According to the Reuter’s report here, our country’s so called Movement of the Moderates, smugly mooted by PM Najib at an international forum, has been tarnished by the on-going Allah Issue. Whether we like it or not, the world will no longer look at Malaysia as a model country of inter-religious tolerance and racial harmony. On the economic front, investors will think twice about coming in. Tourism will also be affected. The two have contributed to our country’s growth.
We are big at talking but small at seeing things through, in short, we are only good at fantasising. Our sluggish political leadership reflects this observation rather glaringly.
Then over the weekend, we heard of another decree on the use of the term Allah and the response was quick on the constitutionality of that decree, you can read here. Tension is once again rising as people are now saying that a segment of the citizens in this country are not subject to such pronouncement. If the political leadership is still clueless on this new development, the country might well be in for a simmering social unrest.
A ” cooling off period” is clearly needed with no new pronouncements on the issue at this stage. Both sides of the divide should rein in their people and avoid making insensitive remarks.
At the moment, the whole issue of banning the use of the term by Non-Muslims appears to some of us, including the international communities, to be politically motivated. And for man-made and hereditary rulers to add to the tension is highly unwise as faith is between one and his Creator and not any human being, high and mighty regardless.
In hindsight,using the court to decide on this sensitive issue in the first place was unfortunate. People need to return to meeting mind to mind in a series of interactions that invoke the spirit of peaceful co-existence. The role of respective political leaders and leaders of NGOs in appeasing their supporters is critical during the process.
The problem facing us now ,is that, no such leaders have stepped forward to show the way. Some appear to have blocked the way at any attempt of a fairer re solution . Some look like they are praying and waiting for the whole issue to burn out.
It will burn out if everyone stops instigating the issue and pre-2005 status quo prevails I suppose.
The whole issue speaks volumes about the religious trend in this country, the mixture of religion and government and the quality of our country’s leadership.