ALOR SETAR: Home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has slammed Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin for bringing up the “Allah” issue on the campaign trail for the Aug 12 state elections.
Saifuddin, who is also the PKR secretary-general, accused the former prime minister of ignoring the Malay rulers’ advice not to politicise the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.
This comes after Muhyiddin cited the “Allah” issue as an example of the Anwar Ibrahim-led unity government being run by non-Malays during a ceramah in Kapar on Sunday night.
“If a Malay-Muslim political leader cannot respect the Malay rulers’ advice, they (these political leaders) will not respect the rakyat,” Saifuddin said at a press conference at Kedah PKR’s headquarters today.
The “Allah” issue arose when a Sarawakian woman, Jill Ireland, sought a court order to allow the use of the word for the purpose of religious education in Malay and her native Melanau language in Sarawak.
In a landmark decision in March 2021, the High Court declared as illegal a 1986 home ministry ruling to prohibit the use of the words “Allah”, “Baitullah”, “Solat” and “Kaabah” by non-Muslims.
The government filed an appeal but on April 18 this year, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, representing the home ministry, notified the Court of Appeal that it did not wish to pursue the case.
Anwar then said the Cabinet would submit its recommendations on the “Allah” issue to the Conference of Rulers.
Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah later urged against politicising or debating the “Allah” issue pending the Conference of Rulers’ final decision on the matter.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, also expressed fear that the polemics over the usage of “Allah” could affect national unity and the well-being of the country if it was not resolved immediately.
Muhyiddin had accused Anwar of agreeing with the court order, which allows Christians to use the word “Allah”, in deciding to stop the appeal.
He also alleged that Anwar’s decision was because of pressure from DAP.
Muhyiddin had said that when he was the home minister in the Pakatan Harapan government of 2018-2020, DAP wanted him to not allow an appeal against a High Court ruling on the use of the word “Allah” by the Sarawakian woman.