Monday, February 23, 2015

Religion is not an issue in Sabah


It looks like the issue of Hudud has peaked and is threatening to break up the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat. PAS is adamant about pushing ahead with the tabling of the Hudud proposal while DAP has warned that if they do so then this more or less signals the end of Pakatan Rakyat.

What does this tell you? Basically this tells you that the Kelantan State Government is powerless to do anything unless Parliament approves the implementation of Hudud in Kelantan. And this means that religion is a state matter but states have to abide to the Federal Constitution and cannot violate or contradict the Constitution.

Hence this means that in Sabah issues regarding religion are bound by Sabah state laws and are restricted by the Federal Constitution. Sabah cannot at its whim and fancy pass new rules regarding religion without taking into consideration state and federal laws.

Sabah is not like the other states in West Malaysia. In Sabah we have been practicing the concept of 1Malaysia long before the term was even invented. We may not have had a word for it yet at that time but the spirit of 1Malaysia has always been with us.

The Christians and other non-Muslims in Sabah can reset assured that politics, just like racism, will never be political ammunition for parties vying for power. Any party that uses the race and religion card is going to get rejected by the voters. And that is why West Malaysian style politics is not welcome here in Sabah.

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