KUCHING: Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian hoped Sarawak will continue to be the last frontier in Malaysia which will not be influenced by the political polarisation in West Malaysia.
The state is unique compared to other places because it is united despite Sarawakians coming from different races, ethnicity and religions, he said.
“All of us in Sarawak respect each other because we value the bond between the people here very much and we always put that (unity) first.
“You see when we have open houses in Sarawak, during celebrations like Gawai Dayak, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Hari Raya, Deepavali like today, you will see people from different races celebrating it together and that is the unique part about Sarawak,” Dr Sim said while officiating Deepavali Open House 2022 at the Hare Krishna Multipurpose Hall here last night (Nov 25).
Thus, Dr Sim said besides autonomy over health and education, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had stated before that in the state and federal constitutions, Malaysians have the freedom to choose their religions.
“With that, I think we should take a step further, which is religious autonomy of Sarawak, and that is what we will try to pursue.
“I am very grateful for Sarawak UNIFOR (Unit for Other Religions) because in the last two years, UNIFOR has done a tremendous job in helping all of us overcome a once-in-100-years pandemic crisis and that is why we are able to be here today even though we unfortunately lost more than 3,000 Sarawakians last year to Covid-19.
“If we did not coordinate and did not come together in the spirit of solidarity, we would have lost a lot more Sarawakians,” Dr Sim said.