RANAU: Malaysians from different religious backgrounds in Sabah have long accepted the uniqueness of each belief that has contributed to the much acclaimed religious and racial harmony in Sabah.
Towards this end, Christians are assured that all their rights as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is well protected under the present Barisan Nasional (BN) government, said Upko acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
He said the government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is a government that feels the pulse of the grassroots including the concern of Sabahans on their rights in the MA63.
He said this was illustrated on many occasions when Najib gave assurance that he is with the people of Sabah in safeguarding their rights.
“The Prime Minister has said not once or twice but so many times that whatever in the MA63 that has been taken away from Sabah previously, this present government will give it back,” said Tangau who is Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Borneo Theological Seminary (BTS) new academic block under Phase 2A in Namaus, Bongkud here Saturday, he said religious leaders especially from the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church should not be unduly worried about their rights.
The question of freedom in religions should not arise since it is stipulated in the Federal Constitution, he said in his speech at the Dewan Asang Trevor White MTS.
Furthermore, he said Upko had never failed to raise concerns and fight whenever there were issues affecting the Christians.
The Tuaran Member of Parliament said that the BTS might be located in another constituency but he always made it a point to listen to the SIB church leaders.
According to him, he had also been in constant communication with SIB Sabah President Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing discussing on ways to assist the SIB congregation in Sabah.
Among the results of the many meetings between them was the construction of the new academy block for BTS.
Tangau also commended the SIB church for its continuous efforts in helping the government to create youths with strong religious background, an important criteria for our future leaders.
Afterwards, Tangau was accompanied by Dusing to conduct the ground-breaking ceremony at the site before touring the seminary.
Also on hand were Upko deputy secretary Georgina George, Upko religious and racial harmony bureau joint-chairman, Sualim Gopog and SIB Sabah church senior leaders.