Outgoing Archbishop Murphy Pakiam today broke from his normally non-confrontational stance to publicly criticise Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for his insistence that the word "Allah" was exclusive to Muslims.
Pakiam claimed Najib had said this during the Umno AGM, which he described as disappointing and shocking.
"What did he say? Even if the world talks and laughs about this 'Allah' issue that Malaysia will not allow (its use by non-Muslims), we (government) will defend the exclusivity of its use.
"This is not a man who is educated in our Catholic school. By talking like that, you are just a bickering politician, I am praying that Allah will enlighten him to become a statesman," he said.
Najib was educated at St John's Institute, just adjacent to the Archbishop's house where the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) annual Christmas high tea was held today.
Pakiam said this to reporters when asked to respond to Najib's call to Muslims and Christian to cease the "Allah" debate at the national level Christmas open house in Penang today.
Pakiam: I still pray for Najib
Instead, Pakiam said Najib was the one who should stop preventing Christians from using the word "Allah".
Pakiam used Najib's experience in school as example as how the Christians community had helped Najib as a boy in a Catholic school and respected his Muslim faith.
"From a small boy, from primary school until form 3, he (Najib) has been there (St John's Institute).
"When it came to catechism (classes), his mother was disturbed because he was just a small boy going to a (Christian) religious class.
"But his mother had confidence in our brothers and phoned Brother Matthew who said: 'Please, don't worry, we will see that he doesn't go in'," he said.
As such, Pakiam said he hoped that Najib would do his duty and serve all Malaysians.
"You think I am not angry? But still? He is the prime minister, so I have to pray to god to please help him to do his duty for the whole country and not just Umno," he said.
Pakiam added that Najib's insistence of exclusivity for the word Allah was inciting right wing groups against the Christian community.