All is Well for Herald - A belated X’mas Present from PM Abdullah with a little help from Bernard Dompak; The Permit was renewed - Slap for Johari
Herald can print in Bahasa
PETALING JAYA: The publisher of Herald - The Catholic Weekly newspaper has been allowed to continue printing its Bahasa
“This letter places no restrictions whatsoever and includes the permit for all the languages, including the Bahasa Malaysia segment. “We thank the Government for this gesture of goodwill in renewing Herald’s printing permit and restoring its right to publish in all languages without any conditions. “We also thank (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) Tan Sri Bernard Dompok for his assistance, as well as the various news agencies and other media groups for supporting us with their wide coverage,”Father Lawrence said in a statement. The paper carries reports, in English, Bahasa
Father Lawrence later said the letter did not specify anything, adding that it was the usual approval letter for printing permit. “But with the letter, I’m certain that we can continue with the publication as well as the use of the word Allah,” he said. He, however, said he did not want to speculate on whether the publisher would withdraw the writ of summons. Dompok said he brought the matter to the attention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a few days before Christmas and the latter promised to look into it. “I think the permit is good news and the Government has given the Christian community a wonderful Christmas present. “The community will certainly be happy to know that the Government is looking into their welfare and that the Government is interested in all the races,” said Dompok. National Evangelical Christian Fellowship secretary-general Wong Kim Kong welcomed the Government’s approval of the permit.= == = == = == =Original Sunday Post Below
With the impending GE coming, PM Abdullah used his common sense and overrides Johari's decision. Surely, he wants back some of the Christians Catholic votes. So all the noise created over the controversy subsided and wait for it to reappear another time.
Johari has admitted he alone made the decision. But who are the instigators for the dropping of the BM version as a condition fro renewal Was it taken out of fear that surely and slowing all the Muslims will abandon Islam when this tiny news from Herald spreads? This is a most irrational as there are so many of them that they will be some who were born wrongly into it. It seems this "fatwa" was ill conceived and had a still birth.
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Herald gets good news
By ELIZABETH LOOI, STAR
PETALING JAYA: The publisher of Herald - The Catholic Weekly newspaper, which reports on the Catholic community in English, Bahasa
"We thank (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department) Tan Sri Bernard Dompok for his assistance, as well as the various news agencies and other media groups for supporting us with their wide coverage," Father Lawrence said in a statement. The paper has a circulation of 12,000 among the Catholic community. When contacted, Dompok said he had brought the matter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a few days before Christmas and Abdullah had promised to look into it.
"I think the permit is good news and the Government has given the Christian community a wonderful Christmas present. "The community will certainly be happy to know that the Government is looking into their welfare," said Dompok.
= = == = =BACKGROUND frorm Opposition Leader Lim K S
It is a great Christmas letdown and disappointment that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not assure Malaysians that he will not allow the middle ground to be intruded and encroached by extremists in Umno or the civil service by striking down unreasonable, arbitrary and unconstitutional restrictions on Herald, the Catholic weekly. I was expecting Abdullah to put to rest the controversy over the use of ‘Allah’ by Herald in its Bahasa Malaysia section when he attended the Christmas High Tea Reception hosted by the Christian Federation of Malaysia at Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur yesterday, and I dare say that my sense of disappointment was not mine alone but of the entire audience with representatives from diverse religions in the country – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikkhism and Taoism. In his speech, Abdullah reminded Malaysians not to allow extremist tendencies to take root and undermine interracial harmony in the country.
He said the moderates should play a role in ensuring that members of the public were not swayed by extremist propaganda which played on people’s emotions by raising sensitive religious and racial issues. “I’m really concerned when issues involving religion are brought up from time to time and the attendant problems that all of us would need to address. “If moderates don’t take centre stage, surely extremist elements will occupy it, making us fall for their extremist approach being touted as a religious or national approach.” Abdullah cannot be more right that the greatest threat to inter-racial and inter-religious understanding, goodwill and harmony stem from religious extremists hiding in religious groups, political parties and the civil service who have been intruding and encroaching into the middle ground, edging out the moderates from the centre stage.
This is the main reason why religious polarization has surfaced in its most serious and dangerous form in the past four years in the 50-year history of the nation, gravely undermining national unity and the nation-building process.
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Johari has “>admitted that he was personally responsible for the decision that the word “Allah” can only be used in the context of Islam and not any other religion, and to impose the new condition on this restriction on the Herald banning the use of the word “Allah” as well as the publication of its Bahasa Malaysia section when the annual publishing permit of the Catholic weekly comes up for renewal in the next few days.
Abdullah owes Malaysians an explanation whether he was privy to Johari’s decision or he only knew about it when there was a public furore and protest over the unreasonable, arbitrary and unconstitutional restrictions for the renewal of the Herald publications permit.
A poster on my blog has most pertinently pointed out that if the term “Allah” cannot be used by Christians to refer to God in
1. The term “Allah” was in use long before there was Islam religion in the world.
2. The term “Allah” was used to refer to God by Arabic-speaking Christians before Arabic-speaking Muslims existed.
There are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world, after Christianity. How many Muslims and others objected to Malaysian Christians’ use of the term “Allah” to refer to their God? Is it just only the government of
Several states, including Johore, Kedah, Pahang, Perak, Selangor, Kelantan and Terengganu use the word “Allah” in their state anthems. Does this mean that these State Anthems will have to be amended to conform to the new Johari directive banning the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims?
Abdullah must not only rail speak up against extremist and intolerant elements who are undermining the middle ground and national interests with their “narrowly-defined demands”, but must be prepared to act against them regardless of whether they hail from religious groups, political parties or from the bureaucracy.
The unreasonable, arbitrary and unconstitutional Johari order to Herald to ban its Bahasa
Is Abdullah prepared to strike down the Johari order to demonstrate that he is a leader of moderates in
= == = =see the last post, Go H E R E
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