By Nazrinzulaiqa Hasbi
KUCHING: The Sarawak Evangelical Christian Association (SECA) is urging Sarawakians to stand up and reclaim the unique religious freedom accorded in Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
SECA, in a statement on Monday (Sept 13), said that it was obvious that a few rebuttal statements from various religious bodies and politicians would not stop restricting religious freedom in the country.
“The ongoing and persistent attempts at the encroachment of religious space by certain quarters have proven the futility of such efforts.
“Furthermore, the word ‘complete freedom of religion’ which was used frequently by our founding fathers in the agreements establishing Malaysia, enshrines the essence of religious freedom for Sabah and Sarawak.
“However, since the creation of the federation, the federal government has not been supportive of our religious freedom, and our state government has not given it the importance to regain the Sarawak people’s rights.
“The religious space of the people of Sarawak for the past decades has been continuously and seriously curtailed through the interpretations of the provisions in both the federal and state constitutions that favoured one religion instead of keeping the original intent.
“The people of Sarawak have been at the receiving end of religious court rulings that failed to adequately consider our unique history, culture, and demographics.”
SECA said it was up to the people of Sarawak to select what kind of religious space they wanted for future generations.
SECA encouraged the public to visit Sarawak heritage for an overview at http://tiny.cc/CompleteFreedom
SECA also highlighted that by taking part in the ongoing statewide discussion, “we can preserve and share our distinctive Sarawak way of life for future generations.”