Selangor Journal
Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj (right) during an audience with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to discuss the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims, on June 7, 2023. — Picture via FACEBOOK/SELANGOR ROYAL OFFICE

Quit politicising ‘Allah’ issue, wait for Malay Rulers’ decision — Selangor Sultan 

By Selangor Journal Team

SHAH ALAM, June 7 — Sultan Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj has urged all quarters to cease politicising or debating the issue surrounding the use of the word “Allah” pending a final decision by the Conference of Rulers on the matter.

Following an audience with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the issue today, His Royal Highness said this ensures harmony in the country, which will subsequently translate to social and economic stability.

According to Sultan Sharafuddin, Anwar agreed to his suggestion for the matter to be referred to the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) in August, before it is presented to the Conference of Rulers in October.

“In our discussion, I, as the chairman of MKI, have expressed my view (to Anwar), which has also been agreed upon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah), that this matter must be referred to MKI first.

“This is to allow discussions in line with the functions of MKI, which is responsible for advising the Conference of Rulers on improving Islamic governance at the federal level,” the Selangor Ruler said in a statement today.

Sultan Sharafuddin said it is also crucial that MKI’s view on the issue of the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims is heard by the Conference of Rulers before any further decision is made.

His Royal Highness added that considering its sensitivity, it is vital the issue be resolved responsibly and wisely by the government as soon as possible.

“I urge all quarters to respect the provisions within the federal constitution, which guarantees the rights and powers of the Malay rulers in determining matters pertaining to Islam.

“A resolution to this issue must be made meticulously, based on the constitution, which stipulates Islam as the religion of the federation, without prejudice against the rights of others to profess and practise other religions peacefully,” he said.

On May 15, the Home Ministry and the Federal government were reported to have withdrawn their appeal against the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which ruled that Christians can use the word “Allah” and three other Arabic words in the publication of their religious material for learning purposes.

The notice of withdrawal was filed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers at the Court of Appeal Registrar’s Office on April 18.

Jill Ireland had previously applied for judicial review on August 20, 2008, for the return of eight compact discs (CDs) with titles containing the word ‘Allah’ which were confiscated from her on May 11 of the same year.

She also applied for a declaration of her constitutional rights to use the word “Allah” in her Christian publications.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Anwar said he respects Sultan Sharafuddin’s view for the issue to be presented to MKI, which will then advise the Conference of Rulers for a final decision. 

He also stressed the unity government’s stand to recognise and use existing policies to limit the use of the word Allah to only Muslims in the peninsular, while providing conditional usage to non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak. 

“The government also offers its commitment to streamline existing policies based on the decision of the Conference of Rulers on the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims in Malaysia,” he said. 

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