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KUCHING, Nov 24: Public protests in Sarawak against any PAS-dominated government coalition is not a religious but political issue, says human rights activist Peter John Jaban.
He stressed that the people’s protests are not a threat to Malay political dominance, but a rejection of an extremist party which seeks to dominate Malaysia politics using one religion.
“This is a question of whether our country remains a politically secular multi-cultural haven for all its citizens which respects the substance of its democratically elected institutions or is transformed into an intolerant Islamic state dominated by a single ideology,” he said.
In this regard, he urged Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman-cum-Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to understand that the issue of today is not against Islam, but the Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) interpretation of the religion for their own political position.
Peter John reminded that PAS is a party who had on record insulted the indigenous pepole of Borneo, called for an end to alcohol, concerts, LGBT rights, and for public canning of unmarried mothers.
“Abang Jo should be aware why Sarawakians continue to support him. He is a Malay and a Muslim who has steered a multi-cultural Sarawak with respect and tolerance.
“This is our history and our culture as ‘anak Sarawak’. Sarawak is built on hundreds of years of coexistence and collaboration with the Malays and the Dayak.
“His (Abang Johari’s) own family is famous for it, as is mine going back through history. Half of my family is Malay,” said Peter John in a statement today.
He therefore urged GPS to make the right decision and to prevent an alliance that will put Sarawak at a disadvantage while pushing Malaysia on a road to extremism.
Yesterday, Peter John called off a protest which he had planned to stage after being advised by the police to do so. — DayakDaily