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KUCHING, Mar 19: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) has rebuked Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) for using the “Allah” issue as a political ploy.
This undermining of the ruling coalition, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), could cause social disharmony among the people.
GPS information chief Datuk Idris Buang told off both PSB president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and its Central Committee member Datuk Joseph Entulu for pretending to be oblivious to GPS’s stance on non-Muslims using the word “Allah” and harping on a non-issue.
“The use of the word ‘Allah’ is a non-issue in Sarawak. That has been our stand from the start when the so-called ‘issue’ was hyped by certain quarters.
“This fact is known to all and sundry. I am just amazed at how low PSB leaders including Dato Sri Wong and Datuk Entulu want to stoop in trying to create a negative perception against GPS when they all knew that the use of the word is a non-issue in Sarawak,” said Idris in a statement today.
He said GPS’ stand on the matter is very clear where freedom of religion has been a way of life since time immemorial.
“Look at how the freedom of religion is being practised in Sarawak since time immemorial. It has been all due to the maturity, high sense of tolerance and mutual respect nurtured and guided by our leaders,” said Idris.
Idris who is also Muara Tuang assemblyman questioned the motive of PSB leaders such as Wong and Entulu of stirring up a non-issue, again and again, to insinuate GPS and “at the same time putting themselves in a “better light” as if only they (PSB) cared about religious freedom in the state.
“To me, it would be too inferior for a party and its leaders to put such a political ploy or strategy against its opponent when the side-effect could result in misunderstanding, altercation, confusion and even chaos among certain citizenry, and that could lead to disharmony and disaster,” said Idris.
Idris was responding to the statement of both Wong and Entulu who questioned the sincerity of GPS in defending Sarawak’s religious freedom.
Wong had in his statement on March 17 challenged GPS chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to put words into action by demanding Putrajaya retract its appeal against the recent High Court decision allowing non-Muslims to use the word “Allah”.
Meanwhile, Entulu in today’s press statement also challenged GPS to use its “kingmaker” position to persuade the Perikatan Nasional government to accept the High Court’s decision.
Kuala Lumpur High Court had on Mar 10 decided that the non-Muslim community may use the word “Allah” in their preaching and publications.
The High Court also decided that the community can use the words “Baitullah”, “Kaabah” and “solat” for teaching purposes which the Malaysian government has banned 35 years ago.
Christians in Sarawak and Sabah received the decision in jubilation to find out that their joy was short-lived as on Mar 12, the federal government had filed its appeal against the High Court’s decision. — DayakDaily