I’ve copypasted in full below the BBC analysis of Monday’s ‘Allah’ verdict by the Court of Appeal.
“The verdict does not come as a surprise to the two million Christians in Malaysia. Many of them believe that the case stems from a tight race between the governing Malay-Muslim party, UMNO, and the opposition Islamic party, PAS.
The Allah ban is seen as an attempt by UMNO to boost its Islamic credentials and win back votes. It’s an issue that crops up in the government-linked media ahead of an election and promptly dwindles after the vote.
Christians are so convinced that this issue is about political posturing that most followers say they will continue to use the offending Bibles and use the word Allah in their worship.
Not all Muslims back the ban. But one of the most outspoken supporters is an influential group called Perkasa, which is backed by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad – a champion of Malay-Muslim rights.”
To summarize the BBC so-called analysis by Ms Jennifer Pak (a Chinese):
(1) Christians believe the case stems from political rivalry between Umno and PAS.
(2) Umno is exploiting the issue to (a) boost its Islamic credentials, and (b) win back votes.
(3) Christians are convinced that Umno is politically posturing over this.
(4) It’s a Perkasa agenda.
From all the venting in cyberspace, it seems that Umno is viewed as being responsible for the judges ruling the way they did. Semua salah Umno. Semua tangan hitam Umno. Sheeesh …
(1) The BBC says that the court case stems from the “tight race” between PAS and Umno.
(i) Wrong. Umno is miles ahead in terms of getting Malay support.
(ii) And the two parties are striking different positions. So how can it be a “tight race” when each is going in different direction? PAS is inclined to allow the Christians the leeway, whereas Umno is not.
(iii) The verdict will cause the BN, which is led by Umno, to lose some native Christian votes.
It will also make PAS lose some Malay votes from being seen as wishy-washy in the defence of Muslim interests.
We know how important the Sabah and Sarawak “fixed deposit” is to the BN, so why in the world would Umno choose to gamble with this issue and jeopardize its vote bank?
For PAS on the other hand, it is continually put on the backfoot by the DAP’s posturing (yup, this is the party that is doing the posturing, for the BBC’s information), and similarly PAS’s traditional support base is also put at risk over this issue.
Hence, in what the BBC blabs as the “tight race”, it really benefits neither party to have this Allah thing blow up. A lose-lose situation for both Umno and PAS.
(2) Umno president Najib Razak did not comment nor tweet about the verdict. Neither did the liberal Umno Youth chief. I’m uncertain that even the DPM made any comment. If Umno is said to be exploiting the issue, why is the party so subdued?
(3) The Christian’s deep conviction about the alleged “political posturing” by Umno. This is by the Parti Paling Tidak Apa, okay. Roll my eyes.
(4) At least the BBC got this one half correct. Ibrahim Ali came out with a strong, immediate statement and Perkasa vice president Zul Noordin has been at the forefront. But they’re don’t represent the Umno mainstream. Neither are members of the Umno supreme council. They’re not Umno Ministers. Nor are they the Umno Menteris Besar. Heck, we’re not even sure if they’ve signed up to be Umno members yet.
Plain and simple
This ‘Allah’ case is a hot potato because it affects the very foundation of Islam (I got this from regular commenter Shamshul Anuar).
And it is the umat Islam who are most concerned because it is a matter of akidah. In all of this, Umno remains the Parti Paling Tidak Apa. How come nobody’s giving any credit to the deep and genuine concern felt by the ordinary Muslim but instead projecting Umno conspiracy theories?
Honestly, if I were a Muslim, Umno would surely give me tekanan darah tinggi and make me burst a blood vessel because the party is so very tidak apa dalam menangani isu. Look at how many showcause letters were sent by the Home Ministry to the Herald — letter after letter after letter. Memang betul Menteri Amaran dalam Negeri yang tidak berupaya mengambil apa-apa tindakan.
How can Umno so lose the plot that a major news organization like the BBC can get its story so wrong and so pro-Christian biased? As I’ve said before, Umno has got precious little influence over the narrative.
In this kalimah Allah issue, it is the DAP evangelista who are in control of the narrative that is going out to the international audience.
Klu saya seorang lelaki Melayu, awal-awal lagi dah aku mengamok dengan Umno! parti yang paling tidak apa itu!!