KOTA KINABALU, SABAH – Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) calls on all parties to respect the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s ruling which allows non-Muslims to refer to God by using the Arabic word ‘Allah’.
STAR Deputy President Jalumin Bayogoh said he is astounded the issue is still being hotly debated and has become a point of contention among the public.
“What is even more tragic is that this discord has spread to Sabah and Sarawak when this should not have been a problem at all…
“Even Sabah Mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar has already recommended that the court’s decision be respected,” he said in a statement here today.
Jalumin said as a Muslim leader in STAR, he urged all party members not to further politicise the issue.
He said Sabahans should heed the words of Deputy Chief Minister who is also STAR President Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan to always preserve the understanding and harmony among the multireligious people in Sabah.
“I would like to borrow the words of PAS President Dato’ Seri Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Hadi Awang who said that in Islam, there is no prohibition for anyone to use the word Allah,” he said.
Furthermore, Jalumin said that the situation in Sabah and Sarawak is distinct and the majority of Bornean Muslims do not actually feel threatened by the High Court’s decision.
He said it is common for Bornean Muslims to have close relationships with their non-Muslim families without fear of being converted out of Islam simply because their non-Muslim families refer to God with the Arabic word ‘Allah’.
“We all know this because we actually speak to each other and we do not mind going into churches. We are so multireligious that in some villages, we even erect our houses of worship next to each other…
“This disappointment with the court ruling happened out of Malayan ignorance and I implore Bornean Muslims not to be drawn into it,” he said.
He urged Sabahans to respect each other’s religions and beliefs to ensure the peace and harmony long enjoyed by the people will continue for many more years to come.
“Our ability to coexist peacefully amid our differences is a blessing that few people possess. Do not allow anybody’s political agendas ruin this precious gift,” he said.