Reject religious extremism, Shafie tells Sabahans after Christmas party row

(Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Shafie Apdal has told Sabahans to reject extremism when practising one’s religion, saying it has no place in Sabah’s multi-racial society.

Responding to a police report on the Christmas celebration in Tawau, Shafie said extremism and racism would disrupt the harmony and unity in the state.

Extremism, the Warisan president warned, would also cast a person’s religion in bad light.

“We should reject extremism. This is not our way.

“We must not accept views that can erode our unity because in Sabah, all races can live together in harmony despite being multi-religious,” he said during the Warisan Christmas open house here today.

On Dec 31, a group of people claiming to represent several political parties including Warisan, PAS, Umno and PKR issued a statement to a local daily protesting against the Tawau Christmas carnival which, they said, had elements of proselytism.

However, only PAS – which lodged a police report – confirmed its involvement in the protest.

The party later issued a statement to clarify that the report was lodged in response to complaints of “elements of Christian evangelisation” in an event also attended by Muslims.

The other parties denied being part of the group.

Following that, Parti Cinta Sabah lodged a report against PAS and several NGOs for objecting to Christian celebrations in the state.

It urged the authorities to take proactive measures to stem anti-Christian sentiments.

Meanwhile, Shafie is not budging over PPBM’s purported entry into the state, saying he was hopeful the party would respect their initial agreement.

“What’s important is for us to work together. We will always be supportive of what they have in KL.”

Warisan vice-president Junz Wong had previously dismissed reports his party was in talks for PPBM to spread its wings to Sabah.

Wong, who is also the Sabah agriculture and food industries minister, said the understanding would always be that PPBM would not step foot in the state.