SIBU: Malaysia Day is very important to Sarawak as it brings a significant meaning to the multiracial community in the state, said State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion.
Sarawak is a model state with a high degree of tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect among the people of different religious beliefs, he added.
Speaking at an Inter-Faith Unity Programme in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebration here, he pointed out that Sarawak is the only state to have a unit called Unit for Other Religions (Unifor), which operates as a government agency looking after the needs of non-Muslims.
Through the unit, which reflects Sarawak’s priorities on inclusivity and diversity, the people are able to voice out issues pertinent to the evaluation and formulation of policies, laws and regulations on non-Islamic religious affairs.
Jaul said Unifor acted as a focal point for the various religious bodies to liaise and interact with the state and federal government agencies in the matter of applications for land and funding for the construction of houses of worships, and it had expanded into socio-economic activities where its services may be needed for such purposes.
In Kuching, as Malaysia Day dawns, Sarawak deputy chief minister Tan Sri James Masing is calling for better infrastructure in the state’s rural areas. He said his wish was for all 5,000-odd villages and longhouses in Sarawak to be connected by roads and have electricity and water supply by 2030.
“I also hope rural schools will be connected to the Internet so that students are not deprived of their education, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and enforcement of the movement control order,” he said.
Masing also called for a peaceful and stable political climate to prevail in the nation.
“I hope that there will be better understanding between the states and regions in Malaysia,” he added.
The Malaysia Day celebration will be held at the Sibu Indoor Stadium today with the theme “Malaysia Prihatin” (Malaysia Cares), in recognition of the nation’s efforts to address Covid-19.
In Kuala Lumpur, National Unity Minister, Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique said the strong unity among Malaysians is the country’s success that cannot be taken lightly.
Unity is the country’s most meaningful achievement, hence, all efforts, awareness and desire to preserve harmony among the people must continue to be strengthened, she added.
“Although Malaysia Day is celebrated moderately this year, I am confident that the feeling of togetherness among the people is still exhibited through the practice of values that unite us.
“Let us celebrate Malaysia Day together, with full of enthusiasm, to bring us closer together. This will keep the peace under the country’s sovereignty,” she said in a statement here.
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