Lawarance (second right), Midi (third right), Alim (fourth right), Freedy (fifth left), Ng (fourth left) and others after lodging the police report at Mile 7 Police Station. — Borneo Post pic
Lawarance (second right), Midi (third right), Alim (fourth right), Freedy (fifth left), Ng (fourth left) and others after lodging the police report at Mile 7 Police Station. — Borneo Post pic

KUCHING, Sept 7 — Five local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have asked the authorities to investigate Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Nik Salleh over his remark in Parliament alleging that the Bible was distorted when debating the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020.

The five NGOs — Persatuan Adat Asal Bidoyoh, Sarawak Dayak Iban Associaition (Sadia), YATT Society, Dayak Bukit Kelingkang and Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration (Sapa) – made this call after lodging a police report against the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) MP at Mile 7 Police Station here today.

The NGOs demanded the authorities to conduct a proper investigation into the case and and prevent any person, especially political leaders to harp on religious sentiments.

Persatuan Adat Asal Bidoyoh secretary Alim Mideh opined the Pasir Puteh MP was a “big disgrace” to the Parliament and unfit to be an MP when he said that the Christians had no right to be offended by his statement, as what he had said was not an accusation, but a fact.

Alim said besides demanding for Nik Muhammad Zawawi to apologise and withdraw his unqualified statements, his association members also demanded Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to ban Nik Mohammad from entering Sarawak.

Sadia secretary general Nicholas Mujah said the Pasir Puteh MP should not have spoken the way he had spoken because even among the Iban community, there were Christians, Muslims and Buddhists living together.

He said the Pasir Puteh MP’s statement had caused a great concern to the Iban community because the community did not want to incite their own brothers and sisters in Sarawak and people from Peninsular Malaysia to hate one another.

“To us, we hope that the particular parliamentarian must at least show his respect and retract his statement. I think that is just good enough for the Iban community,” he added.

YATT Society representative Freedy Misid said the Pasir Puteh MP’s remark had really hurt many Christians in Sarawak who made up about 70 per cent of the non-Muslim population in the state.

“We from YATT, and I believe most Sarawakians, regardless of any faith and religion, we are not condoning this kind of issue that was brought up by Pasir Puteh MP from PAS,” he said.

Dayak Bukit Kelingkang co-founder Lawrance Clement said his members, which comprised of Christians, Muslims and other faith were very angry with the Pasir Puteh MP’s remark and hoped that it would be stopped.

Meanwhile, Sapa president Dominique Ng believed that Nik Muhammad Zawawi should not be protected under the parliamentary privilege at all especially when he touched on religious freedom and sensitivity.

He said protection should not be accorded to him even if he is an MP, because he must respect the law and all religions.

“Some more that statement coming from him came out of nowhere. It wasn’t that somebody was attacking Islam or somebody was making comments that were inappropriate that he had to come to that response.

“It was something in connection with drunk driving. So, it is an uncalled for statement and what he had said has no place in Sarawak.

“So, it is an insult not only to the Christian faith, it is an insult to all other faiths. I’m a practicing Buddhist and I am here to support because what he said was out of the line,” Ng stressed. — Borneo Post

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