Let us adopt mutual respect

Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: Malaysians should stop fighting over the use of the word ‘Allah’ to avoid further unnecessary division, urged Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

“Let’s adopt a mutually inclusive approach and respect the High Court’s ruling. It is in line with our multicultural country with its diverse customs and harmonious coexistence of various ethnic groups.

“The ruling and opposition politicians must all take responsibility in calling for calm and not allow the issue to lead to more misunderstandings, contradictions or suspicions amongst the people,” he said in a statement.

On the High Court’s ruling on Mar 10 allowing the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims in Malaysia, he expressed his belief that the relevant judgment had been reached as a result of thorough consideration.

The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China said this judicial decision should now be followed by exchanges of understanding between the various ethnic groups so that mutual respect could be achieved and the multiracial peace in the country could be protected.

“As a country of diverse faiths and beliefs, Malaysia must strive to maintain the existing atmosphere of harmony and peaceful coexistence and respect. By building on mutual understanding among all ethnic groups, we will be able to protect the harmony and tranquillity we enjoy now.

“Let us begin by not making further controversies out of the ruling, which would only serve to complicate the issue and create misunderstandings between races and religions. This would cause social divisiveness, which will benefit no quarter,” said Tiong.

However, he noted that even now, comments and responses regarding the ruling on the ‘Allah’ case were continuing.

He said he firmly believed that political parties and government leaders must refrain from airing the issue excessively.

“After all, a court judgment has been reached, but continuing to broadcast grievances would be counterproductive to peaceful harmony in the country,” he stressed.