“Your faith is between you and God”

Uggah (centre) presenting a souvenir to Abang Johari witnessed by Richard (left) during the appreciation gathering on Nov 17, 2022. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 17: Sarawak has no issue with how people worship and practise their faith because “at the end, it’s between you and God”, says Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He emphasised that Sarawak has enjoyed lasting peace as the diverse communities in Sarawak are able to live harmoniously together like a family and this unique unifying bond and culture must continue to be safeguarded.

“We thank God because we understand each other and that’s why Sarawak is so peaceful today.

“You have your own religion, and I have mine. We live happily and focus our energy on serving the people and growing our economy for the betterment of all and that of Sarawak. At the end of the day, we want to put food on the table. We don’t want our people to go hungry,” he said during the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) Appreciation gathering at a hotel here today.

Religion, Abang Johari added, should serve as a guide or anchor in bringing out the most positive potential and values in people in carrying out the duty to serve.

These values, he reminded those present, were reflected during the Covid-19 pandemic where people were not bothered by differences when it came to helping those in need.

“When Covid-19 hit, the faces of people were filled with anxiety because of the hard times they were going through and when their loved ones were in critical condition.

“But our doctors, nurses, police, Bomba (firefighters), volunteers and all in the frontlines, they put aside their difficulties and committed themselves to serving the community. The Muslim carried the victims to hospitals and [others did the same for Muslims]. Those are the values we uphold strongly in Sarawak. We serve the people irrespective of religion or race. We help each other,” he said.

Abang Johari added that that was the reason why the Sarawak government set up Unifor in 2017 to help all other religions in Sarawak.

“In Sarawak, we emphasise living together in harmony and we share our wealth. If a house of worship is leaking, how can the worshippers serve their God? It will be a distraction,” he said.

Furthermore, he added, social inclusivity is one of the pillars under Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 as the government recognised the importance of social drivers of economic growth.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Deputy Minister of Transport Datuk Dr Jerip Susil and Unifor director Richard Lon were among those present. — DayakDaily