The Gospel According to Barisan Nasional

The failure of BN to defend the rights of religious minorities to use the word “Allah” is a failure to defend the Constitution.

Original picture of Bible sourced from

Original picture of the Bible taken from

One of the biggest imbeciles Malaysians have had to deal with is a person called Nazri Aziz. As a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Nazri has outdone almost every other individual in the Dewan Rakyat when it comes to lodging one’s head into one’s own anus.

It’s quite a surprise when people refer to this charlatan as a “Minister of Law” or a “former lawyer”. He displays none of the qualities required for the two. This man has single handedly been responsible for perverting the Constitution, misstating the law and duping the public with his erroneous and reckless statements.

Another member of Nazri’s entourage is a moron named Hishammuddin Hussein who very unfortunately is currently Malaysia’s Home Minister. He too is a “former lawyer” but judging from his antics — waving a Keris and promoting racism and defending acts intended to incite racial/religious violence — this man clearly lacks a functioning brain and should volunteer himself to be sterilized.

Hishamuddin’s predecessor, Syed Hamid Albar, a bona fide jackass of the highest order, is the man responsible for the Allah saga. He has now been removed from Cabinet and is probably kept in cold storage in some dysfunctional “Suruhanjaya” or “Badan” or “Lembaga” that the Barisan Nasional is famous for concocting.

If there’s anything Barisan Nasional has been good at, it is its remarkable ability to churn out mediocre, embarrassing and useless leaders, almost all the time.

The Constitution

Now, what does Nazri say on the use of the word “Allah” by  Christians?

Nazri has repeatedly stressed and has as recently as March 16th 2011 reiterated that there are State laws within various States in Malaysia that restrict the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims. One such example would be section 9 of the Enakmen Ugama Bukan Islam (Kawalan Pengembangan Di Kalangan Orang Islam) 1988.

This is a flawed statement. A simple reading of the Constitution shows that Nazri either doesn’t understand English or has succumbed to the pressures of those who desire to turn Malaysia into a theocratic state — to subjugate the rights of religious minorities.

Article 11(4) of the Constitution reads:

State law… may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

There you have it. That is all there is to it. The restriction only applies insofar as it affects Muslims.

In fact, so clear and obvious is this that even the Enactments that Nazri keeps braying about expressly quotes the above in the introduction/preamble.

Therefore, non-Muslims are only not to use the word “Allah” when explaining or detailing their religion to Muslims, not when propagating their religion to other non-Muslims or practising their religion among themselves.

That there is the end of the entire Allah debate!

All non-Muslims are free to use the word “Allah” among themselves.

Hence, Nazri is wrong and should resign from his post as “Minister of Law”.

You can debate all you want about Bible translations, theology, hurt feelings, etc. Ultimately, this is what the Malaysian Constitution and the State laws promulgated under it says. This is here to stay and most importantly, this is what the founders of this nation wanted.

The Proportionate Response

Now, it would amount to a crime for a non-Muslim to actively propagate his religion to people whom he knows to be Muslims but it would NOT be a crime for a knowledge-seeking Muslim to purchase, in his own volition, and read a piece of non-Muslim literature.

The greatest fear is still: How do we ensure that non-Muslim materials are not being given to Muslims for purposes of propagation?

Simple. All the Government needs to do is to ensure that the publishers and retailers of such materials make it clear that it is “Not for Propagation to Muslims” and perhaps, that sales of the materials be confined to the grounds of religious houses of worship and religious bookstores.

The above response, had the Government taken it, would’ve been reasonable, proportionate and respectful of constitutional rights. It would’ve also achieved its objective under Article 11(4). Nothing more needs to be done.

But of course, the decision taken by the Minister of Home Affairs against the Herald wasn’t really a decision based on political considerations. It was ultimately a religious decision which amounted to religious oppression i.e. imposing a particular religion on non-believers.

The then Minister of Home Affairs (Syed Hamid Albar) stated in his affidavit in Court:-

Larangan yang dikenakan adalah kepada penggunaan kalimah ‘Allah’ di dalam penerbitan majalah tersebut kerana kalimah ‘Allah’ secara nyatanya adalah merujuk kepada Tuhan Yang Satu bagi penganut agama Islam sebagaimana termaktub di dalam Al-Quran iaitu dalam surah Al-Ikhlas

(I have paraphrased the above as I believe the version quoted in the judgment contains grammatical errors).

And later:

…kalimah Allah adalah nama khas bagi Tuhan Yang Maha Esa bagi penganut agama Islam dan ini jelas termaktub di dalam Al-Quran dan dimartabatkan di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

What nonsense!

Underlying both reasons is a noxious undertone: “My Religion says this, and you must follow it!

This is extremely dangerous. The Minister has blurred the line between Government and Religion; a Minister of the Federal Government is telling you how to conduct your religious affairs and he is using “Islam” as a justification to do so. This is imposition of beliefs by Government and it is against the Constitution.

The reasons above also prove that the Minister is a bigot and that he and his clearly idiotic subordinates need a lesson on religious pluralism and constitutionalism.

And this is why we need to secure Secularism and secure it quick; so that ALL religions, thoughts and beliefs are given space to breathe, to grow and to develop so that Man may find his Truth — so that He may live in peace and harmony.

Why all of a sudden?

A common question among socially unconscious Muslims is the question as to why is there a sudden overnight need by the Christians to use the word “Allah”?

The use of the word “Allah” in this part of the world was not undertaken overnight or single-handedly by Christians. The use has been documented for centuries. I merely need to refer to the affidavit by the Catholic church:-

(iv) The word “God” has been translated as “Allah” in the Istilah Agama Kristian Bahasa Inggeris ke Bahasa Malaysia first published by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia in 1989;

(v) The Malay-Latin dictionary published in 1631 had translated “Deus” (the Latin word for God) as “Alia” as the Malay translation (exh. MP27);

(vii) In Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, the word “Allah” has been used continuously in the printed edition of the Matthew’s Gospel in Malay in 1629, in the first complete Malay Bible in 1733 and in the second complete Malay Bible in 1879 until today in the perjanjian baru and the Alkitab;

(viii) Munshi Abdullah who is considered the father of modern Malay literature had translated the Gospels into Malay in 1852 and he translated the word “God” as “Allah”;

(ix) There was already a Bible translated into Bahasa Melayu in existence before 1957 which translation was carried out by the British and Foreign Bible Society where the word “Allah” was used (exh. MP28);

(x) There was also already in existence a prayer book published in Singapore on 3 January 1905 where the word “Allah” was used (exh. MP29);

(xi) There was also a publication entitled An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine published in 1895 where the word “Allah” was used (exh. MP30);

(xii) Another publication entitled Hikajat Elkaniset published in 1874 also contains the word “Allah” (exh. MP31)

(xv) At least for the last three decades the Bahasa Malaysia congregation of the Catholic Church have been freely using the Alkitab, the Bahasa Indonesia translation of the Holy Bible wherein the word “Allah” appears

Much ado about Nothing

Over the months, I have heard numerous views forwarded for and against the usage of the word “Allah” by the Catholic church. One argument continually shines bright but in fact means Nothing.

