KUCHING: National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique is all praise for the Unit For Other Religions (Unifor).
She said the body which is unique to Sarawak and which promotes co-operation, understanding, tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect between Islam and various other religions in the state was a very practical and important organisation.
She said this during a courtesy call on Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at his office here on Friday.
Uggah is also the minister in charge of Unifor which was formed in 2016 by then chief minister, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem and continued by his successor Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“We’ve learnt and are continuing to learn a lot from Sarawak in terms of promoting and strengthening racial and religious tolerance, unity and harmony.
“And Unifor is a perfect vehicle to achieve this and with great success,” she said.
The minister said her ministry wanted to adopt and adapt the concept of Unifor into its Jawatankuasa Keharmonian Kaum (Community Harmony Committee).
“Please guide and advise us,” she said.
According to Halimah, during her recent meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, she had told the King of Unifor and its objectives and roles.
The King had wanted to know her ministry’s roles in promoting inter-faiths unity and harmony.
Halimah said she would be meeting the King again soon together with the national heads of all religions in the country and heads of religious organisations.
“I’m inviting Datuk Amar (Uggah) to attend this meeting over high tea.
“He can then brief our King on the formation and role of Unifor,” she said.
Halimah who was accompanied by her deputy minister Senator Datuk Tan Lian Ker, ministry secretary general Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Md Radzi and its director-general Datuk Hisamuddin Mohd Sujak said her ministry would work very closely with Unifor and learn from its wide experience in dealing with all religious issues.
Uggah, in his speech earlier, said Unifor had played its role in further enhancing solidarity among Sarawakians.
“They now feel they have a place to bring up their problems. We solve which we can solve for them and there is no discrimination.
“Unifor is also a bridge between Islam and the various religious groups where issues which can bring us into conflict are amicably discussed and resolved for everyone’s benefit.”
He said it was in the nation’s interest too if Sarawak continued to enjoy racial and religious harmony and solidarity.
On the National Unity Ministry, Uggah said it was one of the most important ministries.
“That is why our Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin decides to make it a ministry on its own.”