Baru Bian defends PSB Youth’s criticism of RM70m allocation for non-Muslim unit’s building as ‘misunderstood’

Baru said the wing questioned the need for a new 10-storey building when there was already a commercial property glut in Kuching. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Baru said the wing questioned the need for a new 10-storey building when there was already a commercial property glut in Kuching. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUCHING, Aug 13 — Selangau MP Baru Bian said today that Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Youth’s recent criticism of the RM70 million allocation for a Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) building as wasteful has been misunderstood.

He acknowledged that the statement upset some members of the public.

“There is an obvious misunderstanding of the intention of PSB Youth, which needs clarification,” Baru, who joined PSB after leaving PKR last February, said in a statement.

“It must be stated that PSB Youth’s statement was never against the state government’s rationale for allocating RM70 million for the construction of Unifor complex.

“On the contrary and in their youthful enthusiasm, they were excited about the funds that were being extended to Unifor, and were merely full of ideas on how it should be distributed,” he added.

Baru said the wing questioned the need for a new 10-storey building when there was already a commercial property glut in Kuching.

He said PSB was not against government funds being used for “other religions”.

“However, due to the lack of finesse in delivery, this enthusiasm has been misconstrued as an objection against the funding of Unifor,” he said.

Baru also expressed regret that the PSB Youth remarks caused the Archbishop of Kuching Datuk Danald Jute to issue a statement questioning the Youth Wing’s intention.

“I would like to assure his grace that there is no ill intent on the part of PSB Youth , but only a zealousness to ensure that funding is to be utilised effectively, “ he said.                                                                                                                

Baru also stressed that decades of social integration, inter-marriage and mutual and harmonious co-existence has made most Sarawakians reject racial and religious politics that were common in the peninsula.

“On our part in PSB, we are constantly grooming youthful members and motivating them to engage the next generation in shaping a better Sarawak.

“Let not the youth be discouraged or disillusioned because of this misstep, simply because they are our future,” he added.

On August 7, PSB Youth urged the state government to disclose the purpose of the Unifor complex.

It claimed that it would be a waste of public funds if the construction of the complex was solely dealing with non-Islamic affairs and a charitable trust.

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