KOTA KINABALU, March 23 — Sabah Opposition leader Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said Putrajaya‘s move to appeal the controversial High Court ruling, which effectively allows Christians to use the word “Allah”, is a political manoeuvre to gain favour among West Malaysia’s Malay Muslims.
The Parti Warisan Sabah chief said it was purely a political manoeuvre by the embattled Perikatan National (PN) government ahead of the general election to gain more Malay votes.
“This is their move. They purposely orchestrated this to play games... They allowed the ruling and so then they can appeal it. The ploy is to get the credit and unite Malays, in time for Ramadan and Hari Raya,” he said.
Shafie said using religion to play to the crowd is a typical tactic of the PN government led by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
“I can read these guys’ moves. I mean why the sudden appeal?”
“Muhyiddin was in the Cabinet along with me and Dompok. Nazri was then law minister.
He said, ‘This is not Sabah,’ and I said, ‘Wow, are we not in Malaysia?” said Shafie, referring to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
The Cabinet had discussed the issue during Barisan Nasional’s rule, and the stand at the time was that only non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak could use the word, and not those in the peninsula.
However, it became an issue as many Sabahans and Sarawakian living in peninsula Malaysia use the same materials and language.
Shafie said that he has been consistent in his stand that the word ‘Allah’ should be inclusive, with non-Muslims allowed to use it, but managed in order to prevent conflict and abuse.
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