Govt will defend use of word 'Allah': Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the government would defend the use of the word "Allah" in accordance with Syariah principles.

He said the Syariah principles encompassed five points - preserving and caring for religion, life, intellect, lineage and property - which were pursued by the government.

A study showed that Malaysia occupied a prominent place among Islamic countries in terms of compliance to and championing the objectives of Syariah principles, he said.

"In terms of religion, we defend the faith, the sanctity of Islam and the word 'Allah', as advocated by the Quran. We do not play politics in this matter, by agreeing with others in one instance and reversing the decision later.

"We are unwavering in the matter of the word 'Allah'. The government of today will defend the use of the word," he said at a gathering of Muslims, including Islamic scholars and leaders, at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here.

Also present at the event were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha.

About 16,000 people attended the event, including the poor and needy, among them petty traders, taxi drivers and students getting "zakat" aid from the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Council.

Najib also said that through the National Key Result Areas (NKRA), the government had given emphasis to reducing the crime index since 2009.

He said measures were taken to improve the quality of education, and this included the implementation of the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

On the aspect of moral decadence, he said the government focused on inculcating noble cultural values and countering free sex, incest and lesbianism, gay sex, bisexuality and transgenderism.

Najib also said that the government was determined to develop the national economy.

"Praise be to God, last year we achieved a growth rate of 5.6 per cent, among the highest in the world, and we managed to consolidate Malaysia as the most successful Islamic financial hub in the world," he said.

The prime minister also referred to the Arab Spring style street demonstration and said that would only cause loss of lives and damage to property and was not suitable for Malaysia.

Countries which experienced such street demonstrations had yet to recover and some of them were in a condition worse than before, he said.