When former 22 months Minister of works and now perceived by many as the “intelligent frog”said this ,”PSB is a multi -racial party and has very good aims and objectives. With my entry and a few Dayak leaders in PSB it’s our hope that we can make an in road in the Dayak majority seats this time round.”
A voter said has he just woken up from a “certain dementia syndrome”? Little does he know that he has been nuked by the youth wing of the party even though he tries to downplay the damage done on UNIFOR.
It will be uphill struggle now for the party which did rattle some within the GPS coalition.
What more could he do? He is not the President nor a deputy for that matter. Only a new MP/ADUN who decided to join a local based party to stay relevant says the voter. Could he go down on bended knees,apologise,fasting 40 days “which is very unlikely” to the religious bodies and authorities. That is for PSB and him to consider. The statement has irked many and there are no more foxholes for PSB to hide.
The CM Sarawak statement plus another writers column together with various other statements indicates one must not use RELIGION to score “brownie or political mileage”
KUCHING: The unwarranted criticism from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) youth on the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) does not sit well with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The chief minister took a jab at the opposition party’s youth wing, labelling them as ‘daft’ for questioning the state government’s rationale in constructing the Unifor complex.
“From the religious side, we are being thoroughly fair, that is why I continued the efforts to be fair to all religions. We did this by establishing Unifor.
“This is despite there are some people who expressed disagreement when we decided to build the Unifor complex. This is just daft,” he said when officiating at the Padawan Road upgrading project on Saturday.
Abang Johari said for Sarawak, the state government wanted to foster unity among the people adding while the relationship with God was a private matter, the most important this is that the people have moral standing and ethics.
“This of course comes from the religious teachings which enable us to execute our duties. That is why we give the allocation to Unifor to build houses of worship,” he said.
Abang Johari said if everyone holds to their religious teachings dearly, the nation would prosper.
“That is why I think that with a strong unity among our people and with us able to carry out our duties, my friends and I through Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will be able to transform the nation,” he said.
Unifor complex, our pride!
August 10, 2020
By M Rajah
Unifor cannot expect the government to be its Santa Claus in giving financial handouts all the time. ~ Richard Lon, Unifor director
Why has the proposed RM70 million Unifor (Unit for Other Religions) complex suddenly become an issue?
The complex when completed will serve as an exemplary landmark depicting religious freedom in Sarawak. It will serve as an icon for the whole country — and perhaps other nations in the region too — to witness what true religious freedom means and emulate the example set by our leaders.
Shouldn’t Sarawakians, yes you and I, be proud of this complex? Shouldn’t we be thankful of the tireless efforts of our leaders who ensure continued multi-racial and multi-religious harmony which has become the hallmark of the state?
Why do we have politicians or quarters creating issues to disrupt the peace and harmony that Sarawakians have enjoyed for decades?
Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Youth recently questioned the rationale for the construction of the multi-million-ringgit complex, arguing that it’s a “waste of public fund”.
I can’t fathom how a party of nearly 100 percent non-Muslim members could criticise the government’s efforts to help the state’s 60 percent or so non-Muslim community. The party should instead be championing and supporting the state’s efforts through Unifor and its charitable trust fund.
Is there a hidden agenda? Youth movements of political parties, anyway, are known to be independent of their parent bodies and tend to be critical. They often end up putting their foot in their mouth and in the end get reprimanded by their party leaders.
Though they often act as the mouthpiece of their parties, in this instance I would like to think that PSB Youth was not sanctioned by the party leaders to make the ludicrous statement that it made which caused non-Muslims a lot of anguish.
But the fact that the party leaders are keeping quiet goes to show that the Youth movement could have been sanctioned to make the statement. That being the case, the party has gone beyond the boundaries of its political expediency which will do it more harm than good and badly affect its position in the eyes of the non-Muslims.
Even our Muslim brothers and sisters in Sarawak have given their full support to Unifor since it was mooted by the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem in 2016. Yet, here we have a political party of non-Muslims questioning the good intention of the Sarawak government!
Unifor director Richard Lon responded aptly to PSB Youth, and I quote: “Having a ‘magnificent’ complex is not a sin and in fact, it will spur Unifor and Unifor Charitable Trust to do even more … The very fact that the Sarawak government has decided to give a 1.2ha premium site for the complex and a RM70 million grant to finance its construction speaks volumes of the significance and recognition for Unifor in its roles towards solidifying religious and racial harmony and unity in Sarawak.”
You couldn’t have said it better, sir!
Even National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique was all praise for Unifor while on an office visit to Kuching early last month, noting the agency was “unique to Sarawak as it promotes understanding, tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect between Islam and various religions in the state and is a very practical and important organisation”.
Halimah reportedly said she had briefed the King about Unifor and its objectives and roles and would invite Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who oversees Unifor and Unifor Charitable Trust to have an audience with His Majesty to brief him on the agency’s role in promoting interfaith unity and harmony.
Since 2017, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has allocated a total of RM115 million (which includes the RM70 million allocation for the Unifor complex).
For the record, Unifor has undertaken more than 520 infrastructural projects statewide.
In the words of Lon: “We are glad we have put the roof in many roofless churches, temples or chapels. Also built were walls and all where bare foundations once stood, this has allowed more faithful worshippers to congregate and pray in more spacious halls. We have fulfilled many dreams in cities and towns as well as longhouses and settlements far and deep in the interiors.”
So, there you go. Unifor has put to good use all the money allocated to it.
It has also helped several houses of worship. They include:
• RM2.3 million for the reconstruction of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Kuching.
• RM3.5 million for the Sarawak Sikh Temple Association for its temple extension project in Kuching.
• RM400,000 for the Holy Trinity Parish in Miri.
• RM1 million for the Interfaith Community Centre in Miri.
Back to the RM70 million Unifor complex, it will not only serve as an office building, but also generate sustainable income for the agency to take care of the welfare of non-Muslims. It can’t be operating from shop lots and it can’t be relying on the government for grants forever, can it?
I conclude by appealing to more organisations and houses of worship that have benefited from Unifor’s assistance to come forward and voice their support instead of keeping silent.
We do not want to be judgemental on how the party will fare in PRN12 but the youth wing of the party has done enough for PSB senior leaders to feel downhearted and ashamed.
Remember the people who votes will have their say in the polls and Sarawakians will not take kindly on the party even-though its a Local Based party.
Your party has raced too quickly like a car without brakes and most have lost judgement on what you cannot do and that is playing with religion in Sarawak.
We will continue to uphold what most Sarawakians Value. Didn’t you already know and that is “Religious freedom and the right to practise their own beliefs.”