Race and religion is never an issue in Sabah, says Salleh Said Keruak

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak (pic) issued a stark reminder that a country can only be strong if its people are united.

The former Sabah chief minister made out his home state to be a beaming example of the religious and racial tolerance between the scores of ethnic groups in the East Malaysian state.

The Usukan assemblyman said the existence of houses of worship of different religions close to each other was a clear reflection of the high level of tolerance of the people in Sabah.

"To the people of this state, different religions are not a hindrance to live in harmony," he said, in a Facebook posting.

"The difference in religion and racial background has never been an obstacle at all for them to be united.

"In fact, don’t be surprised if you find Muslims attending Christian weddings held at churches," Salleh added.

He made the remarks following the banning of programmes by the Selangor government involving Muslims in non-Muslim houses of worship.

Perikatan Nasional-PAS MP (Kuala Langat) Ahmad Yunus Hairi had also on Thursday (March 16) urged the government in Parliament to disallow the establishment of non-Muslim houses of worship like churches and temples in the same vicinity with mosques.

Salleh said the sense of togetherness and respect were among the keys for the success in Sabah in safeguarding unity between the races and modest living.

"This has never been an issue in Sabah which has more than 30 ethnic groups of different religions.

"It is no surprise the people in this state can live in peace and harmony.

"Let us defend this practice and unity which cannot be easily influenced and threatened by extremist elements," he said.

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