NGO reminds Pakatan Harapan of its ‘integrity of religions’ pledge

Datuk Lau Pang Heng

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KUCHING, Dec 19: Sarawak Patriot Association (SPA) has reminded Pakatan Harapan (PH) of its promises that are contained in ‘Buku Harapan’ to uphold the integrity of religions.

In that context, its president, Datuk Lau Pang Heng, said SPA was perturbed by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik’s recent statement.

“As stated in the Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) ‘Buku Harapan’ promise Number 43, and I quote,‘The PH government assures the integrity of race relations and religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak as well as throughout the country. The PH government will promote Sabah and Sarawak as a model of racial harmony so that all Malaysians can emulate the concept of ‘wasatiyah’ that is naturally practised there’.

“SPA hopes that the PH government will honour Promise No. 43; otherwise, it will be difficult for the people of Sarawak to trust any future election manifestos,” said Lau in a statement today.

He questioned Maszlee as to why teachers were being used to promote Islam.

“The call by the minister is not in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement, 1963. The federal government has formed the MA63 committee to return autonomy and rights to Sarawak and Sabah,” he pointed out.

He said members of SPA were shocked at the announcement made in Parliament recently, where Maszlee appealed to Ustaz and Ustazah from Terengganu, Kedah, and Kelantan who are teaching in Sarawak and Sabah not to return to Peninsular Malaysia but to make Sarawak and Sabah their ‘medan dakwah’ (Islamic propagation ground).

“For clarification purposes, SPA is not against the religious education of Islam. SPA would only like to see that religious freedom is safeguarded and guaranteed to the people of Sarawak,” said Lau.

He said the Sarawak Constitution guaranteed a secular government and society.

“In all the documents leading to the formation of the Federation of Malaysia by states in Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore, it guarantees religious freedom,” he said. — DayakDaily