Justice for all races and religions, says CM

KUCHING: Sarawak will continue to do things its own way. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this in response to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s call for Sarawak to be a role model for the whole nation in handling racial and religious issues.

“We (Muslims) in Sarawak are only ‘secupak’ (quart equivalent) … not ‘segantang’ (gallon equivalent). Sorry to say, we can never administer the state if the other (for an example) three ‘cupak’ did not have faith in us,” he said.

“Our people have faith in us (Muslims) to govern the state although we are not many because we are fair and just to Islamic and non-Islamic communities.” Abang Johari was officiating at the closing ceremony of the statelevel Wacana Eksekutif Maqasid Syariah held at Sarawak Islamic Complex here yesterday.

Saying it was important to find ways to avoid tensions, especially in a multi-racial country, he explained that the state government had always referred to the ‘Piagam Madinah’ (Charter of Medina) model when administering Sarawak. The Charter of Medina or Constitution of Medina was drawn up on behalf of Prophet Muhammad in 622 CE, and formed the basis of a multi-religious Islamic state in Medina.

Abang Johari also mentioned the establishment of Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) in 2017 to look after the affairs of religions other than Islam in Sarawak, such as the construction and repair of houses of worship, coordinating and facilitating the application of sites for religious buildings, and other matters affecting the state’s non-Islamic religious bodies.

“In giving aid to the development of Muslims by setting up mosques, we did not forget about setting up the worship places of other religions. “This is our perspective that we should hold onto … that we must give justice to Islam and non-Islam,” he continued.