KOTA KINABALU: A human rights advocate has condemned PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang in no uncertain terms for politicising Christianity out of the blue and for no rhyme or reason. “Hadi seems to be running a one-horse party,” said the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim) President Daniel John Jambun. “If he wants to touch on religion, he should condemn Muslim NGOs who are running amok in Sabah and Sarawak, offering to bribe people to leave Christianity.
“Some of these groups are being invited by a Minister in the Sarawak Government.”
Jambun was commenting on a statement by Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah (PAN) Chairman, Pastor Esther Golingi, giving the PAS President a roasting over his remarks on Christianity in Harakah, the PAS organ. “Pitas in northern Sabah is the poorest place in Malaysia and Sabah the second poorest in the country after Sarawak.
“So these Muslim NGOs from the peninsula are making for Pitas and other poverty-stricken places like Pensiangan and Ranau in Sabah to convert people with a little cash and promises of more cash to come. They are also running amok in northern Sarawak, in Orang Ulu country, to undermine Sarawak Opposition Chief Baru Bian.”
Jambun hastened to add that he has no issues with people wanting to leave their religion for any reason whatsoever. “But bribing someone to leave his or her religion should be outlawed.
“It causes social problems and breaks up families.”
Whether Christianity or some other religion, pointed out Jambun, “we are all going to the same place we came from before being born.
“So there’s no need to spread religious propaganda among the people in Sabah and Sarawak just for the sake of cheap and rotten politics.”
The Bopim President was also of the view that the Muslim NGOs in the peninsula were driven by the fact that politics there were split down the middle with Umno on one side, PKR and Amanah on the other side, and PAS neither here nor there. “It’s not the done thing to increase Muslim seats in Parliament at the expense of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.”
Initially, said Jambun, the powers-that-be in the peninsula worked through the late Abdul Rahman Yakub in Sarawak and Mustapha Harun in Sabah, both of them Chief Ministers and Governors at one time. “It was Mustapha who amended the Sabah Constitution in violation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and introduced the idea of an official religion.
“MA63, as an International Treaty and Trust Deed, cannot be violated by the Malaysian Parliament or the Sabah and Sarawak Assemblies through amendments to the Constitution.”
In Sarawak, said Jambun, Abdul Rahman was afraid of the Iban and dare not fool around with the Constitution as Mustapha did in Sabah. “However, Abdul Rahman appointed a Minister in charge of Islamic Affairs in his Cabinet when the Sarawak Constitution states no religion.
“It’s this Ministry that’s inviting the Muslim NGOs in the peninsula to run amok in Sabah and Sarawak, especially in poverty-stricken rural areas. The National Registration Department (NRD) and the Syariah Court are in cahoots with these Muslim NGOs.”