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Avoid touching on religion, race: Arif
Published on: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

MEMBAKUT: Warisan Party vice-president, Datuk Peter Anthony, should stop raising any sensitive issues, especially sentiments involving religion and racial issues in the state.

Assistant Minister In Chief Minister's Department, Datuk Ariffin Arif, said Peter's statement during a speech at Matunggong, recently revealed that there were elements of sedition, including insults.

He fears such speeches can cause racial and religious dispute that can further undermine the stability of the people in Sabah.

"There has been no religious and racial issues in Sabah over the years ... those raising the sentiment are Warisan as they were indeed wanting to spark a split between the people in the state.

"Actually they have no issue to be raised ... they also have a problem until they are willing to issue sensitive statements, but we have been living harmoniously for a long time despite different religions and races.

"It should be remembered that a country would not be peaceful if such sentiments exist," he said after officiating the Membakut National Secondary School (SMK) Annual Sports, here on Tuesday.

He was asked to comment on Peter's speech at the Heritage Talk Program in Matunggong, Kudat on Feb 14, where he allegedly tried to provoke religious and racial issues by commenting on Tan Sri Bernard Dompok's appointment as Malaysia Ambassador to the Vatican.

He was also charged with issuing insults against Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and his family by linking them with certain races. Two police reports were lodged against Peter by an unamed political activist at Kota Kinabalu District Police Headquarters (IPD) while the second report was made by the Mamagun NGO Organization at IPD Tenom on Monday.

Ariffin, who is also Membakut's Assemblyman is convinced that the people in Sabah are unaffected and will not support the party that likes to raise such issues.

He said the clear statement of the prejudice would also not affect the harmony and tolerance spirit that had been the core of the people's integrity in the state for a long time.

"Hence, the authorities' actions are needed to ensure that these hateful issues are not repeated in the future," he said, advising Peter to adopt mature politics if he wanted to join the political scene. - Iskandar Dzulkifli

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