KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal urged people of all faiths in the state to shun racism and extremism to ensure the unity of the multi-racial and religious community in Sabah remains strong.
He said racism and extremism are the main factors that could cause the collapse of unity in any country with people of different races, religions and cultures.
“It is important for us to ensure that the unity of the people in the state is intact, so it is important for us to be sure that there is no extremism in any religion regardless of whether it is Islam or Christianity.
“Do not let any of us do anything that can be called racism. It does not matter whether we are Chinese, Kadazan, Dusun, Iban, Bajau or any other race because Sabah is our state; therefore let us jointly develop the state,” he said.
He said this when addressing the state government’s financial assistance distribution to schools and non-Islamic religious bodies for the South West Coast, North West Coast and Upper and Lower Interiors at Banquet Hall, Sabah State Assembly, here Tuesday.
Also present were Sabah Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau and Datuk Christina Liew, Cabinet as well as Sabah Council of Churches chairman Bishop Melter Jaiki Tais and the Association of Sabah National Type Chinese School Management Committee chairman Ben Lim Kiat Kong.
Commenting on the financial aid, Mohd Shafie said although there were some financial constraints, the state government has never neglected the non-Muslim religious schools and institutions.
In the 2019 State Budget presented recently, RM34.64 million was allocated to 554 schools and non-Islamic religious bodies throughout Sabah.