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ICC Note: Christians in Sarawak can continue to use the word “Allah” for God, there is no issue, says the Deputy Chief Minister (Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas), despite the proposal by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council to prepare a new official Malay translation of the Bible. They have argued that Christians should use the word “Tuhan” instead of the word “Allah” to refer to God. Nevertheless, Mr. Embas pointed out that there is no official religion in Sarawak, and that Christians have been using the word “Allah” for generations, and they will be allowed to refer to God as “Allah”.

11/16/2017 Malaysia (Borneo Post) – Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said yesterday the usage of the word Allah among non-Muslims in the state remains a non-issue.

“In Sarawak, there is no issue. Don’t create an issue,” he told reporters after the handover of funds for houses of worship at the State Legislative Assembly here.

Uggah, who is also minister in charge of Unit for Other Religions (Unifor), was asked to comment on news reports quoting a proposal by Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla for Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to prepare an official Malay translation of the Bible to correct Christians alleged error in using the word ‘Allah’ for God.

Haniff had claimed the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak had wrongly used ‘Allah’ for God in Bahasa Malaysia, arguing that they should use ‘Tuhan’ and that this would not deprive them of their rights.

Commenting on the same matter, Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong also said Christians in Sarawak will not be affected by this proposal.

He pointed out that there is no official religion in Sarawak, and the word ‘Allah’ has been used by the Christian natives in Sarawak for many generations.

He also said the previous chief minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem had assured Christians in Sarawak that they can use the word ‘Allah’.

“To be very frank with you, Sarawak is not going to be affected by this. What is happening there (Peninsula) is not going to affect us.

“We don’t have to worry about this. That is why you and I can still use the word ‘Allah’ here. Sometimes I also say Insya Allah and Alhamdulilah in my speech, it is okay,” he said.

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