Malaysia was formed on the agreement that there should not be any official religion because our forefathers foresee possible dominance by Malayan malays over Sabah and Sarawak in religious matters. This was in the 18 and 20 Points Agreement.

For the GPS government to come to say that the word "Allah" could be used in Sarawak without any objection from the government in its recent press Statement on 18 March 2021 is not enough.

The GPS government should put their feet down and tell the federal government that the federal government should not appeal against the decision of the Court in this matter. The silence of the GPS government amounts to agreement by GPS government that the appeal should proceed. 

We cannot serve two masters. The GPS government has to choose between the stand of our forefathers and the stand taken by the federal government.

GPS government must understand about 62% of all Sarawakians are Christians. The majority of the Dayaks in Sarawak are Christians and their brethens in the whole of Borneo is watching this.

GPS government needs to understand that to touch against one Dayak, is to touch the whole Dayaks community in Borneo. Their brethrens, especially in Kalimantan will not like to see their brethrens here being discriminated. Unlike in past decades, the Dayaks in Borneo are more united now and the GPS and Malaya governments must understand this.

GPS government needs to understand whatever decisions by the court in Malaysia, affects the rights of Christians in Sarawak even if GPS government would say would not affect Sarawak. This is not true that the decisions will not affect Sarawak because the law is clear.

If GPS government is serious in maintaining religious harmony in Sarawak, they should not allow religious teachers, especially from muslim NGOs, PAS and UMNO to preach in Sarawak. This is because the teachings of local Ulamas by our Muslim brethrens here are acceptable to the people of Sarawak be there are preachings amongst other communities here.

It is for this reason, we could see church, temples and suraus or mosques not far from each other. We don't object suraus in non Muslims housing communities or churches near or within Muslim communities in Sarawak. All communities in Sarawak lived harmoniously and we don't Malayan cultures to disrupt our harmony here.

GPS government has lots to answer the implementation of Kat Jawi in schools which is seen with suspicions by many that this is towards the propagating one's religion over others. I doubt it would be allowed if the Bible is written in Jawi by many Muslims in Malaya. Therefore, the move to get jawi be part of the school curriculum may further create disharmony in our Sarawak society.

The GPS government should insist the federal government to lift all home ministry's directives that restricted religious practises, particularly, for Sabah and Sarawak because these are not consistent with 18 and 20 Points Agreement.

If the federal government still insists to appeal against the court's decision and refuse to repeal all directives that restricted religious practices in Sarawak, it is high time for the GPS government to break off Sarawak's relationship from the federation of Malaysia because the marriage with MALAYA is no more workable.

Voon Lee Shan
Parti Bumi Kenyalang
20 March 2021

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