Sarawak DAP chairman says PAS doing disservice by turning importation of Islamic teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak into a ‘Muslims against non-Muslims issue’, issue.
KUCHING: PAS lacks understanding of the situation in Sarawak and has no respect for the rights of Sarawakians, state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said yesterday.
He said this when commenting on PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad’s statement against his call to stop the import of Peninsular Malaysia Islamic teachers into Sarawak.
Idris had also claimed that Chong’s stand would cause calamity to Pakatan Harapan (PH).
The Borneo Post quoted Chong as saying: “For a start, I am surprised by the sudden show of concern by Idris Ahmad about the wellbeing of Pakatan Harapan. Has PAS leadership not been working together with Umno/BN of late to sabotage PH’s drive for a change of government?
“Wouldn’t it be the case that the alleged ‘calamity to Pakatan Harapan’ will fit into the agenda of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang?”
Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP, said in a press statement there were two reasons for his call to stop the import of Peninsular Malaysia Islamic teachers into Sarawak.
“Firstly, the infiltration of religious bigotry and extremism into Sarawak, thereby causing racial segregation and disharmony which is now one of the main problems in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Secondly, giving local Sarawakians priority for jobs in Sarawak. There are sufficient Sarawakians who have the necessary knowledge in Islam to teach Islamic education in Sarawak. However, they were not given the opportunity,” Chong said.
According to Chong, when the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department advertised for ‘Pegawai Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Gred DG43’ position in January, they had only two vacancies.
Yet, The Borneo Post quoted him as saying, there were 4,438 applications for the said position.
“It makes no sense for the government to ignore and turn a blind eye on all these applicants who are Sarawakians and yet import 433 Islamic religious teachers from other states on the pretext that there is a shortage of such teachers.”
Chong said this policy of importing Peninsular Malaysia Islamic religious teachers into Sarawak by the government ran contrary to the interest of Sarawakians.
“I raised this matter in the interest of Sarawak, with a view to try to preserve the social harmony that we Sarawakians have enjoyed and are proud of thus far,” the report quoted him as saying.
As such, Chong said, PAS’ attempt to turn this issue into a ‘Muslims against non-Muslims issue’, was doing a disservice to Sarawak.
“PAS, like its new-found friend Umno, is always trying to arouse religious dichotomy sentiments. That is why PAS will never be accepted in Sarawak,” The Borneo Post quoted him as saying.