‘Backdoor’ govt has given rein to extreme religious speech, says Sarawak PKR Kuching Women

Cherishe Ng

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KUCHING, Sept 1: Sarawak PKR Kuching Division Women chief Cherishe Ng blamed the recent proliferation of extreme religious speech and ideas regarding education, language and religion in Malaysia on the establishment of a ‘backdoor’ government.

As such, she pointed out that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and its member parties must set a proper example by publicly apologising to the people of Sarawak, the majority being Christians, for the remarks made by Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh on the Bible.

“Since it was only with the support of GPS that extremist parties such as Pas (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) and Umno (United Malays National Organisation) can now act so rampantly, arbitrarily and with unscrupulousness, it is only right that GPS must be accountable for the words of their partners as well.

“Such a remark has angered many Christians in Sarawak and goes against Malaysia’s multi-religious society. Even the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) has stated that the remarks were offensive and unacceptable and had demanded Nik Zawawi to apologise,” she asserted in a statement issued yesterday.

Ng was referring to the insensitive remarks made by the Pas lawmaker in the Parliament, saying that the Bible had been distorted or manipulated, when debating the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2002 to propose heavier fines for drink driving offenders on Aug 26.

Ng also directed her comments at Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal who had on Aug 26 raised the suggestion of abolishing vernacular schools in Malaysia which did not produce students with strong national identity.

Both these instances, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader pressed, demonstrated that the current federal government was undermining the spirit of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious spirit.

“They have violated the spirit of democracy for their own interests and created a backdoor government which is leading to the rise of extreme racist political ideas.”

On the issue of abolishing vernacular schools, Ng instead urged the government to encourage people to learn more languages in order to strengthen the quality and ability among the people.

“This will not only enhance the people’s ability to compete at international levels but will also allow the people to retain their own cultural and religious identity while living as one in Malaysia.

“Once all races are treated fairly and with tolerance to practice their own culture and language without constant politicking, the people of Sarawak will naturally raise the Malaysian flag in conjunction with the spirit of belonging to Malaysia,” she added.

Ng urged Sarawakians to stand even more united in the face of these extreme racist ideologies.

“Sarawakians are proud of our racial harmony and tolerance, and we do not need these racist ideas to undermine our unity.” — DayakDaily