Allah Nak Letak Di Mana?

Sebelum saya meneruskan penulisan saya ini saya ingin mengajak anda menonton klip video ini:

Ahli Parlimen DAP dari Kuching enggan berucap dalam Bahasa Malaysia
Ahli Parlimen tersebut telah membaca Artikel 161(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang berbunyi:

Tiada Akta Parlimen yang menamatkan atau menyekat penggunaan bahasa Inggeris bagi apa-apa maksid yang disebut dalam Fasal (2) hingga (5) Artikel 152 boleh mula berkuatkuasa berkenaan dengan penggunaan bahasa Inggeris dalam Fasal (2) Perkara ini sehingga sepuluh tahun selepas Hari Malaysia.

Malangnya, dalam video yang kita saksikan sebentar tadi, Ahli Parlimen DAP tersebut tidak menyebut mengenai had sepuluh tahun selepas Hari Malaysia, iaitu pada 16 haribulan September 1973. Sebaliknya, bekiau berkeras menyatakan bahawa ianya menjadi hak beliau sebagai orang Sarawak untuk terus menggunakan bahasa Inggeris di dalam sidang Parlimen.

Setelah Hari Malaysia 1973, iaitu tamatnya perlindungan hak sepuluh tahun berbahasa Inggeris, Akta Bahasa Kebangsaan 1963/67 (semakan 1971) secara automatik berkuatkuasa di seluruh Persekutuan Malaysia. Ini bermakna bahasa penghantar rasmi bagi Sabah dan Sarawak juga adalah Bahasa Malaysia. Walau bagaimanapun, Seksyen 5 Akta tersebut memberi kelonggaran untuk seseorang Ahli Parlimen mahupun Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri dari Sabah dan Sarawak untuk berucap dalam bahasa Inggeris di dalam majlis Parlimen tetapi dengan izin Speaker Dewan. Ianya bukan lagi suatu hak mutlak. Sekiranya tidak diizinkan oleh Speaker Dewan maka setiap Ahli Parlimen mahupun Dewan Undangan Negeri hendaklah menggunakan Bahasa Kebangsaan. Malah Akta tersebut dipinda semula pada tahun 1983 dan diperluaskan lagi.

Saya berasa hairan akan kedegilan pihak DAP yang terus menggunakan bahasa Inggeris sedangkan tidak berapa lama dahulu mereka memperjuangkan penggunaan Bahasa Kebangsaan dalam Kitab Injil malah tetap dengan pendirian mereka bahawa penggunaan kalimah Allah dalam kitab Injil adalah sebahagian dari ajaran Kristian yang tidak boleh diabaikan.

Oleh kerana mereka kini berkeras ingin gunakan bahasa Inggeris di dalam Parlimen, adakah ini juga bermaksud kalimah Allah tiada lagi kepentingan dalam perjuangan DAP?

  

Ini bukan kali pertama Ahli Parlimen Kuching daripada parti DAP ini mempersenda dan mempertikai apa yang termaktub dalam perlembagaan dan bersuara bagai menanam kebencian terhadap Malaysia.

Pada 17 September tahun lalu, Chong menganggap lagu kebangsaan Negaraku sebagai memalukan dan mengarut sebelum meminta maaf.

  

Just Ranting, Laaaaaaawwww!

Let me just rant.

If you read the title above with a Malaysian-Chinese accent, you’ll get the effect.

What is unique about our Federal Constitution and the laws made under it?  That it has both the “secular” and “Islamic” features.  The “secular features include Articles that give the Federal Constitution its supreme status, that the provision of Islam as THE religion of the Federation of Malaysia does not depart from any other provision, that the Syariah courts have limited authority, so on and so forth.  Meanwhile, its theocratic features include provisions that allows the independent nature of the Syariah courts from the civil courts (Article 121 (1A)), ALL Muslims are subject to the Syariah laws, State support for Islamic religious institutions, preaching of any religion to Muslims is regulated, that the concept of Malay and the religion of Islam are intertwined, and several other provisions made pertaining to Islam being the religion of the Federation. Bear in mind that Articles 4(1) and 162(6) of the Federal Constitution affirm the supremacy of the Federal Constitution over Parliament – contrary to popular belief.

Now, what am I ranting about? Initially, I wanted to rant about ESSCOM and the latest kidnapping, but since two recent issues are more pressing than Mentek’s failure-blame-placed-on-the-police-army-and-navy issue.  They are the comment made by Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the Inspector-General of Police on the issue of the custody of two children to two sets of parents of different religion as well as Menteri Besar of Selangor’s plan to seek audience with HRH The Sultan of Selangor on the possible return of Bibles confiscated by MAIS/JAIS to the Bible Society of Malaysia.

A bit of background on the first issue: custody.  Two couples namely Muslim-convert Izwan Abdullah and ex-wife S.Deepa, and M. Indira Gandhi and her ex-husband, also a Muslim-convert Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah. Both men converted to Islam without the knowledge of their respective wife resulting in the latter claiming for custody of their children.  Well, it is slightly more complicated than how I have described the case but that is the gist of it. The civil courts have granted custody to the wives while the Syariah courts sided with the husbands. In both cases, the children were converted to Islam without the respective wife’s prior knowledge.

