KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) leader has assured Christians in the state that their rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) are protected.
Upko acting president Wilfred Madius Tangau said the government of Najib Razak has a pulse on the grassroots, including the concerns of Sabahans on their rights enshrined in MA63.
“The prime minister has said not once or twice but many times that whatever in MA63 that has been taken away from Sabah previously, this present government will give it back,” said Tangau, who is also science, technology and innovation minister.
Religious leaders, especially from the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church, should not be unduly worried about their rights, he said when speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the new academic block for the Borneo Theological Seminary (BTS) in Bongkud, Ranau, about 100km from here, on Saturday.
He said the question of freedom in religion should not arise since it is stipulated in the Federal Constitution.
Furthermore, Tangau said Upko had never failed to raise concerns and fight whenever there were issues affecting the Christian community.
The Tuaran MP also pointed out that though the BTS was located in another constituency, he had always made it a point to listen to the SIB church leaders.
He had also been in constant communication with Sabah SIB president Rev Jerry Dusing in discussing ways to assist the SIB congregation in the state.
One of the results of such discussions was the construction of the new academy block for BTS.
Tangau also commended the SIB church for its continuous efforts in helping the government create youths with a strong religious background, which is an important criteria for our future leaders.
Tangau was later accompanied by Dusing to conduct the ground-breaking ceremony at the site before touring the seminary.