It is the emotional plea that Christians should stop using the name “Allah” so as not to offend feelings or sensitivities. This is in fact barely an argument and is utterly immature. Our ability to communicate would be rendered illusory if we constantly had to keep tabs of who we might be offending.

If you feel offended because something conflicts with your beliefs, my advice to you is: grow up and realise that the world is bigger than you and your beliefs.

We will never grow as a Nation if we cower to the childish displays of those purported to be offended or instructed by their political masters to be offended. The claims of those “offended” have no basis, rationality or reason and should never be respected.

If any feelings have indeed been offended, it certainly must’ve been the feelings of the Christians; to be told overnight that you can no longer pray to and worship Allah is pure heresy. It is arbitrary Government intervention into the affairs of a Religious group and it must never be tolerated!

To be Christ-like

Jesus had a very captivating philosophy that seems to have transcended the spirit of his time and place. The man himself was courageous and honourable.

For a man who seems to have undergone one of the most horrific backstabs in history, an arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, degrading treatment which included people insulting him, slapping him, scourging him to a bloody pulp, forced labour and eventually a slow and painful murder, he stayed true to his words — if an enemy strikes you on one cheek, offer him the other. He never complained that his feelings were hurt or that he was offended. He never objected, never even said a word. Lived by his message.

During the entire “Allah” saga, particularly in the period after the Court’s decision when some 11 churches were either firebombed or vandalized, I must say that my admiration for the Christians of Malaysia grew exponentially for they clearly practiced what they preached.

The Christians of Malaysia stood firmly by what Jesus himself said: “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” That they certainly did. No Christian ever retaliated. Not one mosque or surau was attacked by a Christian. No Christian leader in Malaysia ever preached for hatred or bloodshed.

The Christians of Malaysia are the real heroes during this “Allah” saga. At all times, they were humble, sincere and forgiving. They embodied the qualities all Malaysians should learn to inculcate in their lives.

And I say all of this as someone who isn’t a Christian.

A Secular State

I don’t believe in Allah. I never will. But I do believe in Religious Freedom for all. I believe that all men have the right to profess and practise their religion. It is a right inherent to all human beings by the sheer fact that they are human. In Malaysia, they are free to propagate their religion to all but they can be restricted in their propagation to Muslims. However, that does not bar a Muslim from holding a Bible, Gita or Dhammapada and reading it — that is his right and we must respect that!

Ultimately, we are all very fortunate for Malaysia, as intended by our founders, is a Secular state.

I believe in Secularism; I believe Government and Religion must always be kept separate. I believe only with such a wall of separation can there ever be Religious Freedom. Without Secularism, you can never have Religious Freedom. I believe that Man, as long as he causes no harm to anyone, must be allowed to live, think and act freely.

If we live by these principles and ensure that our Government obeys these principles, we will be a Free Society.

So, what can we do now? How can we move on?

At this juncture, the above questions are commonplace.

But before we answer them, let’s have a retake.

The Barisan Nasional government has failed the people of Malaysia. Nazri Aziz, Hishamuddin Hussein and Syed Hamid Albar have failed in their duties and are not competent leaders for a multicultural multi-religious Nation State like Malaysia. The Ministry of Home Affairs is a repeat offender for violation of human rights in Malaysia — it is a failure.

BN doesn’t care about the rights of religious minorities. BN has been perverting the language of the Constitution for its own religious theory. The Barisan Nasional government simply doesn’t care about you!

For decades now, the Barisan Nasional government has shown that it only cares about one thing — its own power. It only cares about keeping its power and expanding it whenever and wherever possible.

This Allah issue was just one of a series of violations perpetrated by BN. Previously it had banned the animated cartoon The Prince of Egypt and then a restriction on The Passion of Christ to Christian-only audiences, without a regard for the rest of the non-Muslims in Malaysia.

BN acted at snail’s pace when churches were being firebombed and vandalized. BN seems to be supporting any act that is meant to incite racial and religious violence, with a potential tipping point being the cow head protests.

Let’s also not forget the two reporters from Al-Islam magazine who had gone to a Christian church, eaten the Communion wafer, spat it out and photographed it. Despite such a disrespectful act committed against the Christian community, the BN machinery was silent on the issue and there were no prosecutions.

Then, they impounded the Al-Kitab Malay Bibles. Soon after, they defaced the Malay Bibles. No apology has been forthcoming.

I fear these are the beginnings and things will only get worse.

I would not at all be surprised if one day a Ministerial order is made that all Christian churches are not to publicly display a cross or crucifix. Wouldn’t exactly be a first too: Barisan Nasional MP Syed Hood once raised the proposal to remove crosses and Christian images in missionary schools, saying Times have changed and I think that we cannot allow Malays to look at the crosses and statues without any explanation.

But regardless of what BN does, we must never forget that it is the people of Malaysia, and only the people of Malaysia, who can change their predicament.

These arbitrary actions by BN take place because Malaysians continue to put up with it. But enough is enough! And I think all reasonable minded Malaysians are fed up with the constant intrusion into private life, the moral and thought policing and the absolute disrespect BN has shown for the very citizens it was supposed to protect.

So I say, in the next General Elections, as long as you believe in Religious Freedom, as long as you value your Liberty, as long as you believe in peace and harmony under Malaysian skies, do not vote for Barisan Nasional. They have failed you, and it is now your duty to put them out of power.

That is what you must do. And only then, can we all move on.

Aston Paiva dreamt of becoming an astronaut. He became a lawyer instead. However, he was successful in becoming a psychonaut.

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Posted on 8 April 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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52 Responses to The Gospel According to Barisan Nasional

  1. James

    Dear Mr. Asthon,
    I am glad to read your article, well said and hope more Malaysian will read this,

    Thank you

  2. Guest

    How about the Gospel according to Pakatan Rakyat? Any thought?

  3. Wondering Guest.

    Lex majoris partis.

    If you are a secularist, why bother with religious issue?

