MP proposes amendment to clarify ‘Allah’ usage in Malaysian law

In an effort to address the contentious issue surrounding the use of the word “Allah” in Malaysia, Jasin MP Zulkifli Ismail has proposed amending the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967. The suggested amendment aims to provide a specific explanation for the usage and meaning of the word “Allah” when referring to God in the country. Zulkifli, an Opposition lawmaker, believes that this amendment is not only necessary but also compulsory in order to regulate the use of the word and prevent any misunderstandings.

Zulkifli expressed his concerns during a press conference in Parliament, stating, “The amendment should not be seen as a choice but as a must and compulsory. This is in light of worrying situations of apostasy and deviant religious teachings.” Opposition Leader Hamzah Zainudin was also present at the event.

The word “Allah” has long been a controversial topic in Malaysia, a country with a diverse religious landscape. Islamic authorities in Malaysia maintain that the use of the word “Allah” should be exclusive to the Muslim context, even though other religions, such as Christianity and Sikhism, also use the term in their holy books to refer to their respective Gods.

The proposed amendment to the Interpretation Acts aims to provide a clear definition and understanding of the word “Allah” in Malaysia, thus enabling authorities to regulate its use and minimise confusion. By addressing this issue, the lawmakers hope to promote religious harmony and understanding among the various faiths in the country.

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As the debate around the use of the word “Allah” continues, it is crucial for Malaysia to find a solution that respects the beliefs and practices of all religious communities. The proposed amendment by Zulkifli Ismail is a step towards achieving this goal, and it remains to be seen how the Malaysian Parliament and the wider public will respond to this suggestion.

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Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.