Jeffrey Kitingan calls for unity amid court ruling on “Allah” issue

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Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) says the court ruling on the use of the word ‘Allah’ in Christian publications has enabled the country to put the issue to rest.

STAR president Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said he welcomed the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision as it means the country can now move on from the issue.

“This issue has been a source of discord among the people for so many years and I am glad we can finally move forward now.

“I hope no party will politicise the decision as this issue has never been about politics, but a legal matter to be decided by the court,” he said in a statement today.

Kitingan, who is also Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, said the focus should now be on healing the wounds caused by the over-politicisation of religious issues, including the use of Arabic terms in non-Muslim publications.

He said as a government of a multicultural and multi-religious society, the Sabah administration will concentrate its energy not only on the economic growth of Sabah but also on ensuring the state’s image as an inclusive and united nation remains intact.

“In Sabah, we have always been united and respectful towards one another regardless of our religious and racial background.

“There has never been a problem with non-Muslims using Arabic words in their worship even before this landmark ruling,” he said.

Commenting on the call by Umno and Pas to the federal government to refer the decision to the Appeal Court, Kitingan said it was up to the federal government to decide whether or not to do so.

“For me, Umno and Pas have a right to their opinions. At the same time, they should also respect the court’s decision,” he said. – NST