UPKO Urges The Federal Government To Stop Stoking Racial Disharmony

KOTA KINABALU: UPKO has urged the government to stop stoking racial disharmony and confusion in the country.


In making the call, UPKO President Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said instead, the government should focus on ensuring that there is food on the table for each and every family throughout the country.
“What we need is for everyone to show more empathy, understanding and compassion during these fragile times to help us through this pandemic.
“All energy and resources should be focused on economic and health recovery especially to tackle the challenges posed by the Covid-19 Pandemic,” he said in a statement, here on Wednesday.
The recent announcement by the Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Ahmad Marzuk Shaari regarding one of the four new shariah laws currently being drafted and to be introduced is a bill on the “Control and restrictions on the development of non-Muslim religions” has created confusion amongst multiracial Malaysia, he said.
Madius said the announcement has caused concerns and reactions especially the non-Muslim communities for the reason that the proposed named bill is to “Control and restrictions on the development of non-Muslim religions” which was reportedly  aimed at strengthening the shariah laws as part of the government’s ‘Empowerment Plan’.
He said the deputy minister should have not made such announcements without giving proper explanation on the purpose, workings and intention of the said bill.
“We appreciate and respect that under Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution allows for the states and for the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya to enact federal laws to control and restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine besides the Islamic religion amongst the Muslim,” he added.
However, the Tuaran MP said the government and the deputy minister in particular must appreciate that there are, if not most of the non-Muslim communities that do not understand or are aware of the existence of such state laws or federal laws under Shariah, which jurisdiction is only towards the Muslim.
“That is why there are concerns and confusions arises from the very short announcement that such bill or amendments may encroached the constitutional rights of the non-Muslim to profess and practice their religion as well as rights to propagate their respective religion amongst the non-Muslim communities.
“We live in a multiracial society and the harmonious and peaceful relationship that we have foster and fought for throughout the years comes from the respect, tolerance and understanding from our communities,” he said.
Political leaders have moral responsibilities to ensure that this relationship continues and not be a catalyst that creates confusions and apprehensions which may affect the very bond that ties us all together, he said.
“The deputy minister, if he must make such an announcement, then he must be prepared to make an informed and detailed explanation of the intention of the proposed amendments.
“I would even say that the way the announcement was made reflects incompetency in failing to see the confusions and anger that it may cause.
“Further, at a time when the country is battling with the increase of daily infections and deaths by covid-19; and people are suffering economically and some struggle to put food on the table; it makes us wonder where the government priority lies.
“After all, it is the new Prime Minister that wants everyone to join him in saving “Keluarga Malaysia,” he said.

Related Articles


Latest Articles