How did the IGP get into the line of fire?  The IGP has refused calls from certain quarters of the public to get the Royal Malaysian Police involved by upholding the various courts order and suggested for the Welfare Department to take custody of the children instead.

I agree with the IGP that the police should not get involved in the custody struggle, but on the other hand the police cannot ignore an arrest warrant issued by the court.  The dilemma here is that the police is expected to uphold both laws, civil and syariah. However, we must all look at the broader picture.  What the IGP said is right.  The children in the custody fights should be under the care of the Welfare Department.  People from the Welfare Department who say otherwise are either ignorant of the law, or are just trying to wash their hands in this matter.  Section 17(1)(h) says that a child is in need of care and protection if there is a conflict between the child and his parents or guardians, that family relationships are seriously disrupted, thereby causing the child emotional injury. Section 18 of the same Act gives the provision for the Welfare Department to take the child into temporary custody.

Why am I in agreeable with this measure?  Even with Ridzuan arrested and placed in custody for contempt of court, he is still entitled to the normal legal channels and can file an appeal against the custody order made in favour of his ex-wife by the High Court.  Only when ALL legal channels have been exhausted, and a final court decision has been made regarding these two cases then the Police should carry out the final order. With the children in custody of the State, the parents can have equal and neutral access to the children at pre-determined times, regulated by the Welfare Department.  All conversions should go through a process where the original Identification Card be held by the religious officer performing the conversion, and the conversion to be registered at the National Registration Department for the converted to receive an Identification Card.  The process should also include a meeting with the spouse/family of the person wanting to convert before any conversion to take place.

Now, back to the issue of the confiscated Bibles.

I have written at length on this issue earlier this year.  I even provided the background why they can use Allah in Sabah, Sarawak and even Indonesia but not in Peninsular Malaysia here ,here and here.

The Majlis Agama Islam of Selangor (Selangor Islamic Religious Council) and the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Selangor Islamic Religious Department) or known to many simply as MAIS and JAIS respectively, are adamant to uphold the Control and Restriction on the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment, 1988 under which the Bibles in the Malay language are confiscated.  May I remind everyone that the Enactment is a strict-liability State law, and not a law made under the Syariah context. It applies to all, non-Muslims and Muslims alike.  On 11th June, the Attorney-General, Abdul Gani Patail announced that JAIS had erred in seizing the Bibles, and that no charges would be made, rendering the case closed.

Just as I thought the A-G as a useless human being in this particular post, I strongly believe that the statement he made and how he came to this decision are driven by grave errors.  Firstly, the A-G had made irrelevant introductions to the case by treating the case as one that involves national security. This is because the A-G’s Chambers had recorded statements made by Home Ministry officials indicating that the Bibles do not fall under their purview, therefore do not involve national security. This, my dear A-G, is not about national security. It is about the dangers to public order and moral. Due to the statement made by the A-G on this matter, the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Khalid Ibrahim, will be meeting His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor to discuss the issue of returning the Bibles to the Bible Society of Malaysia. Making matters worse is the Prime Minister himself has seen fit to get involved in the melee that is a State prerogative by suggesting that MAIS meet up with the A-G to discuss way forward.

Here is what MAIS and JAIS should do in the case of the useless Attorney-General: go to court and apply for a writ of mandamus to compel Gani Patail to do the right thing. Gani has erroneously digressed from the crux of the issue and have added to the confusion of many, with the possibility of creating a wrong precedence.  The A-G as a public officer should have carefully studied the issue AS IT IS, and not introduce irrelevant matters such as national security before coming to a decision.

May I remind MAIS that in the case of the A-G, to refer to Teh Cheng Poh @ Char Meh v. PP  case where Lord Diplock who was a member of the Privy Council opined in 1978 that the Attorney-General had erred in allowing for the trial of a 14-year old juvenile in the High Court. The 14-year old was represented by the late Karpal Singh. Therefore, MAIS should apply for a writ of mandamus. Meanwhile, MAIS should also file a police report against Shah Alam MP, Khalid Samad, who suggested that MAIS’s authority over JAIS be removed, effectively usurping the powers of the Sultan of Selangor in an unconstitutional manner.

In both cases mentioned above, the rule of law must prevail and should not be allowed to be manipulated by anyone, especially by the politicians, and cool heads should prevail.  Government agencies should also act without fear or favour in exercising the provisions of the law.  Meanwhile, public officers who cannot perform tasks expected of them should be removed.

