Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s government seems to be ‘cakap tak serupa bikin’ in the ‘Allah’ issues.
Around 2,000 copies of the latest edition of The Herald bound for Sabah was seized at the Kota Kinabalu aiport by a Federal Ministry at Putrajaya, according to The Star.
“KDN (Home Ministry) checked the consignment at around 3pm that day and told the forwarding company not to release it. The company checked again the next day and found that the consignment was withheld.
“There was no explanation whatsoever. The officials just told them ‘ini arahan Putrajaya’ (this is Putrajaya’s directive)”, Father Lawrence told The Star.
Sarawak senior’s minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing were furious by the seizure as it contradicted the recent government stand on the issue.
“We are made to understand that the word ‘Allah’ can be used in our churches, and printed text can be distributed in Sabah and Sarawak, but not in the Peninsula,” Masing was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.
Masing said if they can’t explain to the people of Sarawak and Sabah, then it is a case of ‘cakap tak serupa bikin’ (not walking the talk) and the government will lose a lot of its credibility.
Church authority said they were still in the dark about the status of the seized papers bound for distribution to churches in the Kota Kinabalu and Keningau dioceses.
Council of Churches (CCM) general secretary Rev Hermen Shastri said if the ministry had indeed ordered the 2,000 copies to be withheld without any acceptable grounds for doing so, the group would ‘definitely’ voice its objection.
“This is shocking. It is unacceptable. It is a denial of rights of the church to distribute its newsletter, which is meant for its own members.
“If there are no grounds (for the ministry’s order), we will definitely strongly protest,” he had said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib while in Kota Kinabalu on Monday, assured Christian communities in Sabah and Sarawak there will be no restriction on the use of the Arabic word ‘Allah’ in both states – which have large Christian communities.