  4. CAN Convert Muslims

    actually, has anyone noticed these words in Article 11(4) of the Constitution:

    "may control or restrict the propagation".

    it does NOT say, state law may BAN or PROHIBIT. these words obviously have VERY DIFFERENT meanings!!

    which means, you actually C-A-N propagate other religions even to muslims. just that they may control the way you do it, i.e. cant do it to anyone below 21 years old. bottom line is, it is PERMISSIBLE to propagate to muslims.

    following from that, surely, if it is PERMISSIBLE to propagate to muslims, then it must also be permissible for the muslim to CONVERT OUT of Islam.

    therefore, all these nonsense about banning apostasy and use of BM bibles, not to mention writing about Islam 'liberally', must be considered UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    but who among the eminent judges on the bench today would dare to speak up for the truth and to uphold the constitution????

  5. Dear Aston,

    "I must state, I am neither for the opposition or the ruling Government."

    and @Syahredzan Johan.

    "I strongly urge you to a write an article to tell us why despite the violations to religious freedom, we should still vote for Barisan Nasional."

    While I did not write an article, I did respond in kind to Syahredzan.

    I have however written an article, though not in the least complying Syahredzan's dare, that surely relates to all our truest and best intentions.…

    The lyrics in our national anthem has an element, which Aston travails in this column, that incontrovertibly supports my stand on the issue.

    Moving forward we should not forget some important things we may leave behind.

    Thank you.

    Warm regards


  6. Passing By

    Well written, Aston. Your best articles are those written in a less adversarial, forceful and offensive mode.

  7. Adam


    It is all about semantics, phonetics, linguitics. In other words, it is all about language, sounds, translations, culture and all that evolved through different communities in different regions during different times. Take the Thai and Chinese numbering system which sounds very similar. It is all a matter of adapt and adopt. You have Ibrahim and Abraham, Joseph and Yusuf, Meriam and Mary, etc, etc. The Malays even now refer to Bunga Mawar as Ros now.

  8. Err folks just wondering

    Why does the Al-Kitab use Tuhan Yesus Kristus for Jesus instead of Isa?

    All other "Arabic" Bibles uses Isa..

    Was Isa not Christian enough for the consumption of the Malaysian Christians

    Did they invent a new Malay word?

    Isa was used in the First Malay Bible by Shellabear and later changed…

    The very the strange one…….

    Why can't Allah be changed? It was a wrong translation 400 years ago anyway

  9. Aston Paiva

    Anon C,

    Yet again you are saying nothing and you are just repeating yourself.

    In fact, I think it is you who has to read first before commenting. That you’re able to read the Federal Court case of Sivarasa which I have quoted above and say “Our consti can be amended including fundamental liberties provided that the provisions in amending the consti is adhered to. This is too basic for any malaysian constitutional law student or reader. “ goes to show your intellectual dishonesty and how you’re just misleading the public with your comments.

    Your comment is not led by pragmatism and adherence to the constitution, but irrational emotionality couched as “empathy” and “compromise”. What is insulting here is your argument that one should not exercise one’s rights because another will get hurt. That is not a compromise. That is insidious religious discrimination and the imposition of one religious worldview over another.

    That is not democracy, that is bigotry!

    As I keep stressing, too bad if you’re hurt or something is dear to you – GROW UP! Things are dear and sacred to others as well, hurt feelings is never an excuse to stifle another from using their rights.

    The fact that Article 11(4) specifically says that restriction of religious belief only goes so far as affecting Muslims, is already validation that there is no restriction to Christians using ‘Allah’ among themselves and to other non Muslims.

    This is not a religious issue as you seem to think it is. This is an issue of a ruling Government, Barisan Nasional, telling a religious minority how to worship and who it can worship. So this is not a Muslim issue.

    This is a problem of Barisan Nasional gaining popular support by playing on the fears and suspicions of the Muslim community AND by utilizing Islam as a means of stifling the civil and political rights of others. It is the Barisan Nasional, who right minded Malaysians must oppose in this Allah saga.

    Now, the minaret issue. The Swiss Constitution is allows for direct democracy or participatory democracy in that 100,000 citizens can be gathered to propose a revision to the Constitution (Article 138).

    We have no such thing in our Constitution. And even if a Referendum is ordered as an Executive Order, any kind of law amending the Constitution has to receive the approval of both Houses of Parliament. And even if you pass that, the Federal Court still retains the power to nullify the amending act for being in violation of the basic structure of the Constitution (Re-read Sivarasa’s case above).

    Now, even in Switzerland. It is nowhere as clear cut as you have put it. There is much push to have the matter reviewed in the Federal Court and very obviously those aggrieved will be arguing that the ban infringes upon their religious freedom (Article 15). However, as the Swiss Federal Court hasn’t recognized the ‘Basic Structure doctrine’ as part of its jurisprudence, the case might not be so clear cut.

    Nonetheless, a case can be brought to the European Court of Human Rights where the ban on the minaret will be dependent upon the construction of Article 9 of the ECHR and its limiting provision Article 9(2).

    The Strasbourg ECHR is in militant opposition to any kind of measure meant to destroy Freedom of Religion or to impose religious views. A key case would be the case of Buscarini v San Marino ( where even to require a non Christian to recite an oath of office relating to the Christian religion was considered to be in violation of freedom of religion.

    (Read Swiss Constitution:

    A very thorough article was also written on this subject matter:…

    In Malaysia, we have our own Constitution with emphasis on elected democracy on the basis of constitutional supremacy. I don’t know if “Malaysian constitutional law students and readers” are being taught this, but if they aren’t, that would explain the inanity in calling for a fictional referendum.

    As for the sanctity of Fundamental Liberties, that is etched in stone. The Indian Supreme Court in Kesavananda Bharati and our Federal Court in Sivarasa and even our High Courts in SIS Forum and Teoh Heng Han has affirmed the ‘Basic Structure Doctrine’. For you to ignore these cases and continue to bark and bray about your illusionary Referendum is just you embarrassing yourself, in public no less.

    No better a judgment on the sanctity of Fundamental Liberties/Rights has ever been than the American Supreme Court case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) which saw Justice Robert Jackson writing for the majority say:

    The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.

    I highly doubt, I’ll need to say or add anything more.

  10. Batu Api

    Christians just wanna be ‘Batu Api’ lah.

  11. Allah is for MUSLIM

    CHRISTIANS & CATHOLICS are plain idiots. Why can't they just stick to using the term "GOD" or "LORD" to refer to whoever they think is their Almighty???

    The term "ALLAH" had been used by the Muslims to describe their respective Almighty for so many years & out of nowhere suddenly all these ITCHY BACKSIDE CHRISTIANS & CATHOLICS wanna find fault with the Muslims by purposely using the word "ALLAH" to describe their own whatsoever Almighty. Isn't this called "Sengaja Cari Pasal?"

