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Sebastian Ting calls for Malaya fanatics not to be allow into Sarawak 

It is with most disappointment that Malaysia has to be plunged into another religion debauch from a PAS leader who made unfavourable remarks against Christianity and other religions.

Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh made claims that the Bible has been distorted from its original meaning and all religion do not allow its followers to consume alcohol in Parliment on Wednesday. He was debating on the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020.

I can fully understand the concern of leaders on drunk driving issues. It is alright to debate on it and see how best we can control drunk from getting behind the wheels.

But to use Christianity and other religion to make a sweeping remark of which Nik Muhammad is not an expert in is tantamounting to blasphemy of other religion. As a responsible politician, it is wise not to indulge into other religion of which he is not an expert or a practising one.

It is hurtful to comment on the Holy book, in this case, the Bible. We should not make comments and remarks on other religion that we are not well verse in. Even our own religon, we too need our church leaders to interpret the meaning of our verses.

We are staying in a multi-racial country, it is especially the leaders themselves who should show a good example of mutual respect, acceptance and tolerance to one another and how to live in harmony.

In Sarawak, drinking is part of our lifestyle during many of our festival celebrations. During Gawai, it is polite and a culture to take a sip of the “tuak” a popular rice wine offered by the host. The Dayak women take great pride in preparing ‘tuak’ and it is alcoholic. This festival is both a religious and a social one and it was celebrated to mark a bountiful harvest and a time to plan for lthe new farming season ahead.

This is a rich culture that we Sarawakians have embraced and proud of. For the Christians, there is no harm to drink as one as one do not drink himself silly. Even during the celebration of the Holy Communion, a small amount wine was used.

It is indeed sad that in this day and age, leaders are still using race and religion to gain brownie points. This must be stopped immediately before things got out of hand.

Therefore, I agreed with the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) Chairman, Archbiship Simon Poh who has demanded Nik Muhammad to retract his remarks in Parliament and tender a public apology to all he has offended.

Uttering insensitive remarks with a strong allegation against another’s religion should not be allowed to stand without being rectified, as it is a violation of the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963 that guarantee the right of all citizens to religious freedom.

As PAS MP has reportedly issued a statement that he would not apologise, he  is certainly indeed very insensitive towards another religion, and is bad news for the country, especially Sarawak where we are proud of our racial and religious harmony.

This PAS MP is not welcomed to Sarawak and indeed must be barred from entering Sarawak.

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