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Malaysia

'Allah' row gives shaky Malaysian government hope of survival

PM Muhyiddin's government supports a court decision allowing Christians to use the Arabic word for their god too

'Allah' row gives shaky Malaysian government hope of survival

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during his meeting with the Saudi crown prince in Riyadh on March 9. (Photo: AFP/Saudi Royal Palace/Bandar Al-Jaloud)

In politically volatile Malaysia, the nation's highest court has ruled that non-Muslims be allowed to use Islamic words including "Allah." Supporting the court’s decision will potentially deliver political dividends for the beleaguered government of Muhyiddin Yassin in the Muslim-majority nation where Christians account for 9 percent of the population.

In a shot in the arm for this weak prime minister, the high court decided to allow Christians to use the Arabic word "Allah" for their god too, reversing a 1986 government ban. 

Since the 2018 election, Malaysian politics has been in turmoil with the unstable ruling coalition government constantly rumored to be on the brink of collapse.

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PM Muhyiddin has made every possible effort to stabilize his 12-month-old government in the country of 32.7 million people, riding on a razor-thin majority with his foes-turned-allies.

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