Current Affairs, National

Ismail Sabri must assure that freedom of religion in Malaysia will not be jeopardised

 

All Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and region want our country to progress with ‘common prosperity’

 

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Stampin, Chong Chieng Jen in his Parliamentary debate on the Motion of Thanks to the King’s Address on Tuesday (21 September 2021) called upon Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri to assure all Malaysians that his government will not draft, table nor pass any legislation that would jeopardise the freedom of religion in our country.

This is following a controversial proposal by the PAS Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary for four new Shariah Laws which include the restriction on the propagation of non-Islamic religions. In the speech in the Dewan Rakyat, Chong stressed,

 

“The Prime Minister must come forth to given assurance to all Malaysian, as the Prime Minister has claimed to be the ‘Keluarga Malaysia’, that no such law will be drafted, tabled nor passed in Parliament.”

 
Malaysiakini article screenshot on Ahmad Marzuk’s controversial bills proposal.
 

“Anything short of the Prime Minister making such a assertive statement is not sufficient to allay the fear of the non-Muslims in this country and to reassure all Malaysian that he sincerely and truly meant what he said as ‘Keluarga Malaysia’….”

 

Chong, who is also DAP Sarawak Chairman further elaborated that the move by the PAS Deputy Minister has attracted criticism by the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) which responded by asserting that any attempts to introduce Shariah Bills affecting non-Muslims as directly contravening the very spirit of the formation of Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) clearly guarantees the rights to religious freedom in the Federation of Malaysia based on the first item in Chapter 3 of the Inter-Governmental Committee.

Hence, if the move by the Ahmad Marzuk is endorsed by the Prime Minister, it can be seen as shaking the very foundation for the formation of Malaysia. Therefore, Chong thus urged for the Federal Government to not overstep boundaries and limits so as not to cause further divide amongst the rakyat.

 
The Star article screenshot on Wan Junaidi’s response to the proposed controversial bill.
 

Furthermore, the Stampin MP also revealed that there has been a concerning rise in secession sentiment among Sarawakians due to fears concerning how the Federal Government is handling religious matters. As such is also not helped by the Minister of Law, Datuk Seri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, himself from GPS, Sarawak’s ruling party which claimed ignorance of the work in progress in the drafting of such a controversial law.

Chong then questioned Wan Junaidi and GPS’ stance on the matter,

 

“The GPS is part of the Federal Government and it is with GPS’ support that PAS has become part of the Federal Government. How can one claim ignorance and deflect responsibility from the act of one’s partner in government?”

 
MP for Stampin, Chong Chieng Jen.
 

In the same speech, Chong also lamented the unfair and lopsided development between West Malaysia and Sarawak as despite 58 years has passed since the formation of Malaysia, Sarawakians remain one of the poorest people in the country. The latest DOSM statistics showed that the medium household disposable income for Sarawak was only RM3,994, far below the medium household disposable income of RM5,116 for the whole of Malaysia.

This imbalanced situation is caused by both the Federal Government and Sarawak’s GPS government, previously known as Sarawak BN. The latter, who has governed the state for the past 58 years uninterrupted was criticised by Chong for having the audacity to deflect their responsibility by constantly putting the blame solely on the Federal Government.

The Stampin MP then urged the Federal Government under Ismail Sabri to utilise the RM45 billion addition injection into the economy as proposed by PH in the Transformation and Political Stability MoU by giving a greater proportion to help the people and businesses in Sarawak. Moreover, Chong also called for Ismail Sabri to emulate the previous PH government in increasing the proportion of the national development allocation for Sarawak. – The Rocket.

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