KOTA KINABALU, June 10 — Parti Bersatu Sabah has blamed a nominated PAS assemblyman for planting divisive and extremist sentiments in Sabah following the latter’s call to segregate shopping trolleys carrying non-halal products in supermarkets here.
PBS vice president Datuk Johnny Mositun panned fellow GRS ally Aliakbar Gulasan for his statement made recently that he said was unnecessary and likened it to religious extremism.
“Indeed, as a Sabahan l rebuke this sort of religious extremism amongst us as nobody is holier-than-thou,” said Mositun, who is also the Limbahau division PBS chief, while expressing concern over the “creeping signs of extremism in the state.”
Aliakbar, the first and only PAS member who is a member of the state assembly, had recently urged all supermarkets or shops to be sensitive to the needs and sentiments of the various religions in Sabah.
This was following a complaint from a consumer in Keningau, who made an issue that a hypermarket which sold pork did not segregate its trolleys for Muslims, or clearly mark non-halal products.
Mositun said that all of the 32 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in the state have always been able to live and work together as one family, despite coming from different backgrounds.
“In fact, Sabah is the best example of religious tolerance and unity. In the past, we never heard the word of “segregation” as far as supermarket services are concerned in Sabah.
“We must maintain this at all cost and be cautious of certain groups trying to break this harmonious relationship,” he said, adding that PBS was always committed to ensuring Sabah retains its tolerance and respectful way of life.
“These people try to sow the seeds of hatred and divisions in others, be it on religious or racial and ethnic grounds,” he said.
The issue of different sets of trolleys came up before several years ago but while some supermarkets or stores adopted separate trolleys or baskets or halal checkout counters, most Sabahans brushed the matter off.