By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Oct 27: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg upholds religious freedom as he believes that all religions teach the same noble universal values which mankind shares.
He said Sarawakian political leaders have been adhering to this open view on religion, except that he took it a step further by forming Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) to give assistance to other religions in Sarawak.
“It (open view on religion) has been there since time immemorial. People have been living together. What we do now is to assist them further by establishing Unifor (which has been helping believers of other faiths to build worship places) so that they have fundamental religious freedom of worship.
“This is something no other states is (doing). We are the only state that have a very high degree of religious tolerance because to me, they (all religions) share universal values.
“Once you have a religion or faith, then your value is high. After all, every religion teaches (its followers) to be good, ethics and so on,” Abang Johari told the media at the Deepavali Open House of Shankar Ram Asnani, a renowned lawyer in Sarawak.
Abang Johari believed that the good values taught by all religions are what mankind should possess and that has been what “Sarawak is propagating”.
Citing the fact that Islam, Christianity and Hinduism all have their respective values and teachings, Abang Johari said all religions provide a framework of ethics for its followers to pursue.
He said Sarawak has been very fortunate and blessed to have a society with good understanding among different races and communities.
With the availability of resources and talents, as well as religious and racial harmony, he believed that Sarawak can achieve its vision of becoming a developed state by 2030.
“Today, the Indian community is celebrating Deepavali and we also celebrate together with them in this festive season.”
It was his hope Sarawak will grow in prosperity and towards a better future. — DayakDaily