    Suddenly of late, the CHRISTIANS & CATHOLICS in Malaysia had been very caught-up with local politics. Can't these IDIOTS just stick to RELIGION itself without trying to kacau Politics???

    Typically NO BRAINERS bunch of idiots.

  12. Anon C

    Dear voster,

    The crux of the issue is simple ie the practice by Christians minority in east Malaysia since at best 19th century and the practice by Muslims majority in west and east Malaysia for hundreds of years. The Christians in peninsular has been using god and we have been living in peace using Allah referring exclusively to moslem's god from time immemorial (prior to merdeka and predate British). Which ever way one can argue it's not fair.

    I personally think we can reach middle ground. It's not by arguing on law or historical usage. But by empatising and compromise. But we seemed to want to stick to our rights position etc and not budging. Thus belittling others views. Astons article is another instance that I thought warrant a strong reply. He did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge it's a Moslem's issue and categorizing it as UMNO issue. It's insulting. Here we have a word dear to us and you seek to use it beyond what we hold it to be and expect us to just keep quiet. What's so difficult to understand there's a huge unhappiness by Moslems.

    Thus this issue is very divisive on our nation. We cannot go on like this. I think a referendum will actuality express clearly where the societal value is without politics. Running up towards election all this issues will be prised open. More debate on this issue and my fervent hope more people will realise each others position. We take the referendum as a constitutional value. It's no more umno's view. It's the will of the people. Just like in every referendum. The people with adjust with that new societal value and the country moves on.

  13. voster

    @Anon C

    The usage of "Allah" in East Malaysia predates the formation of the referendum.

    Disregarding all legal aspects, do you think it's fair that a practice and tradition that existed long before this country even existed and long before Western Malaysians could even call Eastern Malaysians their fellow countrymen, should be abolished based on the vague, irrational "feelings" of Western Malaysians?

    Do you think the Eastern Malaysians would have had agreed to form Malaysia in the same willing manner had this issue been put forth then and not now?

    And if we are to take the normal convention used in public life, wherein there is the contention that each religion should not "masuk campur" in the affairs of another religion, would this convention continue to hold up if the multitudes of religious and areligious voters get to decide what words one religion may use?

    How you think that this sort of thing is appropriate to be decided by a referendum of the masses is baffling.

  14. siewchin

    “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish”

    - AWESOME!!!

  15. Anon C

    Dear Felicia,

    Referendum is used worldwide many times in order to amend a consti. Our consti can be amended including fundamental liberties provided that the provisions in amending the consti is adhered to. This is too basic for any malaysian constitutional law student or reader.

  16. Anon C

    Then what do you call the Swiss referendum banning construction of minarets for Moslems. What about the call for azan from these minarets. Just read the venice commission on referendums. There's so many manners and methods of referendum. It is to state a popular value or I even call it a constitutional value. From then people amend the consti and to amend the consti you have to follow the consti procedure. Then it becomes the law. Some even do a referendum to have a new consti. There's no hard and fast rule.

    So read first before commenting and coming up with half baked proposition. What I find abhorrent is a person who lectures on constitutional values makes a mockery of a referendum. What I find hypocritical is a person who claims that this issue is generated and confined within UMNO suddenly oppose a popular plebiscite. You know how it will go don't you. We are not saying you cannot use Malay bible. But use tuhan than Allah. That's the correct definition and connotation in bahasa Malaysia anyway. It's similar to the minaret issue. Not that muslims cannot have mosque. But just no minarets.

  17. Dear Aston,

    Your demeanour and in your engagement with Anon C further augments my regard for your good self.

    "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish"

    Please accept my compliments.

    Best regards


  18. Aston Paiva


    LOL….thank you!

  19. Aston Paiva

    Anon C,

    I’m afraid I’m compelled to ask you if you even read my reply? Or that of Pang? Did you not understand anything that the both of us have written? The both of us have already dealt with this point which you keep repeating.

    Perhaps you SHOULD spend more time quoting law books than Wikipedia. However, I do with some enthusiasm say that at least, you’ve taken the initiative to drop that ridiculous argument of “my feelings are hurt, so please stop saying what you’re saying”.

    Before even you quoting Wiki, I have already stated in my reply, that Referendums are used primarily in matters regarding policy not Constitutional rights. This ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ is not a Government policy. To use ‘Allah’ is a collective Right of religious groups and individuals and you cannot ask a population of people whether a minority group should still continue to have such a Right. The very basis of doing that goes against Constitutionalism and having a Bill of Rights.

    That is simply not keeping in line with the checks and balances against a tyrannical majority and will enable discrimination to thrive and prejudices to take centre stage.

    Ultimately, Referendums are never used to evaluate whether a particular Constitutional right needs to be reserved. Referendums could be undertaken to extend a right, but never to diminish or prohibit it, which in essence is what you intend to achieve with your Referendum; that a majority population can be persuaded to say that Christians don't have a Constitutional Right to use the word 'Allah' and a constitutional amendment is made to that effect. That reeks of tyranny.

    Your proposition is extremely daft and clearly shows your misunderstanding of the manner in which Democracy works. As I have stated, if you go on discounting ‘Constitutionalism’ and ‘Rule of Law’, in effect, Democracy becomes worthless because you will be left with tyranny by the majority.

    I’m also glad you took note of me trivializing a Referendum because your Referendum suggestion is trivial. In fact, I stand by my example. How do we balance a majority populations wishes to have you killed and your claim to have a Constitutional Right to Life? The majority view cannot override your Right to Life, because it is guaranteed by the Constitution. Same thing with the Malaysian Christians.

    Finally, the ‘Constitutional amendment’ excuse – the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. We don’t go around making amendments to the Fundamental Liberties of the Constitution simply because the majority thinks that the minority shouldn’t have their rights. That’s a thoroughly embarrassing response from you. Working on that basis, what would be the point of having a Constitution when it can be amended at the whims and fancies of an unthinking majority?

    In fact, you can’t even amend the Fundamental Liberties of the Constitution without having the amending law being declared unconstitutional for violating the basic structure of the Constitution. Read the recent Federal Court decision of Sivarasa Rasiah v Badan Peguam Malaysia & Anor [2010] 3 CLJ 507 where it was held:

    “Further, it is clear from the way in which the Federal Constitution is constructed there are certain features that constitute its basic fabric. Unless sanctioned by the Constitution itself, any statute (including one amending the Constitution) that offends the basic structure may be struck down as unconstitutional. Whether a particular feature is part of the basic structure must be worked out on a case by case basis. Suffice to say that the rights guaranteed by Part II which are enforceable in the courts form part of the basic structure of the Federal Constitution. See, Keshavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala AIR [1973] SC 1461.”

