• Nur Syafiqah Abdullah

End political exploitation of insecurities, UPKO urges govt


5 Nov 2021

By Nur Syafiqah Abdullah


KOTA KINABALU: President of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said all parties must work together to address each other’s insecurities and political exploitation in order for Malaysia to move forward.


He said this is because certain segments of Malayan Muslims feel deeply insecure that others are out of to insult their faith or confuse them.


“Fortunately, such insecurities are not found amongst Borneo Muslims because they have non-Muslim families and friends, and they know that non-Muslims are just normal humans like Muslims who seek happiness, health, peace and livelihood for themselves and their loved ones.


“If Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is serious about building a happy and prosperous ‘Keluarga Malaysia’, then he must reign on the political exploitation of Muslims’ insecurities. To have insecurities is human but to deliberately exploit insecurities to fuel superiority and hatred is wicked and dangerous.


“He must call upon politicians from Malay-based parties – PAS, Amanah, UMNO and PKR – to compete on how to protect Malays from pandemic, unemployment, Industrial Revolution 4.0 and climate change that may cause 13% of our total landmass,” he said in his Deepavali message yesterday.


According to Madius, Ismail Sabri must also ensure that the Islamic spirit of religious freedom, “for you is your religion, for me is my religion”, is truly practised in Keluarga Malaysia.


Citing the Timah whiskey fiasco, he said the prime minister must stop the anti-alcohol campaign and partial alcohol ban in Kuala Lumpur which is deeply insensitive to Borneo natives as well as other communities.


“Muslims cannot drink alcohol does not mean that non-Muslims must be restricted from buying alcohol or consumption of alcohol must be hidden.


“Malaysia belongs to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Anyone who has forgotten this should pay a visit to the Batu Bersumpah (Oath Stone) on the social contract of religious freedom and allegiance to Malaysia, in Keningau, Sabah.”


Meanwhile, he also urged the present-day Government to hear the plea of Borneo Christians that have called for the withdrawal of ‘Allah’ ban.


He said, along them who also called for the withdrawal are 31 state assemblypersons, 18 Parliamentarians, and four senators from Sabah and Sarawak in a statement dated March 15 this year.


“The plea is a cross-party voice,” he said.


“Ismail Sabri must summon the moral courage to inform Malayan Muslims that ‘Allah’ is used by Borneo Christians in worship because that is the word used in Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia and even Arab for “The God” in any Abrahamic religions.


“The cultural shock many Malayan Muslims encountered since the 1980s was due to success of the National Language Policy in Sabah and Sarawak, and the influx of Sabahans and Sarawakians to Malaya for education and employment because their home regions had been marginalized,” he added.


Madius also called on the government to introduce comparative religions courses in schools and through public media.


This, he said, is so that both Muslims and Christians know their different understandings of ‘Allah’ without feeling insecure.


On another matter, the MP Tuaran also reminded Malaysians to “use your vote wisely” in the coming Malacca and Sarawak state elections.


“Malaysians must not give up hope that the light of inclusiveness can conquer the darkness of insecurities. In the upcoming state elections of Malacca and Sarawak, make sure you turn out to vote and use your vote to reject any candidates and parties who deliberately exploit the politics of insecurities.


“Choose only amongst those who respect each other’s belief and sensitivity, as expressed in the great principle of ‘for you is your religion and for me is my religion’.”