Putrajaya’s [the federal administrative centre of Malaysia] persistence in refusing non-Muslim Malaysians the right to use the word “Allah” is tantamount to the systematic destruction of the language and culture of the Bumiputera community in Sabah and Sarawak, the head of the Anglican Church in Southeast Asia said.
Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok said the word “Allah” has been part and parcel of the community’s language for generations and has become “embedded” in every aspect of their culture, including for the Bumiputera Christians, who make up the majority of Malaysia’s Christian population.
However, the government’s prohibition and the Federal Court’s denial for the Catholic Church to appeal for the right to publish the “Allah” in its weekly newspaper, had made the Bumiputera Christians feel they had been wronged, said the Sarawakian senior clergyman.
“In other words, it is in our language and culture DNA. We feel that the judgment was made without taking into due consideration of what the word means to us.
“We feel there has been a miscarriage of justice. It is insidious. It is tantamount to an act of language and culture genocide,” said Bolly, who also chairs the Association of Churches in Sarawak.
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