Monday, February 24, 2014

Idris Jala should go

FEBRUARY 24, 2014
Now Malaysians know why Datuk Seri Idris Jala (pic) has been quiet for so long as the debate on the Allah issue raged on.
He did not have a plausible explanation for the government's flip-flop on the so-called 10-point resolution on outstanding issues involving Christians of which he apparently was the architect of.
He was also searching for a nonsensical reason to justify Putrajaya's clueless response to the seizure of Malay-language Bibles by Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) officers.
And finally, he was hard at work trying to figure out how to explain this mind-numbing dichotomy: the government's decision to allow Allah to be used in Sabah and Sarawak and not in the Catholic weekly, the Herald.
Problem solved.
Today, Jala wrote in his column for the MCA mouthpiece, The Star, and offered a cockamamie reason why the use of Allah in the Catholic Herald is treated differently than Allah in the al-Kitab.
It was disingenuous and plainly dishonest of the minister. Really?
Does he consider a publication sold in the confines of churches to several thousand Catholics a widely distributed publication? The use of the word Allah in the Herald is limited to the Bahasa Malaysia section which is for Catholics who live in Sabah and Sarawak. At the height of its circulation, it sold 14,000 copies but now only an average of 8,000 copies.
Jala is just repeating that rubbish argument the Home Minister used in justifying the order prohibiting the Herald from using the word Allah.
The only reason why the Kuala Lumpur Archbishop took the government to court was because Catholics/Christians finally realised that the word of Malaysia's Prime Ministers cannot be relied on.
After all, the Mahathir cabinet allowed Christians to use Allah despite the 1986 directive only for Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar to engage in point-scoring when he was the Home Minister under Tun Abdullah Badawi.
There is only one take away from Jala's column: Christians should not look to any Christian ministers in the cabinet for help in untangling the Allah mess.
The 10-point solution has been found to be ineffective although Jala wrote that it was done in a very tight spot with the fact that Sabahans and Sarawakians make some four million trips annually to Peninsular Malaysia.
The thing is, there are a large number of Sabahans and Sarawakians who work in the peninsula and they worship in many churches in Bahasa Malaysia. Should they only know about events in the church in English rather than Bahasa Malaysia?
What about them, Mr Jala?
One final thought: Father Lawrence Andrew be praised. Your little known publication has wider readership and influence than the Bible! – February 24, 2014.

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