Sarawak DCM refutes Bolly Lapok’s outlandish claims that state govt had given grants in millions to churches

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah speaking to reporters August 10, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah speaking to reporters August 10, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

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KUCHING, Dec 11 — Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah today refuted claims by former Anglican Bishop of Kuching and Brunei Datuk Bolly Lapok that the state government had given grants in millions to churches after he joined Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).

He said Lapok has made such outlandish claims simply for fame and to justify his decision to join PSB.

“We have no issue at all with him joining politics after years and years of service to the God Almighty, but his latest statement to the press is unbecoming of his last office.

“It is totally devoid of the dignity and virtue of truthfulness,” Uggah, who is also the minister in charge of Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) said in a statement refusing Lapok’s claims.

“It is self-promoting and self-aggrandisement,” he said.

He said for the record, Unifor has been dispensing financial assistance to churches, temples and chapels since its inception in 2017.

He said the state government, under Chief Minister Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg, had since last year increased Unifor’s yearly allocation to RM50 million.

He said in October this year the chief minister had decided to allocate an extra allocation of RM15 million to some 127 mission schools state-wide as special operation and administration costs.

“It had then set aside a further sum of RM7 million to assist these churches, chapels and temples whose weekly collection from the faithfuls had drastically been affected due to the Covid -19 pandemic.

“For former prelate Lapok to claim that his joining PSB had resulted in the assistance to be available is a lesson in perplexity and ridiculousness,” Uggah said, adding that Lapok only joined PSB in November this year.

“It is either he has been misquoted or is he suffering from a strange delusion of grandeur?” Uggah said.

News portal The Vibes had quoted Lapok as saying that as a result of him joining politics, grants in millions were already given to churches in Sarawak as a result of his direct involvement in politics.

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