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KUCHING: Sarawak PKR Chief, Baru Bian welcomes the setting of the non-Islamic affairs unit and hopes the unit could bring balance in the multi – religious state.
Speaking to dayakdaily.com, Baru said it is time that the unit is set after its announcement last year.
“Sarawak finally have a unit in the government that can address the unease over the pile-up of unresolved religious cases affecting them,” said Baru.
The state government recently approved the creation of 17 new posts of various grades including a full-time director.
The setting up of the unit was mooted by former Chief Minister Adenan Satem last year where it aim is to promote religious harmony between Muslims and Non-Muslims.
Its main task includes to evaluate, propose and formulate policies, laws and regulations with regard to non-Islamic religious affairs in the state.
“I Hope it would be active and bold to convey to the Government the needs and challenges faced by the non muslims in Swak,” said Baru.
On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas in his winding up speech at the State Assembly announced the establishment of the unit also said the unit is equivalent in status with other units in the chief minister’s department.
Uggah also said the unit also acts as a focal point for various religious bodies to liaise and interact with the state or federal government agencies when it comes to various matters, including their application for land and funding for the construction of buildings.
To date, the unit received eight approvals for land application for the construction of various non-Islamic religious institutions.
Meanwhile, Sarawak For Sarawakians Chief Peter John Jaban said the unit should involve all religious organisations in Sarawak and headed by a bishop , president of churches association, or any others , such as hindu priest, buddhist monk and others.
“This unit should not be headed by some former high ranking government official or an ordinary person who knows nothing about what is required,” said Peter to dayakdaily.com.
Official statistics shows, Sarawak has a majority Christian population with only less than 25% of them are Muslims. -dayakdaily.com