MALAYSIA: Politics and religion entangled in a name
Malaysia is a “Rainbow Nation” where diversity in ethnicity, culture and religion is celebrated. Christians account for less than 10% of the overall population, and used to account for 40% of the population of East Malaysia. Many of them speak and pray in the local language, Bahasa Melayu.
Moreover, Christmas continues to be celebrated in Malaysia, with non-Christians in attendance, and the festive atmosphere can be seen and felt in shopping malls nationwide.
It may be with all this in mind that, in his 2014 Christmas message to the nation, Prime Minister Najib Razak reminded Malaysians of his government’s 10-point plan from 2011, which permitted Christians the controversial use of the word “Allah” in Malay-language Bibles, as allowed for in the Federal Constitution.