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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Putrajaya has betrayed us, says Sabah Christian NGO

The creeping tentacles of fundamentalism backed by Putrajaya is a betrayal of the people of Sabah who are seeing their rights gradually shrinking, says native Christian Sabahan NGO Perpaduan Anak Negeri (PAN) chairperson Esther Golingi.

"There can be no treachery greater than being betrayed by someone within the family.

"We call on Prime Minister Najib Razak to roll back extremism within Umno and the Islamic establishment.

"He has the choice to be a statesman or a jaguh kampung (village champion). He cannot be both," she said in a statement today.

Esther said Sabah was guaranteed protection and preferential treatment when it agreed to form a union with Malaya but Putrajaya has failed to keep its promise.

Highlighting examples of the creeping fundamentalism as a result of Putrajaya’s doing, Esther said the state which did not have an official religion was in 1973 made to have Islam as one.

In 1983, the Al-Kitab, a Malay-language bible was banned albeit with some leeway and by 1992, the Administration of Islamic Law Enactment (Sabah) was introduced which banned non-Muslims from using a list of 31 words, she added.

"The word ‘Allah’ being one of them. Another word is ‘Injil’ for Gospel. "This means that Sidang Injil Borneo Sabah, the indigenous church of Sabah cannot exist as a legal entity any longer simply because of this word in its registered name," she said.

To add salt to injury, she pointed out that the Sabah mufti had described the Kadazandusun community, the original people of Sabah, as an “invented race”.

“He should be sacked for such a racist remark yet he remains in office. This suggests that he enjoys the protection of the federal government,” she said.

Aside from receding rights to freedom of religion, Esther said Sabahans are also being relegated to "second-class citizens" as Putrajaya turn a blind eye to the flood of Muslim immigrants.

"Today, we are worse than second-class citizens, aliens and strangers in our own land, displaced by foreigners," she said.

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