Sarawak shares its wealth among all religions so everyone can pray in comfort, premier says
KUCHING, Feb 20 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today said the state government does not hesitate to assist non-Muslim faiths with funds so their followers can pray in peace and comfort.
He said the assistance is a form of compassion of the state government to share the state’s wealth with the non-Muslim faiths.
“Those, particularly in the government, must share. The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government is doing that,” he said at the Malaysian Interfaith Harmony Forum 2023 organised by the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) in the Premier’s Department here.
He said that is why the state government has formed Unifor to help the non-Muslims, mission schools and build houses of worship.
“How are you going to pray in peace when drops of water fall from the leaking roofs? You cannot concentrate,” he said, adding that he believes in the personal relationship between mankind and God.
He urged every follower of faith to pray for Sarawak’s well-being and prosperity so he could share the wealth with all.
Abang Johari added the state government has shared RM100 million with Unifor from the revenue of RM11.9 billion that was generated last year, and much of the funds will be channelled towards helping mission and Chinese schools in rural areas of the state.
“We can’t wait for funds to come from the federal government. We have to help these schools financially, such as for repair works and other facilities,” he added.
He called on the people to pray harder so more revenue will be generated for Sarawak.
The forum, with the theme “Love of God, Love of the neighbour, Love of the Good, and love of the neighbour”, featured seven panellists sharing messages of goodwill, acceptance of religions and cultural diversity.
The seven panellists are from Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak, Association of Churches in Sarawak, Malaysia Buddhist Association Sarawak Branch, Malaysia Hindu Sangam Sarawak Branch, the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i of Sarawak, the Federation of Chinese Association Sarawak and Sarawak Sikh Temple Association.
Also attending the forum were Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also the minister in charge of Unifor, and National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang and leaders of religious groups.