The arrogance of Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in giving a stern warning on Monday 3 August 2010 to the MCA over the “Allah” issue simply cannot be stomached and tolerated.
If the MCA has any dignity and integrity, it should not allow itself to be so severely rebuked and dictated to publicly by an “equal” partner in the Barisan Nasional coalition.
The MCA is right in standing up for the right of the non-Muslim community to be allowed to freely practise and express their religious faiths using any word they deem fit in Bahasa Malaysia, which is their national language.
The MCA is absoultely right to ask the federal government, of which it is purportedly an essential component, to rescind the ban on non-Muslims using of the word “Allah”, after Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein expressed regrets over the decision to ban its use by his predecessor.
The deputy prime minister had insisted that the MCA must accept the decision of the federal government without questioning, saying that the party should not trigger another debate on the word “Allah.”
The MCA should not allow such haughtiness to go unchallenged, and should ensure its fundamental right is recognised, accepted, and respected as an equal component of the ruling coalition to any assent and/or acquiescence of any decision affecting the nation.
If the MCA is not allowed to voice its views and have a say on such fundamental matters as the right of the non-Muslims to freely use any word in the national language for the purpose of expressing, worshipping, teaching and publishing of their religious faith, then the party should dissolve itself as it is obviously politically impotent, and has no essential practical use to the Chinese community it claims to represent.
Muhyiddin has also questioned the MCA intention in sharing the same platform with the DAP.
“I am not sure why the DAP and the MCA have the same stand in this matter,” he said.
In condemning the MCA stand on the “Allah” issue, which happens to align with that of the DAP, Muhyiddin is showing himself to be superficial and perhaps even shallow in understanding the universal fundamental human, civil and constitutional rights of the people.
The MCA may not be idealogically and politically compatible with the DAP, but the universal principles and values of the fundamental human rights are applicable to political parties of all tints and shades, including even Umno.
So, for the MCA to make a stand on the “Allah” issue, which is basically a human right issue, is both legitimate and justified, even if it is similar to the stand of the DAP.
Take the case of Umno having a similar stand as PAS on the issue of the need for Malay unity.
If Muhyiddin’s argument on the MCA having the same political agenda on the “Allah” issue as the DAP is seen as a perfidy against the Barisan Nasional, then Umno’s willingness to hold unity talk with PAS is likewise a betrayal of trust against the other component parties of the Barisan Nasional.
The MCA must not compromise on this “Allah” issue, which involves the fundamemtal human, civil, and constitutional rights of the people. If it now shrinks from its responsibility to help preserve, protect, and promote the God-given rights of the people, then it can be sure that its days are numbered and the next general election will be its funeral ceremony.
NOTE: By Thomas Lee Seng Hock, Sinchew. As I had expected, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said in a statement soon after the above Comment was published that the MCA “does not share the same stand with the DAP on the call to lift the ban on the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.” In view of the party backing out on its stand on the issue, I think it should start making arrangement to hold nationwide funeral ceremonies after the next general election.