FOLLOWING the controversy over the word “Tuhan”, a multi-faith coalition criticised the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) for lacking sensitivity to multi-racial and multi religious Malaysia.
“What rubbish! It only shows that they are fanatical and just want to create an issue out of everything. I don’t agree with this at all.
“They just want to show that they are superior to everyone else,” Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) vice president Datuk Seri RS Mogan Shan told FocusM.
Last week, Kavyan Writers’ Group told FocusM that DBP had made a distinction on the use of the word “Tuhan” among Muslims and non-Muslims.
The group’s founder SB Uthaya Sankar said that DBP has reserved the word “Tuhan” for Muslims, while “tuhan” is used for non-Muslims.
He cited that while there was only a single entry for ‘Tuhan” in Kamus Pelajar (1988), Kamus Dewan (2005) and Kamus Dewan Perdana (2020) made the distinction.
God being made exclusive to certain groups
It says: “Tuhan” seem to refer exclusively to Allah, whereas “tuhan” refers to “something worshipped by people whose religion or belief is not based on the One God” (“sesuatu yang dipuja oleh golongan manusia yang agama atau kepercayaan mereka tidak berasaskan kepercayaan kepada Tuhan Yang Esa”).
DBP later defended its decision saying that even English dictionaries such as Oxford Dictionary of English, Collins English Dictionary and Wikipedia make the same distinction between “God” and “god”.
“So, ‘Tuhan’ is recorded in our dictionary to refer to Allah, which is correct based on the usage while the word ‘tuhan’ is a general term used to refer to deities, who have their own specific names,” its director general Datuk Abang Salehuddin Abg Shokeran was reported saying.
On that note, Mogan Shan said that everyone knows that there is only one Creator but different faiths have their own ways of referring and worshipping the Almighty.
“At first, they claimed ‘Allah’ is only for Muslims and now even the word ‘Tuhan’ is being taken away from others,” he lamented.
Whether MCCBCHST would address the matter, Mogan Shan replied: “We’re still deliberating on it.” – April 22, 2021.