Bishop lauds religious freedom in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia (The Star/ANN) - Religious freedom is a reality in Sabah where non-Muslims practise their faiths without hindrance, says the Sabah Council of Churches (SCC).

Its president Bishop Melter Jiki Tais said non-Muslim religious groups in the state were fortunate as the state government gave them annual funds.

“All this is possible because we have a chief minister who is racially and religiously blind,” he said after a meeting with Tan Sri Musa Aman at the State Assembly here.

The meeting was to invite Musa to the Kota Kinabalu Christmas celebration at Padang Merdeka here organised jointly by the SCC and City Hall. He said he did not know of any other state government that provided yearly aid to non-Muslim religious bodies and schools.

He said for the first time this year, City Hall placed an Easter greeting outside its office in downtown Kota Kinabalu.
“It may be just a little gesture to some but for Sabah Christians, it is most meaningful. It speaks volumes of our chief minister,” he added.

Musa said financial aid for non-Muslim religious bodies and schools here had increased manifold, from just RM1mil to over RM30mil this year. He said his priority had always been to ensure that the prevailing harmony among Sabah’s diverse communities and faiths continued.