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PBS against Islamic state agenda; accuses Minister of creating a stir
Published on: Friday, October 20, 2017

Kota Marudu: Parti Bersatu Sabah Thursday denounced any attempt to make Malaysia an Islamic state.

Assuring Malaysians, particularly Sabahans, that PBS would stop any intrusion of such radical act in the country, the party's acting President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said there is no space for extremists in Malaysia.

"We have made our stand in the past that PBS do not subscribe to the definition of Islamic state.

Our stand on the matter has been consistent, and let me reiterate, PBS will never support to make Malaysia an Islamic state. This is against the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the constitutional provision in respect of the practice of religion in Malaysia.

"We have and will continue to object all we can if ever the Federal Government pursue the matter," Ongkili stressed.

He said Islam is upheld as the "religion of the Federation", but the Federal Constitution also grants freedom of religion.

Ongkili was responding to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki's statement that Barisan Nasional is not shirking its responsibility to make Malaysia an Islamic state based on recent development of Islam in the country which is being strengthened from time to time.

"Such statement is uncalled for, especially from a federal leader. It would raise unnecessary alarm.

"He (Asyraf) was either ignorant or purposely want to create a stir. He could be speaking in his personal capacity because that (his statement) is not the BN stand," said Ongkili at the launch of Kota Marudu Level Jalinan Rakyat Plus (JR Plus) Programme, Thursday.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister cum Kota Marudu Member of Parliament said the Islamic state definition of PAS is not acceptable to PBS, and this stand is shared by all BN component parties in Sabah and Sarawak.

"I am aware that the seven other BN component parties in East Malaysia – United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusunMurut Organisation (Upko), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Sabah and Sarawak's Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) – also share PBS' sentiment on the issue," he said.

Meanwhile, Ongkili described the Umno Wanita JR Plus programme, which was launched to replace the Konsep Ketua 10 (K10) initiative, as a strategic way to get close to the people.

"I call on all BN component parties to work closely together under JR PLUS, which would harness the coalition's election machineries, especially with the 14th General Election drawing close.

"JR Plus will be the bridge between the people and the government," said Ongkili, who is also BN Kota Marudu Chief.

Earlier, Sarawak BN parties said it was not possible for Malaysia to ever become an Islamic nation.

This was because Barisan, as a coalition at the national level, had never agreed to making Malaysia an Islamic state, said the Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

They said Barisan would never do away with the present secular status.

SUPP Secretary-General Datuk Sebastian Ting said Barisan component parties, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak, would never agree to such a move.

"That would be against the Malaysia Agreement 1963. And since Sarawak and Sabah are equal partners with Malaya in Malaysia, and we in Sarawak and Sabah want to remain secular, there can be no Islamic status for Malaysia," he added.

He said Dr Asyraf obviously did not seek the consent of Barisan component parties when making his remarks.

PDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing concurred.

"While Islam is the official religion in Peninsular Malaysia, it does not mean Malaysia is an Islamic country."

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