KUCHING, Aug 7 — Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today stressed that the state government will protect non-Muslims and care for them to achieve togetherness and inclusion.
He said as an example the Sarawak government has channeled aid to non-Muslims through the Unit for Other Religions (UNIFOR) on the basis that non-Muslims also need the protection and care of the state government.
“Since its introduction in 2017, UNIFOR has provided an allocation of RM215 million to build or repair houses of worship for non-Muslim religions, RM30 million for missionary schools and RM10 million for administrative purposes,” he said at the closing of the state-level Jelajah Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia event here by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the state government has also provided an allocation of RM70 million to build UNIFOR Building in Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching, so that its administration is more organised and the implementation of religious activities under UNIFOR is more orderly.
“I am confident and believe that togetherness in terms of religious development between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Sarawak will give birth to a society that is friendly to each other and avoids prejudices that can cause division,” the premier said.
He said as the head of the state government who is a Muslim, he has always insisted that the “Charter of Medina” is a very suitable guide to guarantee fair administration for the multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities in Sarawak.
Abang Johari said the concept of Keluarga Malaysia that the prime minister had introduced as a philosophy of his administration reflects his sincere desire to see all Malaysians continue to unite for the sake of the nation which is greater than personal interests or the interests of any group.
He said lately, the country has experienced an uncertain political situation which has had a negative impact on the country.
He said the prime minister's leadership has shown some positive changes and that the state sincerely hopes that this situation will last and that the country will continue to be stable and move towards a dynamic and advanced economy.
Abang Johari said in Sarawak, with the high spirit of understanding and unity that has been built over the years a multi-ethnic and religious community of small Keluarga Sarawak under the auspices of a large Keluarga Malaysia has been established.
“However, just like in a large family, there will definitely be differences of opinions and different ways of doing things between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak,” he said.
He said such kind of situation is not a big problem if these different views and methods are resolved in good faith in a family and friendly atmosphere.
“There are no differences that cannot be resolved if discussed sincerely for mutual benefit and win-win for all parties,” he said.