Government Backs Down on use of the word Allah by Catholic Newspaper, The Herald.
Excerpts: Read here for more
Read here earlier related article on the controversy created by the Deputy Internal Minister Johari Baharum about the use of the word "Allah" by the Catholic newspaper The Herald. AND Read HERE and HERE and HERE
The Malaysian government has reversed a decision to ban a Christian newspaper using the word ALLAH to refer to God.
The government informed the editor of the newspaper that it will get its 2008 permit, with NO conditions attached.
The editor, Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew, said a representative from the Internal Security Ministry delivered the letter of approval, dated Dec 28, by hand at 10am Sunday.
Father Andrew Lawrence told the BBC he was delighted, saying prayers had been answered.
He blamed politics and a general election expected here in 2008 year for what he said were the actions of a few over-zealous ministers in the Muslim-dominated Malay government.
The Catholic Weekly newspaper reports on the Catholic community in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil and Chinese. In the Bahasa Malaysia version, it uses the word "Allah" for God. The paper has a circulation of 12,000 among the Catholic community.
Father Lawrence thanked (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department) Tan Sri Bernard Dompok for his assistance, as well as the various news agencies and other media groups for wide coverage on the controversy.
When contacted, Dompok said he had brought the matter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a few days before Christmas and Abdullah had promised to look into it.
"I think the permit is good news and the Government has given the Christian community a wonderful Christmas present. The community will certainly be happy to know that the Government is looking into their welfare," said Dompok.