SUPP disappointed with appeal

Date:

KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has expressed disappointment with the federal government for appealing against last week’s Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling on ‘Allah’ issue.

Party president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the appeal might be a politically right decision by the majority of the Cabinet ministers in the federal government given the instability of the present government and the need to garner support from PAS and Umno.

“It can also be seen as palatable for Malaya (West Malaysia) society and political parties where the majority of the people are Muslims. However, that does not give the federal government the right to impose their version of Malaysia on Sarawak that is contrary to what was agreed in 1963 (when Malaysia was formed).

“If the federal government insists on their version of Malaysia and not that of 1963, SUPP asks that there be a comprehensive review on the role Sarawak should play in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today (March 16).

Dr Sim, who is also Local Government and Housing Minister, reminded that Malaysia was formed with Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners in 1963 with the fundamental condition that there should not be any official religion in Sarawak.

He also pointed out that the people of Sarawak before 1963 were apprehensive on the possible encroachment into their freedom of worship and religion should Malaysia be formed with Malaya as the dominant party.

Dr Sim said Malayan leaders gave their promise and assurance that Sarawakians had full say and freedom over religion in order to assuage their fear.

“The federal government has breached their promise and assurance given to the people of Sarawak on this fundamental right — the right to freedom of religion.

“The issue at hand is just one of the smaller infringements on the rights. The federal government is urged to abide by the agreement and the promises given to the people of Sarawak.”

On Monday, the federal government issued notice it would appeal against the High Court decision on March 10, quashing the government’s directive issued by the Home Ministry’s control division via the Circular dated Dec 5, 1986.

The 1986 Circular banned the use of the word “Allah” and three other words by non-Muslims.

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