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Pairin and Dompok want action on seminar

Published on: Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Two Kadazan-dusun leaders hit out, Saturday, at the recent controversial seminar held at UiTM's Shah Alam campus in Selangor which attacked Christianity and expect police to take necessary action against those involved.

State Deputy Chief Minsiter Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan said speakers at the seminar had hurt the feelings of Malaysians from a different faith.

Former Federal Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, on the other hand, said the seminar was detrimental to nation-building.

"If there are irresponsible parties that purposely set out to offend the feelings of others, then this is already wrong under the eyes of the law.

"If there are reports being made to the police (or authorities) regarding this sensitive matter then there should be action taken under the law," Pairin said.

Pairin who is also State Infrastructure Development Minister-cum-State Level 2014 Kaamatan Festival Main Committee Chairman said this after officiating the City level 2014 Kaamatan Carnival at Lintasan Deasoka.

His comments follows the recent statements by State Tourism Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun last week who also spoke out against UiTM for allowing such a seminar to be held where several speakers, inclduing from Indonesia, have openly criticised Christianity.

The speakers allegedly said that Christians were betraying god unless they became Muslims. Pairin called on people in the State to continue living in a peace and harmony.

"All the challenges that have arisen including the two kidnapping cases in the east coast recently, we must face together and let us not be in disunity and start pointing fingers at each other as this will affect the peace, harmony and unity enjoyed in the State.

"Even though we may have different opinions at times what is important is we must think about the future of the Government which needs the people to unite to ensure that all the national agendas, including the transformation agenda and NKRA, can be achieved for the good of the people."

He said what was important was for people of different races, backgrounds and religions to live in a harmonious environment of mutual understanding and tolerance, while adding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also made the State the best example toward achieving the 1Malaysia concept.

Dompok, also a former Chief Minister like Pairin, said the seminar was hurtful to the ears, hearts and the minds of all Malaysians.

"It was full of bigotry, disgraceful arguments, shaming other religionsÉ I feel sad that such thing had happened and it should be removed," he said, at the Montfort Youth Training Centre (MYTC) Graduation ceremony, Saturday.

He said both Sabah and Sarawak are more attuned to Malaysia's aspirations in building a united nation and that Mara institutions in both States should be upgraded to cater for more natives who want to pursue higher education.

"The UiTM in both States should be enlarged and supported fully so that they can be the centre of excellence for natives in both Sabah and Sarawak, instead of sending them to you know where.

"In here, we are good, we work together, we stay together.

How beautiful it is for the young people in this country to be able to study and work together as we have experienced in the 50s and 60s and perhaps in the 70s.

"I have very good friends who are of other races, the Malays, the Chinese and these things are hurtful and disuniting to Malaysians," he said.

He also lauded the move made by Sarawak in barring religious extremists from entering the State and hoped Sabah would emulate such move as well.

On another note, Dompok advised the rectors of parishes with Mission schools under their care to take more interest in the education of children in their respective schools.

"Mission schools have to do a lot more to take ownership of education that is within their premises. I think there's always a way for their roles to be expanded fully.

"I see no reason why the rector cannot go and visit the classrooms in schools, in his cassock, because after all the property belongs to the Mission.

"I think it should happen more and hopefully the Mission authorities will look into that," he said.

Dompok also said that while MYTC had done excellent job in educating and training of youths, the institution is unfortunately not within the mission school proper.

"Montfort is limited by the fact that it only provides this type of education (skill training). I prefer the growth to be in terms of providing more hostel facilities so that students can study better and you can probably reach wider group.

"And this is the thing I've been trying to do like San Damiano and St Mary Sandakan, hopefully there'll be a couple more.

It is the fastest way of helping out (underprivileged children) because this one (MYTC) takes a very long time.

But it is good to have," he said.