January 04, 2008

Report of Malaysian Reversion to Sanity Premature

My report that Malaysia had backed down on its insistence that Allah be used in Malay in reference only to the Muslim deity turns out to have been premature. The government has now issued a clarification to the effect that even though it has renewed the publication license of The Herald without a pledge on the part of The Herald to abide by this rule, the rule still stands. The clarification was issued by the Prime Minister's office, ending speculation that this restriction might be the idiosyncratic action of a rogue bureaucrat.

Ironically, the clarification is described as including the following:

The use of the word "Allah" shall not be made a public debate that may give the impression as if there is no freedom of religion in the country, he added.

Golly gee, its hard to imagine how anyone might have got the idea that there is an absence of freedom of religion in Malaysia.

Posted by Bill Poser at January 4, 2008 11:49 AM