Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Million Dollar Question Regarding the Allah Saga

I have been keenly watching the unfolding saga regarding the Home Ministry of Malaysia banning the Christian for using the word Allah to refer to God in its publications in the Malay language. I believe that many Malaysian are stirred up one way or another by this saga. But my interest is more on the sheer amount irrationality and idiocy displayed by the many parties directly or indirectly involved in this issue. Please, before you curse me to hell, allow me to qualify what I mean by this statement.

Firstly, I don’t intend to start a theological debate. I am simply not qualified for it, and furthermore many highly qualified people have already expressed their highly informative views.

Now let's begin from the very beginning. Why did the Home Ministry raised this issue in the first place? Culturally and historically Allah has been used by Christian in Malaysia as the Malay translation for God for decades. It is also the case in Indonesia, the country with the highest Muslim population.

The Home Ministry’s reason for doing so was that the use of Allah by the Christians would ‘confuse’ the Muslim. But was there any actual complains, any police report, that anybody actually got confused, mislead, tricked, duped or deceived by this particular translation of God? Was there any evidence of Muslim got converted to Christian because of it?

Should we investigate the validity of the claims by the Home Ministry before we start throwing daggers and shooting machine guns at each other? I have been patiently monitoring the development of this saga, and as far as I can tell, there is no evidence whatsoever of this claim. Despite the highly emotional and explosive rhetoric by various ‘authorities’, I have not seen anybody producing a single piece of evidence to substantiate this particular claim by the Home Ministry.

Of course now that I have raised the question, the 'authorities' can always fabricate all sorts of 'evidences' to substantiate this particular claim by the Home Ministry.

In other words, this is a completely non-issue. But yet certain parties are already threatening to detonate nuclear bombs on each other. Do you see how absurd this situation is? I have patiently waited until the point of views of the various parties has more or less completely surfaced before writing this article, so that the reader can see how ridiculous this whole saga is.

Ok, the nuclear bomb is only a figure a speech. We are not really about to spill blood over this non-issue. I don’t think Malaysians are so crazy yet. But look at how the politicians, almost exclusively from Barisan Nasional, and state owned media is playing up the public emotion over this.

What is the true motive of the Barisan Nasional government in stirring up public emotions over a non-issue? This is the million dollar question.

Now I got your attention. Don’t you feel ridiculous that Malaysian are spending so much time and energy over a non-issue while the whole country is plaque with political/economic instabilities and engulfed in scandals of epic proportions?

Do I need to remind you the twelve billion ringgit PKFZ fiasco, the missing Jet Engines and whatnots from Royal Air Force of Malaysia, the special task force and body guard of the (then) Defense Minister implicated in murder with military C4 explosives, Sodomy II, constitution crisis in Perak,…

How about the GST, the declining economy, declining competitiveness, depleting oil reserve, depleting natural resources, raising prices of sugar, flour, petrol, …
Have you wondered how we are going to pull through all these? Have you wondered whether the Barisan Nasional government is able to lead us out of this quicksand? Why did the Home Ministry stirred up such explosive racial tensions over a non-issue while ignoring the real issues under its jurisdiction like police corruption, police brutality and sky rocketed crime rate?

You see, if you ask the right question the answer stares right at you face. I don’t want to elaborate further here least I got haul up with sedation charges. But I trust that you know what I mean.

Cool it, my Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters. Please ignore the unscrupulous bigots and politicians and recognize that this is a non-issue. Malaysia is in real crisis. Let's not fool ourselves. Our quality of life has degraded tremendously over the recent years. We will continue in this free fall unless we learn to cooperate and work together regardless of race and religion.

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