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Al-Fatihah

Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Ban, Then Uplift with Condition, Next is What???

First, the Home Ministry banned The Herald from using the word “Allah” in their Malay publication.

Next, The Herald brought the issue to Court and was granted to leave to apply for Judicial Review.

Then, The Herald filed application for a judicial review against the decision by the Home Ministry to ban the use of the word “Allah” in their Malay publication.
The Decision on the judicial review heard by before High Court Judge, Justice Lau Bee Lan will be delivered on 5/5/2009 .

In the meantime, The Herald ignored the ban from the Home Ministry and continued to use the word “Allah” in their Malay publication pending the disposal of the judicial review.

In response to the above, the Home Ministry issued a stern warning.
The Home Ministry ban The Herald from publishing its Malay publication pending the disposal of the judicial review.

Then, there were a lot of discussion on the issue from various parties. Mine is here and here.

Suddenly it was reported that through the newly gazetted Internal Security Act, The Herald was allowed to use the word “Allah” in their Malay Publication with strict condition to have “For Christians Only” printed on the publication. Sad to say that the gazette was signed by none others than the Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, the person who used to talk very firmly against the use of the word “Allah” in The Herald Malay publication. This was confirmed by the Home Ministry’s Qur’an Publication Control and Text Division Secretary, Che Din Yusoh.

Then the government was urged to remove the condition.
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I thought the Home Ministry through its Minister Syed Hamid Albar was very firm in their decision to ban the use of the word “Allah” in The Herald Malay publication.

I thought the Home Ministry through its Minister Syed Hamid Albar’s firm stance in the issue will last long, if not perpetual.

I thought the Government would wait for the Court to decide on the outcome of the judicial review.

I WAS WRONG.

I thought for once, I could trust this Syed Hamid Albar.

I WAS WRONG.

I wonder why did the Home Ministry suddenly granted permission for The Herald to use the word “Allah” in its Malay publication. With or without condition, that doesn’t matter.

I wonder if the Home Ministry and especially its Minister Syed Hamid Albar knows the phrase – the more you give the more they ask.

During a training that I attended on Effective Collective Bargaining (it is a negotiation process between employer and the employees union for the purpose to conclude the Collective Agreement), the trainer told the participants to be extra careful in granting the Union what the Union asks for. He told us to know the trick. So during a mock collective bargaining, I was the lead negotiator for the company. One of the items requested by the Union rep was car loan. This car loan has not been in the previous Collective Agreement. So, my team and I had a discussion and finally we agreed to grant them the car loan but we make it almost impossible for them to apply for the car loan. We offered them very low margin and very short repayment term. The reason for doing that was because we wanted to get the buy in for other items. Yes we managed to get their buy in. we were happy and thought that we were smart. After we finished our mock collective bargaining, the trainer told my team that granting the car loan is a big mistake and may cause the company to close business in the future. We asked him, why? He said since the Collective Bargaining is done every three years, granting the Union the car loan (though impossible to get) was just a starting point. In the next round of Collective Bargaining, the union will be asking for an increase in the margin and the repayment period. If the employer refuse, the union can make life difficult for the employer. So, may be the union may not be able to take car loan for the first few years, but once they get what they want, it is the company that is going to suffer. So, he said, when you give the union the car loan, you have just opened the flood gate.

So, does the case here. When Syed Hamid signed the gazette (in allowing The Herald to use the word “Allah”) he has just opened the flood gate and he doesn’t have to wait long, as the next day, many quarters have called for the removal of such condition.

Brainless you, Syed Hamid Albar!!!

2 comments:

Syamsulfaiz said...

Seriously, it is a very dangerous precedent. Technically Allah can simply mean God, but imagine its usage in Malaysia where the word Allah has long been used by Muslims. There are so many words out there but still they chose the word Allah. It seems like an agenda to me.

Be prepared to monitor our children's reading and explain to them early about Islam.

Rozaimi Bin Mohd Said said...

Well, we can't really count on our politicians to protect our interest, to protect Islam...even most of the government appointed Ulama' dare not to speak up on many religious issue except a few like SS Datuk Harussani and Dr. Asri.

In the end, it is all up to us to decide what best is for our children.