    I think it’ll be best if you read and considered my reply carefully before you decide to reply. You still seem to cherry picking and it's getting tiresome for me to have to repeat myself.

  20. Alan Tan

    You know what will be the best issue for a referendum in my view? The PPSMI

  21. Alan Tan

    In my view, a referendum is totally pointless to resolve this issue. Clearly, the issue whether the Christians have the constitutional right to use the word "Allah" in Bible should best be left to the courts of law.

    It is improbable that the entire electorate or even a majority of the electorate had actually finish reading the constitution and even if they had read it, how much can a layperson actually make much sense out of it? A correct decision may not be a popular decision and it is these people who are firm in their beliefs who are not afraid to take the heat actually makes the unpopular but correct decision. It is judge like Puan Komathy Suppiah who is not afraid to make tough decision that our judiciary should produce more in this country.

    If we were to turn any legal issues that u claimed "that divide the nation" to referendum in this country, let's start by the tragic death of altantuya and Teoh Beng Hock! Are u blinded to the fact that for every stand is taken, there is bound to be a conflicting stand?? Please wake up and face the reality.

    Fair enough the Muslims may not like the decision and so is the ruling party but this right is provided by our Constitution so live with it. If they are worried the Muslims may be confused, educate them well!

    My 2 cents.

  22. Anon C

    Srry Aston but I have to say what a rubbish reply. If you do your law you would understand that a referendum is a most fair solution. I don't have to quote law books just Wikipedia.

    "A referendum (also known as a plebiscite or a ballot question) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of direct democracy. The measure put to a vote is known in the U.S. as a ballot proposition or measure."

    We go referendum on a most important issue and this is one as it divides our nation. Why are you so anti democratic? Why are you trivializing referendum to killing me. Yet you have the galls to lecture me on constitutional values. Your values are askewed. You spin half baked article. You called people names like jackass and non functioning brain and then say you're not into name calling taking a moral highground. Rubbish. Now you want to spin on referendum. I start to wonder whether you did Malaysian constitutional law at all? Or perhaps any jurisprudential papers? Certainly its rubbish. I've never seen those who believes in constitutional values argument actually objecting to a plebiscite in the form of a referendum. What utter hypocrite this writer is.

  23. Felicia Doh

    Anon C,

    I think it will be best to explain what the writer is saying like this:

    referendum tidak boleh digunakan untuk menidakkan hak yang di jamin oleh perlembagaan;

  24. manofborneo

    Has it occurred to anyone that whatever these less-than-sterling examples of Boleh Intellect are really just pissing into the wind as far as trying to “restrict” the propagation of the Al-Kitab or “unacceptable” texts of any kind etc?

    You can ban, restrict, etc etc tec the physical hard copies but in this digital age that we live in, what about the SOFT COPIES? Ha ha! Ban those too? Good luck!

    A few scanned copies in pdf or whatever other digital formats posted to a few file-hosting websites for free access and thats the end of the issue!

  25. Aston Paiva


    You are mistaken. Article 11(5) doesn’t say that. Article 11(5) says “any act contrary to any general law relating to public order” is not authorized despite it being done on religious grounds. Article 11(5) is of no application here whatsoever.

    As an example, suppose I start a religion that says it is permissible for me to offer child sacrifices. I cannot sacrifice a child for even if done for purposes relating to my religion, general law (Penal Code) makes it an offence for me to commit murder. That is how Article 11(5) applies. It states that any religious act done contrary to Law will still be criminal and will receive no immunity.

    Your understanding of the Allah saga is incorrect and you are surreptitiously shifting the blame to the Christians. The Courts have declared the rights of the Christians to use the word ‘Allah’. What ensued is an act of violence and aggression against the Christian community of Malaysia. The perpetrators here are those who have committed the act of violence NOT those who insist on their constitutional rights.

    Public disorder did not arise because the Christians were using the word Allah. Public disorder arose because of individuals who were too immature in handling the Court decision. The Christians cannot and are not to be blamed for attacks on their own churches by cowardly individuals incapable of self restraint. Your statement is akin to blaming a rape victim for the rape and is abhorrent.

    Sessions Court Judge Komathy Suppiah who presided over the criminal charges against the firebombers herself remarked: “You have shamed the society and country. … The message from this court must be loud and clear: Don’t play with fire,” []

    And your last paragraph highlights that you might not have fully appreciated my article. This is not a religious issue. This is a Constitutional issue and it is the task of the Government of the day to protect the rights of religious minorities. If they fail to do so, then it’s time they packed up and left.

  26. Dear Anon

    Democratic maturity is not = majoritarianism.

    Does giving Christians the right to use "allah" deprive Muslims from using "Allah"? It doesn't. Does giving Muslims the right to use "Allah" prevent Christians from using it? It doesn't. Does giving Muslims the right to deprive Christians from using it create an imbalance of power, hence destroying democracy? Yes.

    What some Muslims in this country want is "more" right — let's call it a privilege — a privilege over other religions, the right to be able to control what other religions can or cannot do. Understanding fairness to all, regardless of majority or minority status, that is democratic maturity.

    Democratic maturity = regardless of majority or not, minorities are also protected, such that EVERYBODY gets the same rights.

  27. Why can't some of this maturity rub off on those imbeciles you mention? Maybe they are just too bloody 'thick.'

  28. Anon C

    Thank you for replying. First and foremost your article is not balanced and skewered. You assumed that this is a BN and UMNO issue. This is a very disconnected assumption. The issue is a deep seated issue among the muslims and within PAS also. If taken to the hilt I believe PAS will split with Harun din leading the overwhelming majority on this issue. Among the muslims malay even those from the top universities in the world are verily unhappy with this.

    The purpose of the referendum has many folds. One to show you how the muslims feel. Its an overwhelming view waiting to explode. I myself will take it through for I think the untruth spin and hypocrisy on this issue has been totally unacceptable. The referendum will also show you the value of where the country should be. The laws must and give respect to the values of the society. If need be the constitution be amended to reemphasized the wish of the country and our politicians must undertake that as there is no other better way than the democratic way of referendum. As a person believing in the voice of the people, you should not be objecting to this.

    Because of the skewered mindset that this is BN engineered, you have failed to realise that you are changing a value and practice of the muslims majority here which is very very dear to them. You only see the christians side. By having this referendum, you will see how heated it will be but if you believe in democratic maturity you should be for it. Any other stand would be hypocritical.

    I propose referendum because I see thats the only way for the issue to reach the apex and then for us to move on. A question on value can only be decided by what people wants.

  29. @Freddie Kevin said :

    Yes, I am pro-BN.

