A call of peace.
Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir’s efforts to promote peace was a direct contrast to the scene that took place outside of the High Court as Malaysians awaited the verdict on the ‘Allah’ appeal yesterday. Located 35 kilometres away from the High Court, a small group of people were seen holding up placards with messages such as “God is one” and “We are brothers and sisters” in the middle of a shopping mall. These group of people also handed out balloon and flowers with nothing but smiles on their faces.
Though both groups had completely different agendas, they were awaiting the Federal Court’s decision on whether the Catholic Church has grounds to appeal the Court of Appeal’s ruling, which overturned a High Court ruling from 2009 allowing the Catholic paper, Herald, to use the word “Allah” as a constitutional right.
“We want to provide a counterpoint to the nasty faces outside the court. They can muscle 12 buses of people but we can’t, we’re sick of the ugliness and the hatred,” said Marina, as she held a purple balloon and a placard that read, “We all answer to Allah”.
Marina is part of the Malaysians for Malaysia that has been organising the walks in the park in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Klang. One is planned to take place in Ipoh later this week.
She only said that the fight over the word “Allah” is “silly” as the issue would not end whichever way the country’s highest court decided.
“It has absolutely no bearing and it is silly that we are arguing over this. We have far better things to do,” Marina said.
Hundreds of people from Muslim groups gathered outside the Federal Court building in Putrajaya yesterday to protest a bid by the Catholic Church to overturn a court ruling that the word ‘Allah’ can only be used by Muslims. The crowd of roughly a thousand people were dressed in red as it’s the colour of Perkasa which is leading the protest.
Some withtin the group called out threats that non-Muslims would suffer the consequences if they threatened Islam.
“Lynch that Chinese!” some shouted, as a member of COMANGO, a coalition of progressive NGOs tried to enter the court building.
Where as at Bangsar Village, a passer-by said he was glad and felt at ease to see a counterpoint to the action outside the federal courthouse.
“Some people are becoming fanatics, I feel sorry for the future generation,” said the 71-year-old man without specifically naming any group.