‘Tuhan’ for Muslim God, ‘tuhan’ for other faiths? MGC response to Malaysia’s Malay language outfit

Rukun Negara uses word “Tuhan” in the first principle of “Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan” (Belief in God). Tuhan is actually a common word for all religions and the framers of Rukun Negara did not intend Tuhan to refer to any one religion in particular - MALAYSIAN GURDWARAS COUNCIL

Press Statement | Malaysian Gurdwaras Council |


Date: 23 April 2021


DBP: Tuhan (T huruf besar) merujuk kepada Allah yang Maha Esa

The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council refers to the statement dated 20 April 2021 issued by the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) where it refers to “….karya penulis bukan Islam yang mengunakan istilah “Tuhan” di-tukar kepada “tuhan” . This seems to suggest that only Muslims can use word “Tuhan” with capital “T”.

2) It is to be noted that the Rukun Negara uses word “Tuhan” in the first principle of “Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan” (Belief in God). Tuhan is actually a common word for all religions and the framers of Rukun Negara did not intend Tuhan to refer to any one religion in particular. In fact “Tuhan”, with capital “T” or without capital “t”, means the same thing.

3) The Holy scripture of the Sikhs, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, on first page and in the first sentence gives the attributes of the Universal God. The first line says “Ek Ongkar” (There is only one Almighty without duality and is the life within the entire creation). “Satnaam” (Exists everywhere and his form remains in all ages), “Karta Purakh” (He is the creator and sustainer of all), “Nirbhau” (He is without fear), “Nervair” (He is without enmity), “Akaal” (He is immortal and beyond time), “Morrat”(He is formless), “Ajuni” (He is beyond reincarnation and is unborn), “Saibhang” (He is illuminator of knowledge and the life form is only obtained with his grace).

4) DBP had stated further that huruf besar “Tuhan” digunakan untuk kata dan ungkapan yang berhubung dengan hal ehwal keagamaan”. As explained above, in Sikhism, there is only one creator of all the universe and all that we see. It is formless and is the creator and sustainer of all. Thus, how could DBP equate it with worship of “Dewa-Dewa” further, how could “Tuhan” only refer to “Allah yang Maha Esa”.

5) Kazi Nurul Islam (Professor and chairman of the Department of World Religions and Culture at the Dhaka university in Bangladesh) in his six-page article titled “Guru Granth Sahib: A Model for Interfaith Understanding” dated 15 December 2010 says, amongst others:

“Guru Nanak vehemently opposes those who criticized the holy books of other religions. He categorically asks his followers: Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Qur’an are false. Those who do not contemplate them are false…..”

In today’s pluralistic world, the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib can play a vital and constructive role. Sikhism not only acknowledges and appreciates other faiths but also accepts their validity and intergrades worldly life with the idea of Divinity. Guru Granth Sahib seeks to unite people belonging to different faiths and hold that the object of religion is not to divide mankind, but to unite it, not to act like scissors and tear asunder the social fabric but to act like a needle and sew it together.

6) The Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka must accept and acknowledge all faiths, as is the intent of the Rukun Negara. It can also learn from Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam who quoted with approval from Guru Granth Sahib, that the object of religion is not to divide the mankind but to unite it. DBP should not create unnecessary divisions as the creator of all mankind and all the universe and all we see is the same one creator of all different faiths and diversity we see. The diverse religions is the will of the ONE Creator for if the Almighty wanted he could have created just one religion. Guru Nanak was asked which religion is greater. Guru Nanak replied that without good deeds one will weep and wail only and the fact of belonging to a particular religion is not the criteria to get accepted in the court of the Lord.

(The press statement has been confirmed by the sender)

Tuhan & tuhan: A snapshot of Kamus Dewan published in 1986 by DBP- Photo: Asia Samachar

tuhan: Definisi : sesuatu (spt dewa dsb) yg dipuja oleh golongan manusia yg agama atau kepercayaan mereka tidak berasaskan kepercayaan kpd Tuhan Yg Esa; bertuhan percaya kpd atau memuja tuhan; ~ kpd memuja (mendewakan) sesuatu sbg tuhan; bertuhankan bertuhan kpd: ~ harta benda; mempertuhan, mempertuhankan meng­anggap (memuja) sesuatu sbg tuhan, memper­dewakan sesuatu: suatu pemikiran yg ~ harta, spt pemikiran dan fahaman kapitalis. (Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat)

Tuhan: Definisi : Allah yg mencipta alam semesta: Nabi Musalah yg pertama sekali dapat ber­cakap dgn ~ di Bukit Tursina; ~ Yg Esa Allah yg hanya satu (tunggal); bertuhan percaya kpd Tuhan; orang yg tidak ~ orang yg tidak percaya adanya Tuhan; ketuhanan 1. sifat keadaan Tuhan: Maha Suci bagi Allah yg tinggi ~-Nya dan tiada sekutu bagi-Nya; menunjukkan ~-Nya me­nun­jukkan sifat-sifat keadaan-Nya sbg Tuhan; 2. perihal Tuhan; ilmu ~ ilmu menge­nai Tuhan dan agama; 3. kepercayaan (ke­bak­tian) kpd Tuhan, dasar percaya kpd Tuhan yg Maha Esa. (Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat)

Tuhan: Definisi : Allah yg mencipta alam se­mesta: ~lah yg menjadikan kita semua. bertuhan percaya kpd Tuhan: ~ kpd menyembah, memuja atau mendewa­kan sesuatu sbg Tuhan. bertuhankan 1 percaya akan sesuatu sbg Tuhan: ~ Allah. 2 ki mendewa-dewakan; terlalu mementingkan se­suatu lebih drpd memikirkan Tuhan: ~ wang ringgit. mempertuhan menyembah atau menganggap sesuatu sbg Tuhan. ketuhanan 1 sifat keadaan Tuhan. 2 segala sesuatu mengenai Tuhan: ilmu ~ ilmu mengenai Tuhan dan agama. 3 kepercayaan atau kebaktian kpd Tuhan. (Kamus Pelajar Edisi Kedua)

(Online search by Asia Samachar at DBP website on 23 April 2021)



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  1. Sadly Islamists ie unyielding, fanatics have penetrated realms of politifal power.
    They have no intention of maintaining mutual respect hence harmony maybe impacted.

  2. It baffles me that the people of Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka, the supposed intellectuals in the Malay language have not understood the concept of ego. This is a clear repeated and silly effort to establish the egoic superiority of Islam over other religions. Islamophobia will disappear if this silly behavior disappears.

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