    Thank you

    Freddie Kevin

    Yes, pro BN ppl are pro-APARTHEID. No thanks to Freddie Kevin we still have APARTHEID. And pro-PR ppl are everything BN has a bad reputation excepting APARTHEID. So vote for 3rd Force.

    This will help voters decide that 3rd Force Coalition as proposed below is the best choice for the people :

    Barisan Coalition – Apartheid, Corrupt and Nepotistic Oligarchs

    Pakatan Coalition – Corrupt and Nepotistic Oligarchs

    3rd Force Coalition – Corruption Only

    Independent – ??? (maybe no corruption AND good policy?)

    So it is simple, just choose the Coalition with the LEAST flaws.

    Proposed 3rd Force Coalition is made up of KITA, MCLM, PCM, Borneo Front, Konsensus Bebas, HRP, PSM should call in MIC, Gerakan, PPP as well! End the APARTHEID and work with any non-Oligarchs in Pakatan! We have the numbers!

    Any independents like Koon Yew Yin and Ummi Ali, are also 3rd Force because they are unaligned to NEPOTISM and APARTHEID.


    Three of the below must be challenged so that only a single candidate without relatives remains :

    Lim Kit Siang (MP Ipoh Timur – Perak)

    Lim Guan Eng (MP Air Puteh – Penang)

    Chew Gek Cheng (Assemblyman Kota Laksamana – Malacca) Guan Eng’s wife

    Lim Hui Ying Guan Eng’s sister (Vice-Chairman)

    Two of the below must be challenged so that only a single candidate without relatives remains :

    Karpal Singh (MP Jelutong – Penang)

    Gobind Singh (MP Puchong – Selangor) Karpal’s son

    Jagdeep Singh (Asssemblyman Dato Keramat – Penang) Karpal’s son

    Two of the below must be challenged so that only a single candidate without relatives remains :

    Anwar Ibrahim (MP Permatang Pauh, Seberang Prai)

    Wan Azizah

    Nurul Izzah Anwar(MP Lembah Pantai – Kuala Lumpur) Anwar’s Daughter

    Also either Ngeh (Pantai Remis) or Nga (Sitiawan) must go to prevent 2nd degree nepotism and the kind of environment that caused DAP’s Kulasegaran to be kicked out possibly an act of racism.

    Whoever pledges to APARTHEID or NEPOTISM are fools.…

  30. AP/SJ,

    Sheesh. Did it again, didn't I?

    *See what I mean? This was what I had mentally fixed but did not materialise into written script.



  31. Dolah

    @ Aston Paiva,

    You quoted profusely article 11(1), 11(3) and 11(4) of the constitution in your article about the freedom of religion in Malaysia. But you forget article 11(5). It clearly states that any religious practices that can cause public disorder in the country is prohibited.

    That insistence by the Malaysian Christians has caused violence last year. I do not support the BN Government either. But the BN Govt is right in this situation to appeal against the court ruling which favored the Malaysian Christians. Else if the Govt did not intervene, I am afraid violence would have continued until today.

    If you don’t believe me and still being stubborn and recalcitrant, just go on with your demands. I am not threatening you, but if there is a violent backlash from the Muslims, you have no one to blame except yourself.

    So my advice to you, just leave these matters to religious authorities among the parties concerned, to find a solution. Religious issues cannot be solved by legal or political means. Even if the opposition wins and replace the present Govt, this issue will still go on and will not subside.

  32. Aston Paiva

    Anon C,

    Thank you for the reply.

    Yet again, you fall back into the fallacy I was cautioning against – that “hurt feelings” are a determinative aspect of the Civil and Political rights of others.

    “Hurt feelings” is not an argument. It should never be and it can never be. If your feelings are hurt, too bad. You are childish and immature and you certainly need to grow up. Your only argument to this Allah debate is that the “Muslims are unhappy about this”, well, the Christians too are unhappy about not being able to pray to and worship Allah. So where does that leave us? Nowhere isn’t it? Just a lot of time wasted on such a pointless and useless argument.

    It doesn’t matter what the Muslims ‘feel’ or what the Christians ‘feel’ or what PAS or UMNO ‘feels’. The only question is – “What are the constitutional rights of Christians in Malaysia?”

    Unless and until you choose to argue on this ground, we cannot have a debate on this Allah issue. You are wasting my time, the time of other readers and most importantly, your own time.

    Where values are concerned, every nation has two sets of values: ‘Popular values’ and ‘Constitutional values’. Both may not necessarily see eye to eye.

    ‘Popular values’ may dictate that African Americans are less than human, that they can be bought and sold, that they can be segregated from society. But ‘Constitutional values’ say that there is Equality before the Law and all deserve Equal Protection of the Law, that men and women of all class must be treated with Dignity. The latter prevails at all cost.

    Likewise, even if ‘Popular values’ dictate that Christians should respect Muslim sensitivities and abstain from using the word Allah, ‘Constitutional values’ say that all religions may be practised in peace and harmony, that all religious groups are free to manage their affairs, that all individuals are free to profess, practise and propagate their religion to non-Muslims. The latter must prevail at all cost.

    You are utterly mistaken in the way you have expressed principles of Democracy for you have discounted ‘Constitutionalism‘, ‘Rule of Law‘ and the ‘Separation of Powers‘ from your argument all together.

    Democracy while meaning ‘majority rule’ doesn’t mean that the fundamental rights (inherent to all, minority or majority) can be subjected to vote. The reason for that is so that the situation of the majority putting the minority into a subordinate position, particularly because their so-called “feelings” are hurt, can never occur.

    Just to highlight how completely vacuous your argument of a referendum is, let’s consider this. You Anon C, have a right to life under the Constitution. You are also a law abiding citizen who have caused no harm to anyone. Suppose I call for a referendum and get 51% of Malaysians to agree that you must be killed. Are you telling me that you are going to give credence to this ‘popular view’? Or will you argue that it is your constitutional right not to be deprived of your life? Think about this if you decide to reply.

    Now, you also say that my article is skewered for it only targets BN. Well, who is the ruling Government?
    Who issued the ban on the use of the word Allah? Who impounded the Malay Bibles? Who defaced the Malay Bibles? Who, in respect of the removal of crosses and Christian statues in missionary schools, said “patung-patung ini hendaklah dirobohkan, salib-salib ini hendaklah dimusnahkan”? [Excerpt from Parliamentary Hansard – October 29, 2007, Page 143 –

    Who has called for the banning of the Prince of Egypt? Who has placed draconian restrictions on the Passion of the Christ? Who has failed to call for the prosecutions of the Al-Islam reporters?

