Sabahans United Against Deceptive Attempts On Religious Freedom

An the ordination of a Roman Catholic priest in Ranau, family members who are Muslims, attended the mass service at the Church and te reception afterwards. Such a scene may not be seen elsewhere in the country.
At the ordination of a Roman Catholic priest in Ranau, family members who are Muslims, attended the mass service at the Church and the reception afterwards. Such a scene may not be seen elsewhere in the country.
Reverend Jerry Dusing
Reverend Jerry Dusing

By REV. DATUK JERRY DUSING
COMMENT: As we bring 2016 to a close, we thank God for His love, blessings and protection on us throughout the year. We thank God for the strengthened unity amongst the Church and the people of Sabah of various beliefs.

In the midst of the political and economic challenges of our nation, this Christmas season reminds us that there is hope in God for Sabah and Malaysia. We are a Malaysian family and what we truly desire is for peace within us and amongst us.

The underlying chord that keeps us united as a family is our innate moral sense of love for one another, compassion, respect, honour, fairness, truthfulness and integrity endowed upon us by the Almighty.

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These are the qualities of our nation’s moral soil that will allow us to dynamically progress as a pluralistic nation. We should continue to nurture our soil towards a stable political and economic structure now and for our children’s generation.

WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HUDUD BILL!

Our prayer for Malaysia is that truth and truthfulness be established especially amongst those in authority and governmental power. Henry Clay in his speech at the Lexington on May 16, 1829 said:

“Government is a trust and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”

What is the truth of 1MDB? As Malaysians are left in the dark, we find ourselves frustratingly waiting for foreign nations to expose the truth about this mystery. The lack of truth breeds the lack of trust and this compromises the willingness of citizens and businesses to respond to public policies and contribute to a sustainable economic recovery.

What is the truth about the Hudud Bill and all other efforts of the Federal Government of Islamising East Malaysians by threats, intimidation and deception?

Sabahans are united in our stand against any deceptive attempt that challenges our guaranteed religious freedom under the Malaysia Agreement 1963. Under this Agreement, secularism is guaranteed. Sabah and Malaysia are secular nations.

The Federal Government’s policy of determining one’s citizenship and religious identity through the National Registration Department (NRD) has caused chaos to the demographics of Sabah.

STATE GOVERNMENT MUST DEFEND RIGHTS OF TRUE SABAHANS

Firstly, the spirit of the provision for ‘Citizenship’ under the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC) and MA63 is that the Federal Government’s policies must not discriminate the inhabitants of Sabah.

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The launching of Kota Kinabalu (Gaya) Christmas 2016 at the Merdeka Padang saw people of diverse races and religions coming for the 4-night festivity with nary a thought whether they were Christian, Muslim, Buddhists or non-believers.

Secondly, the choice of religious belief and identification of our people should be the sole discretion of the individual himself as per MA63. We call upon the Sabah State Government to stand steadfast and take authority in defending the rights of true Sabahans in accordance with MA63.

The recent amendment to the Income Tax Act 1967 that seeks to tax donations for non-Muslim religious bodies has caused lots of confusion. We urge the Prime Minister to explain the rationale behind the amendment, define clearly the intended targeted bodies and clarify why it involves only ‘non-Muslim’ religious bodies.

As Sabahans are intensively seeking the truth of MA63 and embracing our rights and inheritance as a sovereign nation under the same, we look to the future with hope for our people and our land. We do not ask for more than what we have been promised.

All we ask is for the truth to be established and justice restored in accordance with MA63. We pray for divine intervention in the challenging state of affairs of our nation for our sake and the sake of our next generation.

This Christmas Season, our prayer for Malaysia is that we stay united as a family in truth, justice and peace. We look in hope in God for the restoration of a rich moral soil for a new Malaysia – a pluralistic nation that is exemplary of her love, compassion, respect and honour for one another with a government that in trust practises fairness, integrity and responsibility to her people.

Jesus preached that we should ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ and to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ May the practice of these high ideals grow in us all in 2017.

To All Christians, a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. Peace be unto all of you.
God Bless Sabah and Malaysia!

  • REV. DATUK JERRY DUSING is president of the Sabah Council of Churches and head of the SIB church in Sabah.