KOTA KINABALU: Sabah political parties have come out criticising PAS Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh who refused to apologise for saying the Bible had been distorted.
Parti Warisan Sabah, Upko and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leaders said that everyone has the right to read holy books from differing religious faith and should have self-control and intelligence to avoid making commentaries that would anger others.
On Aug 26, during the debate on the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020 to propose heavier fines for drink-driving offenders, the Pasir Puteh MP had claimed that “Kitab Injil ini dipesongkan atau pun diubah” (The Bible is distorted or changed).
The leaders urged the Pasir Puteh MP to retract and help preserve and respect the nation's unity.
"Nik Muhammad has shown us that he lacks self-control by uttering words that clearly demean others and he should be reprimanded so that others will not repeat what he did, ” Warisan treasurer Terrence Siambun said in a statement.
"There is no need to engage in a dialogue with Nik Muhammad because it is useless to do so - his mind had already been fixated so engaging in a dialogue with him will only create more tension when he comes out with even more provocative statements due to his belief, ” he said, in urging PBS, STAR and PBRS to pressure PAS who are their political allies to correct the situation.
This is the best time to do so since PBS, STAR and PBRS will be dependent on the Sabahan Christian votes this coming state election - these parties should not only denounce what Nik Muhammad had said but also make him apologise, he added.
Upko deputy president Senator Datuk Donald Mojuntin also condemned acts which belittle other religions and appealed for Malaysians to live harmoniously.
“We must not only be united, but we must also be seen as united. I condemn any act which disrupts unity, Upko condemns ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, we cannot tolerate bigotry. Respecting one another, living in harmony must be our routine norm in life. That is my prayer, ” said Mojuntin in a statement.
“I urge him (Nik Muhammad) to retract his statement. I am also waiting for his fellow Muslims to reprimand him. Let’s live the Rukun Negara, Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan, ” added Mojuntin.
Warisan deputy president and Penampang MP Datuk Darell Leiking also said that the PAS lawmaker should stop touching on Christianity and all other faiths after the latter had been reported to decline to apologise for saying that the Bible was distorted.
He said that the foundation of the Federation of Malaysia is mutual respect which had actually had been applied under the previous Pakatan Harapan government.
"The people of the Federation of Malaysia and more so Sabah and Sarawak had agreed to form the Federation of Malaysia strictly on basis of reciprocal respect between all faiths and to never dwell on the teachings of other faiths regardless, ” he added.
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