    There is only one culprit here, that is the ruling Government, who happens to be Barisan Nasional. Hence my vitriol goes out to them. The Barisan Nasional has failed to protect the rights of religious minorities and they must pay the price for it by being ousted from power.

  33. Dear En Syahredzan Johan,

    After reading both Aston’s and your good self’s reply to my comment, I am confident that my reply in part to your item 4) will further support why I regard Aston’s post as “the pro-opposition”. Logically, it’s either the BN or the opposition. So, if a call says “do not vote the BN”, that would mean “vote the opposition”. It also answers your item 1), logically speaking ie. By 1) you are right but I am not wrong.

    By his reply to me, I see his intent. I readily accept it.

    He explained,

    “To me, this is not an issue of whether it’s Party A or Party B. This is a matter of Principles. How dedicated and loyal a Party is to the principles relating to Secularism and Religious Freedom, which I consider to be the cornerstone of Malaysian socio-political and constitutional life.”

    Juxtapose that to my reply to your good self, can you honestly tell me that there is an alternative? One may argue that the DAP fits what Anton wishes. But by themselves, let’s be realistic, can they form the Govt? No need for me to comment about PAS. In my view PKR, exists as long as Anwar is around. For one, their party election particularly exposed many deficiencies. I need not go further into the party election details and other inadequacies.

    In 2) you said “Assuming for one second that Aston’s article is pro-opposition (which is denied), one article does not make a blawg stance.” Fair enough. You will firmly stand by that statement. But I ask you to see Loyarburok from a “pro-BN” perspective and look deep inside yourself then tell me that it does not have a “pro-opposition” inclination.

    As for 3) “I cannot see therefore how Aston’s article “contradicts that statement in no uncertain terms” with Edmund’s statement.”

    Anton’s “do not vote for Barisan Nasional. They have failed you, and it is now your duty to put them out of power”, was certain enough for me. That being said, I reiterate that I accept his reply to me.

    Thank you
    Freddie Kevin

  34. MorningLightMountain17,735

    Dear Freddie Kevin,

    FYI, Pakatan has already agreed on a final allocation of seats in Sarawak. There will be no overlap between PKR, PAS and DAP and everyone is happy. There is only minor issue with SNAP following revelation or allegation of them being funded by BN.

    In any event, disagreement of seat allocation is also a BN problem. The only difference is that the media seldom report on this and BN is clever enough to prevent these disagreement from becoming public knowledge. But when it comes to the opposition, the media is very quick to exploit, expose and overblow this seat allocation disagreement to portray to the gullible public how ‘unstable’ the opposition are. In Sabah, there is ALWAYS disagreements on seats between Umno, PBS, LDP etc. And i suspect the same in every state in Malaysia.

  35. Aston Paiva

    Thank you all for your kind words. I’m much obliged.

    Anon C,

    Firstly, you’re wasting time with the name calling. It only exposes your inability to mount a proper argument on the subject matter at hand.

    You need to spend more time reading what I’ve written rather than cherry picking at it.

    The issue of who has been using ‘Allah’, for how long, in which part of the planet, is ultimately an ancillary issue. It is quite unimportant. I have merely raised it in my article for the sake of completeness and to show how the case was argued in the High Court.

    The main issue, and the only pertinent issue is: Whether is it the constitutional right of Malaysian Christians to use the word Allah?

    Like I said, arguments on theology, semantics/translations, hurt feelings, etc. are pointless for they do nothing to actually solve the dispute. These arguments float in the air and do not serve to define the rights of Christians to manage the affairs of their religion (Article 11(3)) and to practise their religion (Article 11(1)).

    Lay people and even lawyers are quick to cite arguments on theology, semantics/translations, hurt feelings, etc. but this usage of ‘Allah’ is a constitutional issue, not a religious one. In fact, it should not even be a religious one.

    If closure ever were to be achieved for this ‘Allah’ matter, the citizenry must start focusing their attention on their constitutional rights and not argue on religious theology. Arguing ‘Which religion deserves to use the word ‘Allah’’ will lead to a dead end.

    As I have very clearly highlighted, Article 11(4) only allows restrictions to take place insofar as it affects Muslims. Article 11(4) doesn’t and cannot possibly be giving power to the Government to enact laws to alter/prohibit the beliefs and doctrines of a religion.

    If the above were to be case then Article 11(1) and Article 11(3) would be completely useless for what then is stopping the Government from enacting a law that says that “There shall be no propagation of Polytheism or concepts related to the Holy Trinity among non Muslim religions”. This would mean the Hindus and Christians of Malaysia can never propagate their religion and both religions will be subjected to a ‘slow death’ over time. The possibility of both religions going obsolete in Malaysia becomes very real.

    I am certain that this was never the intention of the founders of this country. Have a read of the Reid Commission reports on the status of Malaysia being a Secular state. The founders clearly knew that only by making Malaysia a Secular state, can Religious Freedom be guaranteed to multi-religious Malaysia.

    The fact is, as I have stated, non-Muslims are only not to use the word "Allah" when explaining or detailing their religion to Muslims, in a public forum, not when propagating their religion to other non-Muslims or practising their religion among themselves.

    This is what the Constitution seems to envisage, and what the State laws have done to realize.

    The truth as I see it is that the law and the Constitution is on the side of the Christians. This is why this issue must be fought; for it is a matter concerning the Rights of religious minorities – which can never be subverted by the will of a majority. Ever. The Christians have a Constitutional Right to use the word ‘Allah’ in the practise of their religion and the propagation thereof to other non Muslims.

    A Referendum relates to policy not Constitutional Rights. Constitutional Rights can never be made subject to vote.


    Good to see you again and I still remember you. I watched Defamation which you suggested and I must say it was a very captivating documentary.

    You have raised a noteworthy point.

    I must state, I am neither for the opposition or the ruling Government. In fact, nowhere in my article have I expressed any approval for the opposition.

    My point is simply this: where the ruling Government i.e. Barisan Nasional is concerned – they have failed to protect the rights of religious minorities, as enshrined by the Constitution, and they only continue to add salt to the wound – they therefore do not deserve to be in power. I do not have confidence in them and I am persuading the public to forgo theirs as well (or perhaps to remind them of why it should be left forgone).

    I am for the party/movement/coalition that can guarantee that the constitutional and human rights of all Malaysian citizens, particularly the minorities, are protected.

    If a party can guarantee that and live up to it, you have my support. If a party doesn’t do so or flounders while in power, I will express my dissent at their actions, I will attack their policies and I will do all that I can to undermine public confidence in their administration – because that is what a responsible citizen is supposed to do.

