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Sarawak premier: Progressive, extensive education will help reject all expressions of extremist ideologies

Publish date: Sun, 03 Dec 2023, 05:02 PM

MIRI, Dec 3 — Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg believes that progressive and extensive education with good moral and ethical values would help reject all expressions of extremist ideologies.

“I believe Jesus Christ taught everyone to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. Jesus also gave us the golden rule, to ‘treat others the way you would like others to treat you’.

“I value the Christian community in playing a critical role in educating young and old alike to walk the path of peace in our troubled world,” he said in his address at the 14th Miri City Christmas Parade held at Miri City Fan here last night.

His text of speech was read by the Minister of Transport, Datuk Sri Lee Kim Shin, who represented him to officiate at the event, which saw a gathering of about 40,000 parishioners from 14 denomination of churches, led by the Baptist Church.

Additionally, said Abang Johari said the Sarawak government is working hard to break barriers of inequality between the people.

“We continue to invest in infrastructure to speed up economic development across the state into the interior. We seek to reduce the economic gap between the rich and the poor. We explore alternative energy like hydrogen to make our public transport affordable, and hybrid solar energy to power and bring internet connectivity to our remote villages, clinics and schools.

“Our trees and forests can earn carbon credits. To ensure food security, while reducing carbon emissions, we can leverage the bountiful land in Sarawak for communal gardens and farms.

“May God help us to achieve our vision of a prosperous, harmonious and equitable society in Sarawak,” he said.

Abang Johari said through the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) and state policies, he will ensure that Sarawak showcases progress, prosperity and peace to the whole of Malaysia and the region.

“The Sarawak government will continue to support the nurture of healthy religious beliefs, education and activities.

“Christmas is about peace which should remind us that we cannot afford to be complacent but continue to work hard to preserve, safeguard and enhance peace and harmony among our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious groups. We reject all expressions of extremist ideologies that put down other people who are ‘different’ from us,” he said.

Among those present at the function were Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Penguang Manggil; Deputy Minister in Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration & Project Monitoring), Datuk Gerawat Gala; chairman of Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS); Bishop Datuk Danald Jute; head of the Miri Catholic Diocese Bishop Richard Ng, the parade organising chairman, Pastor Lim Thien Leong of Baptist Church and Lee’s wife Datin Christina Kong.

At the function, Lee announced allocations totalling to RM135,000 for the Miri City Christmas Parade organising committee. They were from Abang Johari (RM50,000); Lee (RM20,000); Penguang (RM15,000); Gerawat (RM15,000); Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Dato Sebastian Ting (RM15,000); Yii (RM10,000) and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau (RM10,000).

The event also witnessed the Miri City Christmas Parade organising committee handing over a donation totalling to RM30,000 to the Mental Health Association of Miri, Malaysia Prisons Fellowship of Miri, Kenosis Drug Rehabilitation (Men’s Centre), Miri Red Crescent Dialysis Centre (Patients’ Welfare Fund), Miri Palliative Care and Persatuan Orang Cacat of Sarawak. — Borneo Post

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