MIRI (March 18): More ministers and leaders from Sarawak should be vocal in making public statements against extremists and the dangerous trend of using race and religion to gain political mileage.
In making this call, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian commended Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for voicing out his stand against the views of Kuala Langat MP Ahmad Yunus Hairi, who called for different houses of worship to be in different places for different religions, due to ‘sensitivities’.
Abdul Karim had also said that there was nothing Islamic about the points brought up by Ahmad Yunus.
“Fanning racial and religious hatred is the despicable strategy of those who have nothing else to offer the people. It is very obvious that this is the work of morally bankrupt politicians who are desperate to bring down the government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” said Baru in a statement today.
He had observed that some politicians were focused on stoking the fears of the ordinary Malays instead of taking constructive action to help them improve their lives and livelihood.
Thus, he hoped that the majority of the people could now see these politicians for what they were and would not be taken in by them.
“I am glad to note that in Sarawak and Sabah, we have no issues with our different houses of worship being in close proximity with each other.
“In fact, some churches and mosques open up their carparks on Fridays and Sundays to offer parking spaces for worshippers attending at the neighbouring house of worship.”
Baru also called upon all Sarawakians to stay vigilant so as to never allow people such as the Kuala Langat MP to influence them.
“I remain confident that all Sarawakians are spiritually strong in their respective faiths, and would not fall for the religious rhetoric being played by politicians to sow hatred and divide us.
“It is good that the Prime Minister has issued a warning to those fanning racial flames, and reassured us that the country belongs to all Malaysians,” he said.
Baru also called upon the police to keep a close eye on the troublemakers and take action wherever and whenever necessary so that the stability of the country could be maintained and the current government be allowed the space and time to rebuild the economy, instead of having to constantly counter those motivated by their own selfish agenda for political power.
During the debate on the Supply Bill 2023 at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday, PAS lawmaker Ahmad Yunus suggested to the local government development ministry that houses of worship for the non-Muslims should not be in the same vicinity as mosques.