KOTA KINABALU: Thousands of Christian faithful filled churches in Sabah to celebrate Easter Sunday (April 21), which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Easter also marks the end of the Christian season of Lent.
State leaders including Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal extended Easter greetings to the community.
Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chief coordinator Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor also wished all Christians a happy and blessed Easter.
“My wife, family and all Bersatu members in the state join me in wishing Christians on this occasion which is meaningful to them,” he said in a statement.
The Sulaman assemblyman also criticised former Bersatu women's chief Anina Saadudin, who recently questioned the erection of billboards in Sabah, which convey well-wishes to Christians observing Good Friday (April 19).
“I wish to state here that Anina had been sacked from Bersatu and therefore, her statement has nothing to do with the party whatsoever.
“I also do not agree with her stand on this matter. We in Sabah live in peace and harmony despite being multi-racial and multi-religious.
"Maybe she should come to Sabah and see how we live. Here, it is not uncommon to find members of the same family having different religions, and they have no problem with that," Hajiji said.
“For example, most of my in-laws or my wife’s family members are devout Catholics and some of them even serve in church. The question of the billboard does not bother us at all.
“I attended a mission school run by the Catholic church but that did not make me less Muslim. This was because the school never imposed their belief on Muslim students,” he added.
Hajiji's statement comes three days after Anina's post went viral on social media and drew the ire of social media users, especially Sabahans.
In a cryptic Facebook posting on Thursday (April 18), Anina wrote: "Before this, it was just banners and buntings. Now they have power, they can upgrade to billboards. Can use cranes if not high enough. If not big enough, can double the size by adding pillars. Next year can advertise it in the TV. Equality, they say."
The post was accompanied by a photo of a billboard in Kota Kinabalu which had a special message for the Christian community in conjunction with Good Friday.
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