Sunday, 1 March 2009

Gazette allowing use of `Allah' revokes

KOTA KINABALU: The Home Ministry has rescinded a government gazette that allowed conditional use of the word Allah in Christian publications with immediate effect.
Admitting that there was a mistake in enacting the gazette that resulted in confusion over the word in question, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the government's decision to ban the use of the word Allah in the Catholic weekly, Herald, remained in force until the court decided otherwise.
The government had recently ordered a ban on the Herald's Malay edition until the court had made its decision, as part of conditions for it to be allowed to continue publishing in English, Chinese and Tamil.
"There is a judicial review on the matter and we leave it to the court to decide. I think there was a mistake in enacting the gazette. When we make a mistake, I must admit that there is a need to look at it thoroughly."As there was a mistake... so it is better we make a correction," he said Saturday.
Syed Hamid was commenting on the call by the Malaysian Islamic Dakwah Foundation yesterday urging the government to withdraw permission for the conditional use of the word Allah in Christian publications.
Its chairman, Datuk Mohd Nakhaie Ahmad, said the government had not acted wisely in allowing the use of the word in Christian publications, which he said could anger Muslims not only in the country but also throughout the world.
A government gazette dated Feb 16 had stated that documents and publications relating to Christianity containing the world Allah were prohibited unless the words "For Christians" was written on their front covers.
The condition was contained in an order entitled Internal Security (Prohibition on Use of Specific Words on Document and Publication) Order 2009.Paragraph 2(1) of the order reads: "The printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words Allah, Kaabah, Baitullah and solat are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words 'For Christians'." -- Bernama


huguon said...

As I said on my previous comment (which not publish by Mr. James), the Gov allow us to use Allah with condition. And now, they said NO!
I'm not happy with this. So do the other Christian. Then what should we do? Let us pray. Other option is, wait for next General Election.

Sarawakian said...

'Sekejap boleh, sekejap tak boleh'.

This is another "flip-flop" or "U-Turn" decision by the Government under Pak Lah..

I wonder what's next??

Anonymous said...

It is strange that a publication that is being sold within the premises of Christian churches can be construed as attempting to confuse Muslims! And all it does for the government to rescind its decision in allowing the conditional use of Allah among Christians is a simple objection from the Director of a certain Muslim body! In 2006, nine non-Muslim cabinet ministers wrote a memo to the PM asking to repeal Article 121(1)(a) and they were rubbished aside. Just shows the value of a non-Muslim opinion compared to a Muslim opinion in this country!

Francis said...


In the early 90’s Taib came up with his so called visionary “Politics of Development“. In various gatherings and speeches, he told Sarawakians then that his new found idea would transform Sarawak into a model state in Malaysia.

Under this noble idea, land will be developed and people will reap huge benefits and would improve their economic and social being, so he claimed!

However, large tracts of land are owned by the Dayaks who have acquired them through native customary rights which is provided for under Sarawak Land Code 1958.

Taib saw that the land code as a stumbling block for his “Politics of Development“. So, he went on to change the provisions of the land code pertaining to Native Customary Land especially S5(2) not once but FOUR times. The manner in which he passed those amendments is akin to a boat owner fixing leaks in his boat!

The Amendments

In 1994 minister in charge of land matters was given the power to extinguish native customary rights to land.

In 1996, the onus was placed on a native claimant to prove that he has customary rights to the land

In 1998 mechanisms for assessment and payment of compensation were put in place in event of compulsory acquisition.

In 2000 the amendment deleted “any lawful methods” as set out in S5(2)(f).

In 2002 following Nor Nyawai case, Land Surveyors Ordinance 2002, was passed allowing only licensed surveyor to make, authorize or sign any cadastral map. It means only Land & Survey Department can come up with a map!

Following Nor Nyawai case, Taib passed another law relating to land matters - the Land Surveyors Ordinance 2002 which provides for only licensed surveyor to make, authorise or sign any cadastral map. It means only Land & Survey Department can come up with a map! So Dayaks can no longer prepare their own map of their own area by themselves or by a third party.

So by now, Taib has fixed all the leaks, and the Dayaks are in a fix!

The net effect of these amendments is to legalize the process of taking away native customary right land (NCL) and alienate them to politicians, cronies, relatives who in turn sell them to big time oil palm planters!

And so began the process of land grabbing by the State which is run by state Barisan National , led by party Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu of which Taib is the president.

As the laws are being changed, the process of giving away licences and provisional leases to whosoever Taib desires, began in earnest. A number of licences and provisional leases have been issued by Taib to his family members, cronies and who later sell them to local and private oil palm planters.

The provisional leases holders armed with the lease waste not time and start working on the land indicated in the lease with little regard to the presence of people’s garden, farm house, farmed area, buildings/structures or even burial ground!. To them everything that stands on their new found land is theirs and can be removed or bulldozed at will. Past records have indeed proved that they could do it with impunity! They have the “papers” whereas the NCL owners have nothing to show other than the crops that they have planted for ages!

