SPA calls on PH government to take action to halt escalation of racial and religious issues

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

KUCHING, Dec 29: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) is calling on the federal Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to address racial and religious issues that are happening in West Malaysia.

Calling it an urgent matter, SPA chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng opined the recent Dong Jiao Zong case must be addressed immediately before it gets out of hand and chaos ensues.

Educationist group Dong Jiao Zong was recently forced to call off a conference to discuss the issue of khat in schools, for security and safety reasons.

The police had obtained a court order on Dec 27 to restrain Dong Jiao Zong from holding the gathering to discuss the implementation of a Jawi calligraphy module in vernacular schools.

“We are concerned with the increasing racial and religious issues being raised in West Malaysia. Our Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador has also expressed the same concerns that the police are very concerned with the racial and religious issues being raised despite Malaya’s 62-year history.

“Article 10 of Federal Constitution guarantees that every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression; and all citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms. And all citizens have the right to form associations.

“The Federal Constitution is the most supreme law of our country that we need to honour and respect,” according to Lau in a statement.

On the other hand, he noted, non-governmental organisation Seni Khat Action Team (Sekat) is organising a Jawi congress in Petaling Jaya, Selangor today.

“Why is Sekat allowed to proceed while the proposed Dong Jiao Zong dialogue was aborted due to possible demonstration from the group opposed to Dong Ziao Zong intention?” Lau questioned, adding that Article 11 (1) of Federal Constitution highlighted that every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim once said that a person professing the religion need to abide by the teaching, practice and principle of the religion.

Lau opined that Malaysians living in West Malaysia tend to occupy themselves with political issues, which can retard the country’s economic growth.

“We have to be careful in allowing the influence of negative issues that is creeping deeply into the minds of West Malaysians. I noticed this has affected some of us. Instead of nation-building, it is destroying parts of the minds of our nation. Let us forge ahead positively in Sarawak for a start by encouraging our children, grandchildren to pursue educational excellence and productivity at the workplace be it government or commercial sector,” he asserted.

He added, history has proven that a country with hatred over racial and religion issues will not prosper, therefore he suggested that West Malaysian leaders learn from Sarawak where every citizen lives in unity and harmony. — DayakDaily