KUCHING: Sarawak will continue to allow major religions of the world to co-exist in the state to preserve unity, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Chief Minister said this was in line with Islam which upholds the principle of justice and fairness.
“In Sarawak, the people have confidence in Muslim leaders because we are fair to everyone, and so non-Muslims can accept our leadership.
“This is the foundation for us to continue our efforts to develop the state,” he said when closing the state-level “Multaqa Murabbi Ummah” programme for imams and religious teachers at the Sarawak Islamic Complex here yesterday.
As the state’s fourth Muslim chief minister, Abang Johari said he was entrusted to lead based on fairness, so that the people could continue living in peace and harmony.
“In Kuching, we have the divisional mosque, Sikh temple, Tua Pek Kong temple and Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in close vicinity.
“The major religions of the world co-exist in Kuching as a result of fair administration,” he said.
He also called on Sarawakians to maintain their unity and close ties with one another.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said Sarawak was a model of harmonious co-existence among different faiths.
“For example, there is a church next door to a mosque which are not competing but helping each other instead,” he said, referring to Good Shepherd Church and Masjid An Naim in Lutong, Miri.
Jamil Khir later handed over the Federal Government’s allocation of RM40.4mil for allowances for imams and religious teachers in Sarawak for this year.
He also handed over RM6.2mil for a one-off allowance of RM1,500 for imams and religious teachers announced in the 2018 Budget.