KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Christian missionaries brought healthcare and education to Malaysia, with even Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman having attended mission schools, Sabah churches told PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang today.
Sabah Council of Churches president Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing highlighted Musa’s primary and secondary education in mission schools, with the Sabah state government website showing that the chief minister had gone to Sekolah Rendah St Paul in Beaufort and Sekolah Menengah All Saints in Kota Kinabalu for Form 6.
“We are disheartened by Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s provocative statement as it is simply false and untrue,” Dusing said in a statement.
“Further, in terms of education, our prominent leaders at various levels of society have benefited from mission schools. If Datuk Seri Hadi Awang would have cared to read the profile of our Chief Minister in the official Sabah State Government website, he would have noticed that our Chief Minister’s attended mission schools for his primary and secondary education,” he added.
Dusing was remarking against Abdul Hadi’s recent statement reported by PAS-owned paper Harakah Daily, claiming that Christian missionaries were targeting poorer regions such as Africa and Asia, including spreading their beliefs in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak because Christianity had failed in developed nations in the West.
Abdul Hadi claimed that the missionaries had also offered incentives to convert people to Christianity.
Dusing rubbished the Islamist opposition party chief’s claim, saying that the Sabah Council of Churches has not heard of such actions.
“Since the days when Christian missionaries first came to Sabah up until today, we have not witnessed nor heard of any incidences of bribery or inducements of any form to lure our people to convert into Christianity.
“The Christian pioneering missionaries in both Sabah and Sarawak made huge personal sacrifices and endured hardships because they heeded the call of Matthew 5:16, which commands every Christian thus: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” he added.
He noted that it was the Christian missionaries in the remote parts of the Sarawak jungles who had brought healthcare and education to the Lunbawang tribe.
“It was their sacrificial efforts which contributed to the Lunbawang’s survival,” said Dusing.
Dusing accused Abdul Hadi of being “grossly irresponsible” in alleging that Christians were using money and aid to convert non-believers, noting that such practises are against the tenets of the faith.
“As Christians, cheating and bribery, inducements and compulsion are not justifiable and simply, are sins. Secondly, the objective of such a statement clearly is to ignite religious sectarianism and create discord and hatred among our people,” he said.