This is how some of the confrontations occurred between the new land owners the NCL owners who are 99% Dayaks. The number of cases that are pending court hearing is almost reaching 200. But some just gave up fighting against the might of Sarawak state government - a government who always claim that they care for the rakyat at least during election time!!

Where can the NCL owners turn to defend their rights?

Nobody, Nobody, Nobody !!!!

If they report the case to the Land & Survey Department they would be told that they are squatting on state (Taib’s) land.

If they go to the police no action will ever be taken. The report if ever written/recorded, will just gather dust!

If they go to their Dayak politicians they will be told invariably not to go against the government.

However if they take the law into their hands by blocking entrance to the disputed land, they will be charged for committing some form of criminal act! But the new land owners can engage "gangsters" to harass the NCL land owners. "The Niah Muder case"

This is the background to the famous Nor Nyawai case(Please watch the video at the end of this post) and many more land dispute cases between NCL owners and the government of Sarawak and/or big time oil palm planters. Fortunately the Nor Nyawai case, the lawyer Baru Bian had done Dayak community proud for bringing and arguing the case with wisdom and integrity. The judge Ian Chin earned the respect of the Dayaks for his wisdom and courage to interpret the laws as they are rather than interpreting the law to the tune of the politicians! The case has shed light to other judges and brought some relief to the Dayaks whose NCLs have been hanging on the balance for a long time.

For more information of the Rumah Nyawai case, please click here for an excellent article by Baru Bian, Advocate and Solicitor for the case.

Causes of the Problem

One of the main causes of the current Dayak situation is of course Taib Mahmud. He had no intention to develop or help the Dayaks! He also has little or no respect for them. The way he treated the Dayaks since he became Chief Minister in 1981 speaks volumes about how little regard he has for the Dayaks. He split the Dayaks many times over. He cleverly engineered the destruction of various Dayak based parties - SNAP & PBDS and the Dayal leaders. Today the so-called leaders of the forerunner of these 2 parties - SPDP & PRS are completely at his mercy. If the colonial power practised divide and rule policy, Taib perfected it in Sarawak at least amongst the Dayaks.

Recently he evenly despised the Dayak way of life where in his speech during Agro Fest Day in Nov, in Kuching he condemned the Dayak forefathers for creating NCR land through shifting cultivation. You see they (Dayaks) have 2million acres under NCR land just because of shifting cultivation” ! Summarized from The Broken Shield.

If that is not a mark of total disrespect for the Dayak community, I don’t know what else!

Secondly, most of the Dayak politicians do not have the courage to stand up against Taib. This is because their nominations before the elections have been endorsed by him. So they owe him a living!

And given the mentality of the Dayaks of “not to bite the hand that feeds you” compounded by the fact that most if not all, would not be able to seek employment anywhere else none would not raise a finger on anything that are seen to be going against Taib’s liking. In fact some went to the extent of praising Taib for passing some of the amendments to the land code that clearly disadvantage the NCL owners!

Thirdly, the Federal government couldn't be bothered one bit about the well being of the Dayaks. Mahathir had come and gone, Badawi had come and almost gone. Najib will be coming. He has shown interest but for the moment it is mere interest!

So the Dayaks are in limbo and they are losing their very important asset - land by the day!
Taib engineered it, Dayak politicians saw it and did not do anything; some are unashamedly his partners in crime; Federal government is either too far away or couldn’t be bothered!

The Way Forward

The problem is serious and if nothing is done most of NCL will be gone before vision 2020 sets in. According to the 2005 reports of Land and Survey Department, some 1.2 million hectares of land were approved for oil palm plantations, the bulk of which is NCR lands. And by the year 2015, some 4 million hectares of land are to be planted with oil palm. Out of the total, about 1.5 million hectares are NCR land. By then there will be a few acres of NCR land left, if any.

One of the ways for the Dayaks to get out of the situation is to use their democratic rights smartly i.e. to vote for party that promise to solve the land issue.

The stand of the BN and that of current Dayak politicians stand are clear - they don’t care one bit about NCL-they have been with Taib for the last 28 years !

The least the Dayak people should do is to put up credible line of opposition to BN. Twenty-eight years of suffering is too long and losing one’s own land is painful. It is time for the Dayak to get their land back and the only way is to VOTE OUT BN and VOTE IN PKR!

Let's begin the journey of a thousand miles in Batang Ai! and there is no better candidate than Bawin, the guy who was sacked by Taib for supporting Nor Nyawai case!


San Tot said... fail to do good has the same effect as committing evil. And evil oten tends at first to hide its ruthless nature, masquerading as goodness and justice. That's why we have to take a stand without delay when we become aware of injustice......

I don't know where and which but I've read that phrase out off a book somewhere.....hahaha!

...all events in Malaya...could be Allah's work in retaliating what ""they""" have done unto us in the break down any unification agenda amongst the Malaysians of Sabah and Sarawak!

Anonymous said...

am puzzle as to why we have have to fight for what is ours. Just use it. Just say it.