KUCHING: Association of Churches of Sarawak (ACS) chairman Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok has commended outgoing Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for his stand on the Allah controversy.
He expressed hope that Taib’s successor would continue to maintain the spirit of inclusiveness that had been enjoyed by various communities in the state during his leadership over the past 33 years.
“The churches in Sarawak commend Taib for his bold and unambiguous stand on the Allah controversy,” he said.
“We hope that under his successor, our much-vaunted inclusiveness is maintained and that the State and the Church will continue to enjoy a partnership which is truly cordial and creative.”
Last year, Taib had said the ban on the word “Allah” would not be enforced in Sarawak or Sabah because the states did not consent to alter the status quo.
“It is not (going to be extended to Sarawak and Sabah). Unless it is a legislation that has the consent from us in Sarawak, it cannot alter the status quo,” he had said after officiating at the PBB triennial delegates conference.
Bolly, who is also the Anglican Archbishop of South-East Asia, said Taib’s immediate predecessor, Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’kub, who was also Taib’s uncle, had said to the effect that Sarawak’s strength was in the intricate combination of the Malays’ keen political prowess, the Chinese’s business acumen and industry and the Dayaks’ loyalty and exceptional bravery.
“Sarawak thrives because of her inclusiveness. Intense speculation has reduced the number of eligible candidates, but even at this 11th hour, there seems to be no consensus as to who should succeed Taib.”
Meanwhile, PRS secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Nissom said he was certain that Taib’s choice of successor would not cause a split in PBB.
He said the matter regarding the CM’s retirement was nothing new and, as such, the party believed that whoever was picked would not be an issue.
“It’s not something that was dropped out of the blue. It has been ongoing for a number of years,” he said.