KUCHING: Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has been highly instrumental in forging the solid racial unity and religious harmony in Sarawak which have ensured its political stability.
According to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Sarawak is one of the most stable states in the country and he hoped that this would continue.
“On this occasion, allow me to place on record our deepest appreciation to Tun for his sterling record and many years of service to the state.
“Tun has contributed immensely to the state’s development in all aspects since joining politics in 1963. He was our chief minister from 1981 to 2014. Sarawak’s current pace of development has its roots in his dynamic and people-centric leadership,” he said at a thanksgiving ceremony organised by the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) at The Waterfront Hotel here yesterday (Oct 8) in conjunction with the Head of State’s 85th birthday celebration.
“Despite its religious and racial diversities, Sarawak today is a paragon of unity, harmony and stability in the nation. This gathering is indeed a reflection of the inclusiveness, harmony, solidarity, stability and progress here in Sarawak.
“As the saying goes — ‘the more bridges that are built, the less room there is for fear and prejudice between us’,” said Uggah, who is also minister-in-charge of Unifor.
He said among the factors that had led Sarawak and its diverse people to where they are today were understanding and readiness to discuss issues as well as refraining from highlighting sensitive issues.
“I’m happy to note that so far, all the religions in Sarawak have managed to avoid unnecessary conflict and try to discuss issues so that we will not be like other countries torn apart by internecine religious fanaticism and racial strife.
“In many of our faiths’ traditions, the best way to avoid misunderstanding is to do good together, to pray together, and to find common objectives together. I believe all religions teach their followers to do just that,” he said.
He hoped Unifor would be able to continue organising events such as this thanksgiving prayer and other similar events to bring together heads of different religious institutions for them to enhance and cement ties.
“This is the Sarawak that we all represent and this is the Sarawak that we have all built, and I hope this unity will continue in the future,” he said.
He commended the full support given to Unifor by the heads of various non-Islamic religious bodies, adding that such support was a big encouragement for Unifor.
Uggah also pointed out that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had given full support to Unifor’s development and programmes, including providing significant allocations to assist the various non-Islamic religions.
In closing, he expressed his well-wishes for the Head of State: “May our Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak and Toh Puan (Taib’s wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Ragad Kurdi Taib) be blessed with abundant health, happiness, wisdom, and long life to lead Sarawak to greater heights in many years to come.”