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August 16, 2012

Letter from YB Baru Bian – Sarawak State religion is Islam?




Religious freedom here to stay — Rep

KUCHING: Religious freedom is here to stay, though Islam is the country’s official religion, says Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Dato Sri Michael Manyin.

He said Sarawak under the leadership of Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had shown the way how freedom of religion should be practised.

“Our chief minister is really practising the freedom of religion. He doesn’t impose religion on anyone, whether it is Islam or other religions.

“Probably, we (Sarawak) are the most free (in the country) to choose our own religion,” Manyin told the media after performing the earth-breaking ceremony of St Ann’s new church building at Kota Padawan near here yesterday.

Manyin, who has been tasked by the state government to represent the Catholics in Sarawak, stressed that under Taib, the people had been guaranteed the freedom to profess any religion of their choice.

“Whatever they (the opposition) have said is merely political rhetoric,” he said, dismissing all claims by the opposition that religious freedom in the state had been eroding ever since the state joined the federation of Malaysia in 1963.

Manyin also stressed that freedom of religion also meant that people could change their religions based on their legal rights and personal choice.

“People, who switched religion, say for instant from Catholic to the Borneo Evangelical Church (SIB) and vice-versa or even embraced Islam…all these are personal choices.

“For me, the freedom of religion is still there, and it’s still intact especially under the present government leadership.” Manyin also clarified that the state’s official religion is Islam as it followed the country’s official religion.

“Though Islam is the official religion of the federation, we are free to practise our own faiths as enshrined in the federal constitution.

“The fact that we are free to practise our religions without being harassed means that there is religious freedom in the country.”

June 29, 2010

Tribal leaders warned not to vote opposition in violation of Malaysia’s Constitution


Taken from  Malaysia Today


(Bernama) – Any tribal leader who supports the opposition in the next Sarawak state election will face immediate termination of service as the action is a very serious misconduct, said Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Michael Manyin.

“Tribal leaders are the government’s agents in developing local communities and are not supposed to go against the government,” he said at a ceremony to present appointment letters to Bidayuh and Melayu Temenggong (paramount leader) of Samarahan, here today.

In Sarawak, the post of Temenggong is the highest ranked community leader in the local administration system, followed by pemanca, penghulu and tribal leader.

Manyin said as the state election would be held soon, tribal leaders should enhance their efforts to assist the government by disseminating information about the success of the state government in bringing development to the people in the remote areas.

“To improve the government’s delivery system, the state government wants tribal leaders to be open-minded in accepting criticism and suggestions,” he said.

Manyin said the post of tribal leader was not a permanent post as it had been limited to four years.

“No voting or election is needed in appointing a new tribal leader as he will be appointed according to the approval given by the district officer, division resident and state secretary,” he said.

Former teacher, Robert Sulis Ridu, 75, was appointed as the Bidayuh Temenggong of Samarahan representing the Bidayuhs, while former religious teacher, Chek Bujang, 59, was appointed as Melayu Temenggong of Samarahan to represent the Malays.

Bidayuh Temenggong will lead 152 Bidayuh community and tribal leaders while Melayu Temenggong will lead 111 Malay community and tribal leaders in Samarahan.

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