By S. Harrish
GPS is being insensitive to public concerns and has been urged to stand up to the Federal government over the “Allah” issue.
Michael Kong, a special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, exemplified this with GPS MP for Kapit Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi statement that seemingly agreed with the appeal.
In a statement, Kong alleged that it was worrying that Nanta was not publicly denouncing the decision to appeal the High Court’s decision.
“Not only that, it seems that the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs is agreeable to pursue the appeal since there is a right to appeal,” he said.
Nanta had said that as far as Sarawak was concerned, the recent High Court’s ruling allowing non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” was not an issue in the state.
He also said that the Federal government had the right to appeal to overturn the High Court’s decision.
However Kong retorted that this was how the PN government stifles public opinion.
“They first tried to stop us from talking about Covid-19 and the Emergency on the pretext of ‘fake news’. Now they are even trying to stop us from speaking out on this ‘Allah’ issue on the pretext that it is all part of the political agenda of opposition parties.”
He said there was no doubt that the State’s clarification confirms that ‘Allah’ may be used in Christian publications in Sarawak.
“However, GPS cannot conveniently feign ignorance that the directive for such prohibition was issued by the Home Ministry and therefore is obviously applicable in Sarawak.
“Similarly, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 is applicable in Sarawak also,” he added.
“With such an express prohibition, GPS should use its position to actively ensure the appeal against our fellow Sarawakian is withdrawn by the Federal government so that there is no ambiguity.”