KUCHING, Dec 7 — Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Douglas Uggah announced the formation of the Unit For Other Religions’ (Unifor) advisory council, with him as its chairman and the spiritual heads of other non-Islamic faiths as members.

He said the advisory council will promote mutual respect and provide advice in responding to religious issues.

“We are after all living in a borderless world with all these technological advancements as well as political developments around us and in a world which can create a lot of problems,” he said after chairing Unifor’s meeting to form the advisory council.

He described these issues as very challenging to Sarawak.

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“We do not want problems, especially from religious preachers originating from outside the state, to come ashore to create confusion, anger, disharmony or disunity among our people.

“With this advisory council, we now have a forum to discuss, deliberate, and reach a consensus for an amicable solution when we face any such issues,” he added.

Uggah, who is also the minister in charge of Unifor, said the existing religious and racial harmony in the state must be preserved at all costs for the benefit of all.

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He said as far as racial and religious issues are concerned, Sarawak is still the most peaceful and united state in the country.

Unifor director Datu Jack Aman said the advisory council’s main tasks are to promote mutual respect and acceptance among all religions and to provide wise counsel on any issue that may arise.

He said the council will advise Unifor on how to respond to religious issues of any kind that can affect the peace and harmony of various races and religions in Sarawak.

He also added it will act as a resource body for Unifor in providing information, recommendations, and proposals from the spiritual perspective of the respective religions for strategic planning and policies on matters related to religious harmony.

Jack said it would also ensure transparency and accountability from the respective religious bodies or organisations for the funds received from Unifor.

“Newer roles will be included when Unifor expands,” he added.