By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Sept 26: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government is practising what it preaches when it comes to religious freedom, said Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang.
He said it is only in Sarawak that there is a body, called “Unit For Other Religions” (Unifor), set up to ensure non-Muslim religions could get state government’s assistance.
“GPS, led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has shown that the government is very fair to other religions in Sarawak.
“This has been proven by his actions in providing financial assistance through Unifor, which is looking after all religions beside Islam in Sarawak,” Liwan told DayakDaily after receiving a grant of RM1 million from Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, here, today.
Uggah is the minister-in-charge of Unifor.
Liwan said the grant would be used for the renovation of SIB church in Long Busang.
“He is very fair to both the Christian and Muslim communities in Long Busang by giving both RM1 million each for their houses of worship,” he added.
Liwan explained that Abang Johari had given a grant of RM1 million to the Muslim community in the Kenyah Badeng community, during his recent visit there.
The Belaga assemblyman highlighted that most of the Muslims and Christians in Long Busang are relatives.
“Because of that, they will assist each other during Christmas and Hari Raya. The Christians even assist the Muslims to prepare the surau during the chief minister’s recent visit to the village,” said Liwan.
He added that the state government recently approved a grant of RM10 million to build a SIB church in Sungai Asap.
“Only in Sarawak we have this kind of unique religious freedom, where we can practice real religious freedom as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said.
Liwan is scheduled to travel to Long Busang on Oct 1 and announced the good news to the people there on the RM1 million grant.
“The church, when completed, will be able to accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers at any one time. The allocation will also be used to build the pastors’ quarters and accommodation for visitors,” he said. — DayakDaily