    If the opposition gets into power in the next General Elections and messes things up just as bad as Barisan Nasional or perhaps even worse, they can be sure to see me expressing my dissatisfaction and calling for their speedy relinquishment from power.

    To me, this is not an issue of whether it’s Party A or Party B. This is a matter of Principles. How dedicated and loyal a Party is to the principles relating to Secularism and Religious Freedom, which I consider to be the cornerstone of Malaysian socio-political and constitutional life.

    Warm Regards,


  36. Dear Mr Aston and En Syahredzan,

    See what I mean. This was what I had mentally fixed but did materialise into written script.

    It should read as follows,

    I do not see the alternative to be an option, it might be even worst. They cannot even agree to get along in Sarawak. The ideologies of the two established parties are in a constant clash of civilisation. The glue that is keeping them together is fast becoming unstuck.

    I realised what I missed out after a quick smoke in the gents!

    Thanks again.


  37. James

    Syed Hamid Albar is the chairman of the new Land Public Transport Commission.

  38. Dear Mr Aston,

    I humbly thank you for your reply. I will leave it as is for the moment at least. I am not an accomplished writer/blogger and I do need time to respond in a proper perpective.

    En Syahredzan,

    As above, can I ditto your good self?

    But I will answer this part of item 4)….”why despite the violations to religious freedom, we should still vote for Barisan Nasional?”

    I do not see the alternative to be an option. They cannot even agree to get along in Sarawak. The two established parties are in a constant clash of civilisation. The glue that is keeping them together is fast becoming unstuck.

    Thanks again to the both of you. All the best.


  39. Syahredzan Johan

    Dear Freddie Kevin,

    1. You should understand the difference between being anti-government and being pro-opposition. It is not the same thing. Aston’s article may be anti-government, but I do not see how it can be said to be pro-opposition.

    2. Assuming for one second that Aston’s article is pro-opposition (which is denied), one article does not make a blawg stance. LoyarBurok is a place where anyone and everyone can write, regardless of political affiliation. That has never changed, and that continues to be true.

    3. I cannot see therefore how Aston’s article “contradicts that statement in no uncertain terms” with Edmund’s statement.

    4. Since you are a self-professed pro-BN person, I strongly urge you to a write an article to tell us why despite the violations to religious freedom, we should still vote for Barisan Nasional. It will be posted up in LoyarBurok.

  40. steve

    Anon C

    Referendum good idea.Why not the referendum is on the basis that you want to join Malaysia stop using ALLAH or if you want to be kicked out of the Malaysia federation like Singapore than insists on using Allah.After all no referendum by people of sabah and sarawak to join malaya ,only their leaders were mislead to join Malaya

    • anon d

      Apparently, it was a blessing in disguise for Singapore to be kicked out. Look how well our neighbors are doing

  41. Syahredzan Johan

    Awesome Aston. Some of your best writing AND your most political I have seen you.

    • Anton Levy

      Yes, agree. This is one of the best article in the history of LB.

      Anything that bash BN or Muslim or Malay is cool and must be supported indefinitely.

      Keep up the good work, my child.

  42. Anon C

    What a bull shit article by an imbecile writer. We have used the word Allah in peninsular to refer to exclusively Muslim god for hundreds of years. Only the east Malaysians use Malay bible . But Christians only came to sabah Sarawak in 19th century. Even then to the Chinese in sabah first which I cannot fathom they use bm. So its a recent phenomena. All my christians friends from peninsular without exception has used god and not Allah for donkey years. Some even look down on bm. Now dont give me this one sided historical crap. We are not in Indon or middle east and don't quote their usage. We have our own usage. If you want to change the meaning or connotation of the word Allah which we used plenty of times in a day you better give one he'll of a good reason. Otherwise let's settle it by referendum. It's not an UMNO thingy you goons. I gave you a thousand dollar that overwhelming pas members will vote for exclusive use of Allah. Do you dare a referendum?

  43. Chen Mian Kuang

    Great article, Aston. I especially liked your spot-on assessment of Nazri and Hishamuddin.

    Dear ApartheidLustQueen, it is unlikely that your polite complaint will reach the minister in the first place. Even if it does, they are unlikely to understand what you are saying due to the vacuum between their ears.

  44. Dear Aston Paiva,

    There some points that I agree and disagree in your post and I have also blogged as such.

    I had on occasion praised you for your integrity and I am not about to alter that view.

    That being said, I quote a statement in the Star Sunday February 13, 2011 “Cheeky take on human rights”

    “Bon denies that the blog is pro-opposition, saying they had invited pro-government pro-Barisan Nasional people to write. But there have been no takers probably because those people already have easy access to the mainstream media” he says.

    I must say the very strong language, in your next to last para, contradicts that statement in no uncertain terms.

    Yes, I am pro-BN.

    Thank you
    Freddie Kevin

  45. john tan

    Why cant we give and take about this issue…first of all are the christian brothers & sisters not allowed to practice their religions openly?are they not allowed to go to the church?are the nun not allowed to wear headscarf?are they not allowed to wear the cross?Even in Indonesia the bible are stamp with the words “for christian only” and they are okay with that as they still use Allah words when they communicate with each others.Sometimes we have to accept that as the minority race or religious groups we have less priviliges in certain things.Our muslims brothers & sisters ARE MUCH MORE WORSE THEN US—not able to wear tudung freely etc in some countries..Maybe the issues here is that in the future there would be confusion among the christians & muslims children that they have the same god(Allah).Maybe all the head of religious group should meet & discuss this with the government.

  46. “I believe in Secularism; I believe Government and Religion must always be kept separate. I believe only with such a wall of separation can there ever be Religious Freedom. Without Secularism, you can never have Religious Freedom.”

    Same with TERM LIMITS on MPs and Assemblymen to prevent fiefdoms, and PROHIBITION ON NEPOTISM to ensure democracy. The best way to ensure these beliefs are reality, is to run for candidacy in your constituency, it’s good to let us know, so what are you going to do to ensure it is reality?

    Run for candidacy A$ton and put an end to APARTHEID.

    Psychonaut? Techno-psy you mean?

  47. TSH

    Very well said.

  48. Pepper Lim

    Fantastic article!

  49. Dear Aston,

    This is my confession :
    You are one of my favourite writers on Loyar Burok.

    Therefore, I may be biased when I say this – but this article is the BOMB.

    Thank you for writing this. As Syah said, this ranks as one of your best!

  50. LN

    Well put.

    Here’s a REAL question: if we have ministers who do such things, we have the liberty to write a polite complaint. What is to stop them from getting too personal and quietly snatching my body and whisking it to Kamunting? I ask because it seems as if some ministers like to interpret the FC depending on which direction their fart blows?