be used to describe God in any non-Muslim publications.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said he had read the Syura Council’s statement and understood its concerns but for now, Pakatan’s stand remains the same as the views given by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang on the matter.
“We have not revised our stand following the Syura Council’s decision on this matter.
“It can be brought up for discussion but so far, there’s none,” Anwar said in a press conference yesterday.
On January 8, Hadi said that the word “Allah” is not restricted only to Muslims as Christians and Jews are also allowed to use it, but the name should not be used in a wrong and irresponsible manner that could jeopardise racial and religious harmony.
This was the common stand taken by PAS, Democratic Action Party (DAP) and People's Justice Party (PKR), on the matter, following a lengthy discussion between Hadi, Anwar and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.
The PAS president’s statement echoed DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s Christmas message in which he said that non-Muslims should be allowed to use the word “Allah” in the Malay version of the Bible.
However, a week after Hadi publicly voiced the view, PAS’ Syura Council decided that the word “Allah” cannot be used to describe God, stating while the word was universal and had been used by pre-Islamic Arabs, it could not be used as the translation for the word “God” from any other language.