Iban Don – ethnic & religious issues originate from Peninsular Malaysia

Professor Jayum Jawan

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, June 27: Sarawak has no problem with race and religion among its multi-racial and multi-religious population, said Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) political scientist Prof Jayum Jawan.

As such, Sarawak should exercise its autonomous right under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to prevent the entry of religious extremists, including those from the peninsula. He opined that Peninsular Malaysia remained a stumbling block to achieving national unity.

Jayum lamented that ethnic and religious issues originating from the peninsula were “being imported into Sarawak”.

“Sarawakians do not have problems with any religion, be it Islam, Christianity or Buddhism. Many natives intermarry. They celebrate Gawai Dayak, Hari Raya and Christmas. They sit together, some eat pork. Those who don’t eat pork don’t touch it.

“As such, Sarawak has the right to prevent the entry of people who might disrupt the current prevailing peace and harmony among the races,” Jawan told DayakDaily when contacted today.

He had made known his stand on this matter at a forum titled ‘Are we more united as a nation after GE14?’, which was organised by Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Jayum, an Iban from Sarawak, also stressed that the Sarawak government should prevent certain religious missionaries from entering Sarawak, as they could spread negative teachings and ideologies, especially among rural folk.

On another issue, he maintained there is a fair distribution of work among the various races in Sarawak. However, the same cannot be said about job distribution in the civil service in West Malaysia.

“The directors in the Education Ministry, who deliberate on policies and brought them up to the minister, are mostly made up of one race. There are about 30 directors. How many Indians? Only one. That was three years ago when I did profiling. But for the last two years, there was none. Chinese? Zero,” he revealed.

He said he was taking the Education Ministry as an example, but claimed it is almost the same scenario in other federal ministries.

Jayum questioned how these directors would understand the needs and aspirations of other races in the country, such as the Chinese, Indians and Ibans. — DayakDaily