Gani said statements recorded from Home Ministry officials also indicated that the books did not fall under their purview and, thus, did not involve national security. – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bible-seizure-case-closed-no-prosecution-says-a-g#sthash.J58v3D4q.dpuf
Gani said statements recorded from Home Ministry officials also indicated that the books did not fall under their purview and, thus, did not involve national security. – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bible-seizure-case-closed-no-prosecution-says-a-g#sthash.J58v3D4q.dpuf
Gani said statements recorded from Home Ministry officials also indicated that the books did not fall under their purview and, thus, did not involve national security. – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bible-seizure-case-closed-no-prosecution-says-a-g#sthash.J58v3D4q.dpuf

The Case for God – Part 2

In the previous installment we see the difference in how Christianity was spread throughout the Indo-Malay world. In this installment, we discuss the concept of Trinity and why some Christians now continue to reject it.

Allah The One God

Since Allah is the common denominator to refer to God in the Arabic-speaking world, why is it then a problem for Malay Muslims to accept its use in the Malaysian Bibles?

First of all, the common denominator for God in the Indo-Malay speaking world is Tuhan, not Allah.   Like mentioned in paragraphs above, the general Christian world believes in the Trinity where God is the Father, God is the Son, and God is the Holy Spirit.  Muslims have a problem here thinking that this is all about polytheism, but really in technical terms it is not.  But neither is it monotheism as the Jews and Muslims hold on to.  In the Trinity concept, while God is all those three persons, the Father is NOT the Son or the Holy Spirit; the Son is NOT the Father or the Holy Spirit; neither the Holy Spirit is the other two.  It is the concept of one deity in three persons.

The problem with Muslim scholars in Malaysia is that their studies are so focused on Islam that they fail at comparative religious studies and often make opinions based on what they think is being practiced in other religions.  How many other Muslims read the Bible to know that after the publishing of the King James Bible in 1611, there have been other versions including the “new version”, the “children version”, and the “American version” (I’ll call them KJV in short)? How many know of the various changes made to God’s words in the Bible that appears in the KJV of today?

Mind you, the KJV was translated and printed by Thomas Nelson Publishers.  In 1969, the publishers was purchased by Sam Moore, who started by selling Bibles door-to-door to finance his pursuit of a medical degree.  He vowed to make Thomas Nelson the leading publisher of Bibles again. In 1976, he initiated the creation of the new Bible translation calling it the New King James Version (NKJV) that propelled Thomas Nelson back to the number one spot.

Hence, the NKJV Bible is more a human dogma than a collection of divine words.  Some versions has had the word “He” changed to “It” to accommodate a politically-correct gender-unbiased view.  Personally, I would use “It” to refer either to things that are not alive, or to beings other than the human.  The Quran, on the other hand, has never been changed, and the divinity of its content unquestioned.

The concept of Trinity was also alien to some Christians.  It was during the First Council of Nicea in 325AD , the first ecumenical council of the Church that was convened by the Roman Emperor, Constantine I, that an attempt to get the Christian world to agree on the divinity of Jesus Christ.  The main topic was to discuss the teachings of a Christian presbyter in Egypt called Arius, who focused on Godhead, which emphasized the Father’s divinity over the Son.  He endorsed the following doctrine:

  1. That the Son, or the Word (Logos) and the Father were not of the same essence (ousia);
  2. That the Son was a created being (ktisma);
  3. That the worlds were created through the Word, then he must have existed before all time;
  4. However, the Word did not exist, before he was begotten by the Father.

For his belief, and for refusing to sign the Creed and accepting the divinity of Christ, Arius and two other Church leaders were banished, prompting others to sign.  One must remember that Emperor Constantine I was never a baptized Christian until he was on his deathbed and the word ecumenical means world, in reference to the Roman Empire dominating what they saw was the world to them.

The Arian church lives on in some parts of the world, notably in the Eastern Christianity domain, the Oriental Orthodox.  Due to the differences, the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church were no longer in communion, although rivalry between the two have all but diminished since the Great Schism, but the latter still rejects the dogmatic definition published by the Pope, or by an ecumenical council, and also rejects the Council of Chalcedon.

The introduction of  the Filioque by the Western Church into the Latin version of the Nicene Creed without holding a council or gaining consent from the Eastern Churches contributed greatly to this schism. The Filioque is a phrase that states the Holy Spirit as proceeding from “the Father and the Son”, while the Eastern Churches have always held on to the fact that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and has the same status as the Son.

As such, God the Father in this concept does not qualify itself to be interpreted as Allah to be used in the Bible. God, as portrayed in the Trinity concept, does not stand, and cannot stand alone.  The concept of God as a Supreme Being that exists even before time does not seem to hold true when it comes to the Christian interpretation of God, and although the Jews, Christians and Muslims are people of the book, only the Christians have created God as an image, whereas, especially in Islam, God is beyond human comprehension.  Simply put, if you think that it is impossible to imagine God, even that imagination and thought come after His creation and is still nowhere near describing Allah.  Both the Jews and the Muslims reject the hypostasis nature of God as projected by the Christians.

Therefore, in my humble opinion, and without prejudice to my Christian friends, God the Father should be Tuhan Bapak; God the Son should be Tuhan Anak; and God the Holy Spirit should be Tuhan Ruhul Kudus.

In my next installment, we will have a look at the common denominator and what has become of it, and what I think of this whole issue.