KUCHING, March 18 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) secretary-general Baru Bian today asserted that Sarawak and Sabah have no issues with houses of worship of different religions being in close proximity with each other.
Baru, who is also Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman, urged Sarawakians to be vigilant and never allow bigots to influence them — following a controversial call by Islamist party PAS’ Kuala Langat MP Ahmad Yunus Hairi over houses of worship.
“Some churches and mosques even open up their car parks on Fridays and Sundays to offer parking spaces for worshippers attending at the neighbouring houses of worship,” he said in a statement.
Baru was responding to a call the by Perikatan Nasional MP asking the government to avoid building non-Muslim houses of worship in the same vicinity as mosques.
“I remain confident that all Sarawakians are spiritually strong in their respective faiths not to fall for the religious rhetoric that is played by politicians to sow hatred and divide us,” he said.
He called on other state ministers and leaders to make a similar stand with state Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah against Ahmad Yunus and the dangerous trend of using race and religion to gain political mileage.
He said fanning racial and religious hatred is the despicable strategy of those who have nothing else to offer the public.
“It is very obvious that this is the work of morally bankrupt politicians who are desperate to bring down the government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” he said.
Baru also accused the political bigots of stoking the fears of the Malays instead of taking constructive action to help them improve their lives and livelihood.
“I hope the majority of the people will now see these politicians for what they are and will not be taken in by them,” he said,
He expressed his gratitude to the prime minister for issuing a warning to those fanning racial flames and reassured Malaysians that the country belongs to everyone.
“The police should keep a close eye on the troublemakers and take action where necessary so that the stability of our country can be maintained and the current government be allowed the space and time to rebuild our economy instead of having to constantly counter those who are motivated by their own selfish agenda for political power,” he said.