PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – Making offending statements over the use of the “Allah” word issue by certain quarters, including non-Muslim politicians of late, could create tension among Malaysia’s plural society, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
“As Malaysian citizens given the freedom to practise their own religion, they should not be issuing statements that tend to insult Islam, which is the religion of the federation,” he said in a statement today.
Jamil Khir also drew attention to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng stating that the fatwa (edict) forbidding the use of the “Allah” word by non-Muslims being not applicable to non-Muslims in Penang, which the minister deemed confusing.
He said the Penang state constitution provided for Islamic religious administration to come under the jurisdiction of the Penang Islamic Religious Council, which was directly answerable to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (as head of Islam in that state).
He added that the fatwa was issued through the process of law.
“As the law applied to issue the fatwa was state law, it was in line with Article 11, clause 4 of the Federal Constitution, which allows a law to be passed to restrict and control preaching of non-Islamic religions to Muslims,” he said.
Jamil Khir said the prohibition on the use of the “Allah” word by non-Muslims was thus a form of restriction and control allowed by the Federal Constitution.
Besides that, he said, the case involving forbidding the use of the kalimah Allah by The Herald magazine had been decided by the Federal Court and all parties should respect that decision.
In the case of Penang, the state government should seek and abide by the views of the mufti for the sake of harmony among the people, he added.