Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang at 2010 DAP National Conference at Hotel Syuen Hotel, Ipoh on Sunday, 17th January 2010 at 1pm:
Home Ministry should withdraw appeal against KL High Court judgment on “Allah” controversy to demonstrate government seriousness and commitment to resolve the issue through inter-religious dialogue
The Home Ministry should withdraw its appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment on the “Allah” controversy to demonstrate the government’s seriousness and commitment to resolve the issue through inter-religious dialogue.
Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday that it is time to set up an inter-faith council to reach a mutual understanding on religious matters, with the Star report giving the headline : “Time for interfaith council’ – Muhyiddin: Mutual understanding needed among all religions.”
Barisan Nasional leaders, from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak downwards have said that the “Allah” controversy must be resolved through inter-religious dialogue and not through the court process.
However, certain Umno Ministers and leaders have given the impression that when they speak about inter-religious dialogue, they are not talking about an open, full and free discussion and interaction but using the inter-religious dialogue to achieve a pre-determined outcome, in the case of the “Allah” controversy, to achieve the same objective as the Home Ministry ban on the Catholic weekly Herald from using the word “Allah”.
If this is the case, then the whole idea of an inter-religious dialogue would be discredited and would not be able to produce a lasting solution to the problem.
It is for this reason that I am proposing that the Home Ministry withdraw its appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment and to convene an inter-religious dialogue to find a solution to the “Allah” controversy without any conditions as to the final outcome.
Yesterday, Muhyiddin said that Malaysians, irrespective of ethnic and religious background, must stand together to defend the country’s unity.
He said that unity among the various communities was essential, more so with the recent attacks on the churches following a court decision in the “Allah” controversy.
I cannot agree more with Muhyiddin on the need for all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, to unite to defend national unity in the wake of the stresses and strains over religious issues like the “Allah” controversy.
However, like other Barisan Nasional leaders Muhyiddin does not walk the talk. For instance, can Muhyiddin explain why after some three weeks, the Barisan Nasional government has not convened an all-party, all-religious roundtable or conference to discuss the national unity problems arising from the “Allah” controversy although I had made this suggestion many a time?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor