Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Archbishop Murphy Pakiam Finds His Voice

The Allah issue continues to simmer, smolder and boil. Lest we forget, I shall remind readers that a landmark December 31, 2009 decision by Justice Lau Bee Lan had held that the word ‘Allah' is not exclusive to Islam. Less than two years' after that Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment that declared the ban on the use of the word ‘Allah' by the Catholics as unconstitutional, the government came up with a 10 point solution to resolve the issue once and for all. 

The said solution was signed by Prime Minister Najib Razak on April 11, 2011, and it had the agreement of the cabinet. In it, the government allows the importation and publication of bibles of all languages including Bahasa Malaysia/Bahasa Indonesia with the word ‘Allah' on it without any restrictions. 

But the Home Ministry and the Malaysian federal government maliciously filed an appeal against the decision that has allowed the Herald, a church newspaper to use the word 'Allah' – this appeal will be heard on August 22, 2013. 

Catholic Archbishop Murphy Pakiam (left) is questioning the continuation of the appeal – which he now considers irrational and illogical. He said Najib must have known of the High Court decision, before signing the 10 point solution. In the affidavit he had declared: "Any decision by the court to hear the merits (of the appeal) will be a futility exercise with no particular benefit as the ministry and government, had taken a position which negates the appeal." 

"Hence, the court ought not act and deliberate in the appeal as it renders the matter academic. This is a proper and fit case for the appeal to be struck off," said Pakiam in ending his sworn statement.

This tells us that Najib has lost his authority. It shows us that Najib’s signature has no value. And Najib possesses zilch credibility. Now Najib’s favourite tactic is to skirt the issue or worse, he maintains a deafening silence. Can you believe that this person is the prime minister of Malaysia?

But don’t blame Najib alone. This Pakiam fella has just emerged from a long hibernation and only now discovers that he actually has a voice. All along, he has been very naive to think that Najib can be trusted. 

Yesterday afternoon, I was in Phileo Damansara 1 in Petaling Jaya’s Jalan 16/11, off Jalan Damansara to attend the Agrimate Toastmasters meeting. I had answered a request for assistance from AmBank’s Annette Wong. Anyway, I was both the Table Topics Evaluator as well as the speech evaluator for the first of four project speakers. Overall, I would score this meeting a 7 over 10. A new club that needs a lot of support from Toastmasters. 

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