Uggah: Sarawak is paragon of unity, harmony, stability in the nation

Uggah (seated fourth left) together with ministers, assistant ministers and religious leaders at the thanksgiving prayer organised by Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) in conjunction with Taib's 85th birthday.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 8: Despite the religious and racial diversities, Sarawak is a paragon of unity, harmony and stability in the nation in which Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud has been instrumental in leading the State to where it is today.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said that today’s gathering of all non-Islamic religious bodies and organisations for a thanksgiving prayer organised by Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) in conjunction with Taib’s 85th birthday was a reflection of the inclusiveness, harmony, solidarity, stability and progress in Sarawak.


“As the saying goes, ‘The more bridges that are built, the less room there is for fear and prejudice between us’.

“Sarawak is the most stable State so far and I hope it will continue. I am sure we have all experienced it and the journey along the way has been very challenging but the understanding and readiness to sit down and discuss issues as well as to prevent highlighting sensitive issues have led us to where we are today,” he said when officiating the thanksgiving prayer today.

Noting the many challenges ahead especially with social media making the world even more connected, Uggah, however, is happy to point out that so far all the people in Sarawak despite their differences in faiths, beliefs and religions have managed to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

“While we are able to engage with one another in a constructive brotherly manner, other parts of the world are torn apart by internecine religious fanaticism and racial strife.

“I hope that Unifor will be on hand to continue to organise this and other similar events to bring together heads of different religious institutions, for them to enhance and cement ties,” he said.

Uggah, who is also the minister-in-charge of Unifor, emphasised that the State government through Unifor is committed to taking care of the development of non-Islamic religious organisations and bodies with RM5 million allocated, apart from grants for buildings as well as mission schools.

“The establishment of Unifor by our late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem is indeed the way forward in Sarawak. It is now an agency to promote works on interfaith dialogues, understanding, and cooperation.

“In many of our faith traditions, the best way to avoid misunderstanding is to do good together, to pray together, and to find common objectives together. I believe all religions teach their followers to do just that.

“Let’s enjoy our time together, sharing and learning from each other as we pray for the wellbeing of His Excellency, Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for a better Sarawak.

“May Tun be blessed with abundant health, happiness, wisdom and long life to lead Sarawak to greater heights in the years to come,” he added.

Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, assistant ministers and various religious leaders were among those present. — DayakDaily