Tangau submits 2,000 signatures
Published on: Thursday, August 01, 2019
By: Larry Ralon
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KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister cum Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau has submitted to the police a 1982 memorandum containing the signatures of some 2,000 political and church leaders expressing concern over forced conversions in the Interior to back up his recent Facebook posting on the matter. 

“I am confident that the police will investigate this matter fairly and professionally. 

“I have given my full cooperation and have also forwarded the relevant documents in supporting and explaining my posting. The documents I am referring to is a 1982 memorandum given to me many years ago when I was a student leader.

“I have explained to the police what had transpired at that time and the action that I had taken after receiving the memorandum,” Tangau told reporters, after having his statement recorded by police.

Tangau had, in his Facebook posting on July 21, alleged that a former Chief Minister went out to Islamise the community in Tambunan 38 years ago. At least 33 police reports were lodged against him following the posting. 

The three-hour statement recording session was held at his Trade and Industry Ministry’s office at Wisma Kewangan here. Tangau is also Upko President. 

He said since the matter was still a police investigation, he could not share the contents of the memorandum. 

“What is important for me to emphasise is that the intention of the posting was only a reminder for us all on the regretful actions of individuals and never about other religions. 

“It is also a posting for us all to appreciate that currently we have a Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who has shown his concern and care for the well-being of the churches. 

“There was no intention nor was there anything in my posting to show my disrespect towards any religion. I have always believed in, supported and promoted the harmonious relations between different faiths and races in this country. This is corroborated by the steps that as the President of Upko, I established the party’s Biro Agama dan Keharmonian Kaum (Bureau of Religion and Racial Harmony) in 2014. And I am proud that Sabah has always been look up to as a fine example of such respect and tolerance between people of different faith. 

“It is therefore my hope that we could now move on from this episode and to always remain true to ourselves in protecting the uniqueness, beauty and the special bond that binds us all in Sabah through mutual respect and understanding,” said Tangau. 

Asked whether he would make a public apology for the posting, as demanded by some of those who criticised him, Tangau said there is no need since it (conversions) was a fact.

“The memorandum is also a fact. There are names mentioned, who were the doers and who were affected, everyone were mentioned in this. The memorandum was signed by 2000 people including leaders. The facts are all in this memorandum, so how can I say otherwise. Because it is factual. 

“And secondly, I refer to the act of the individuals involved and not to any religion,” he said.

Belia Usia Sabah described Tangau’s statement as provocative as it gave the impression that Islam forces people to convert. 

Acting Tuaran Umno Chief Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan suggested that Tangau should have compared the performance of the two Chief Ministers in administering the state instead of using the sensitive religion yardstick.

Upko members jumped in to defend their party president who they believed did not have any intention to offend Muslims.

Police have opened investigations under Section 505 of the Penal Code following reports lodged against Tangau.

Mohd Shafie was reported on July 26 saying it is time to move forward and focus on Sabah’s future development instead of dwelling on issues with racial and religious sentiments. 

He said differences are inevitable but that should not deter the people from moving forward. 


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