Malaysia minister reiterates ‘Allah’ only for Muslims

MALAYSIA - Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom has reiterated that the use of the word Allah is exclusive to Muslims.

He said it was clear that the word and those such as Kaabah and Baitullah had been gazetted as part of the state enactment on Islamic matters, only for the use of Muslims.

"Based on the current situation in Malaysia, the word Allah is only for Muslims. The Government has the power, through prevention to stop others from using it to avoid mistrust or hatred among the people," he said when winding up the debate on Budget 2014.

Since the matter had been deliberated in courts, he said all parties must respect the Court of Appeal's decision which disallowed the Herald from using the word.

To a question raised by Tian Chua (PKR-Batu), who asked whether Christians in Sabah and Sarawak were allowed to use the word Allah, Jamil said they were free to do so as the Government would honour the 10-point solution on the issue.

On a separate matter, he said the Government would not hesitate to take action against groups including the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) which had attempted to contravene the Federal Constitution and Islamic laws.

"We are consistent in our stand that if there is any group that tries to create disharmony or instability, we will not hesitate to take action as provided under the law," he said.

He also said that Comango was an illegal body which was not recognised by the Companies Commission Malaysia or any other law in the country.

"Among the demands made by Comango include apostasy, Syiah, adultery, and promoting the freedom of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBT) lifestyle," he said.