It was a bible written in Indonesian Malay. God was mistranslated
into Malay word Allah instead of the correct one, Tuhan.
Ludayuh don't speak Malay natively. They have their own language and
their own words for God, which certainly don't include Allah, which is
Since the Lundayuh bible is in Malay, they should respect the normal
rules of translation into Malay. Christian God cannot be translated
into the name Allah, because
it is the name of the Muslim God, in Malay. Lundayuh must respect the
language of the Malays since Lundayuh are not native Malay speaker.
Church officials reject minister's call to drop 'Allah' usage
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Church representatives here today rejected a
minister's call to drop the claim to use the word "Allah" in the
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom
earlier today urged church leaders to adopt the same approach as a lay
Sabah leader who reportedly said the word "Allah" should be reserved
for Muslim use in Malaysia because they have been using it longest.
"Will we or the church, if we don't use the word Allah, suddenly lose
or increase followers in the Christian faith 10-fold?" Utusan Malaysia
reported Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun, president of the Sabah
Justice of the Peace Council, saying in a statement from Kota Kinabalu
"It is time for us, the Christian community, particularly the Catholic
make an evaluation based on the present situation for security and
public peace and drop the word Allah to calm our Muslim brothers.
"Rather than insisting on the right to use the word Allah it is better
if Catholics only use the word 'Tuhan' or 'Tuhan Yang Maha Kuasa',"
said Bongkos Malukun.
He added that Christians in Malaysia should stick to the Federal
Constitution and not follow those in Indonesia on the use of "Allah".
Pastor Danil Raut, the president of the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB)
church in the peninsula, was highly critical of Bongkos Malukun's
statement and claimed it was not representative of the Christian
"He's got the right to say his opinion but I definitely cannot agree
with him," Raut told The Malaysian Insider.
"So many people have been using the word before Merdeka. In the
language of our people, the Lunbawang and Lundayeh, 'Allah' means
God," he added.
"This is stated in the Lundayeh Bible, not the Malay Bible," he
Pastor Richard Samporoh agreed.
"I think his statement is very political," Samporoh said. He noted
that Bongkos Malukun used to be a state assemblyman and is a Christian
but not a church minister and does not have the authority to speak for
"Many people, including the politicians, have misunderstood the whole
issue," said Samporoh, who heads the SIB church in Shah Alam.
"We're not demanding to use the word. We have been using it for almost
300 years. The case was only filed because of the ban from the Home
Ministry," he added.
Samporoh said he has been a pastor for over 30 years and the
controversy only erupted recently, after the federal government banned
the Catholic church from publishing the word "Allah" to refer to the
Christian God in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly paper.
Samporoh further claimed that there was an agreement between the
federal government and the church in the 1980s that Christians be
allowed to use the word in their worship.
"We can use the word 'Allah' in our Bible, but it cannot be sold in
public bookstores," he told The Malaysian Insider.
"I'm not very sure if there was a written agreement but it was during
Musa Hitam's time," Samporoh replied when asked.
The Sabah-born pastor is also the adviser to the SIB church in the
peninsula and strongly supports inter-faith dialogues.
"Understanding each other is the best way to resolve problems. I don't
think the Muslims understand what is going on," he said.
Father Lawrence Andrew who edits the Catholic paper, Herald, was
reluctant to comment on the issue.
"My official position is this: the case is in the courts. Let the
court decide. I cannot comment on it," he reponded when contacted.
But The Malaysian Insider understands that in the Roman Catholic
church, only officials holding the rank of the bishop onwards have the
authority to make decisions.
The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Reverend Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, who is
the publisher of Herald, could not be reached for comment.
He is currently away in Johor for meeting of bishops with the
Vatican's representative who is based in Singapore.
Pakiam is also the president of the Malaysian Bishops Conference