Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has reiterated that respecting someone else’s belief is not tantamount to accepting his or her religion.

“It is wise for Democratic Action Party (DAP) or critics of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to understand the difference between respect and acceptance of other people’s religion.

“When Pakatan Harapan (PH) held power after the 14th general election (GE14), DAP had no qualm in teaming up with Mat Sabu’s Amanah.

“Does it mean that DAP wants Islamic belief to be introduced to Sarawak? I hope not; nor should Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) working relationship with Perikatan Nasional (PN) and PAS be viewed as such,” he said in a statement on Monday (Sept 21).

Masing, citing a news report, said in August 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, a pastor of Harapan Komuniti (HK) organised a thanksgiving dinner which was attended by single mothers and homeless youth including former drug addicts and HK volunteers.

“At the event, they were raided by 15 Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and 20 policemen without a search warrant. They were accused of proselytising among Muslims. This was later found to be not true. It hit the headlines in the papers.”

He said the then Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim later apologised to HK, and it was later followed by PAS deputy president Mat Sabu who also clarified and apologised for the error.

“What I am trying to point out here is that Mat Sabu was a PAS man who later split to form Amanah. But he is still a very much a PAS man and holds a very firm Islamic ideology and very much a Muslim,” he said.