Sabah’s Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) has issued an open apology for sending a memorandum to protest the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations that includes names of parties that were not involved.
According to the Daily Express, an independent national newspaper of East Malaysia, the PAS Tawau head Mohamad Husain claimed it was a technical mistake. The list of groups objecting the event was given to the media without informing those involved, as it was instead a list to invite them to discuss the matter.
“We also apologise to the media that published the news because there was no explanation. We admit the mistake and regret what happened,” he was reported to have told media today (3rd January 2019).
Mohamed had said that various quarters were concerned about such celebrations and that all quarters to safeguard sensitivity of the society irrespective of their religious faiths.
“We are not taking advantage, but instead, we want to look after the interests of Islam and no intention to gain political support because PAS itself is based on three aspects, namely dakwah (propagating Islamic teaching and values), tarbiah (educating) and being political.
“We were only giving our opinion for fear if the matter (organising the event) contravened Article 11 of the Federal Constitution related to freedom of religion and whereby the organiser should understand this matter touched on religious sensitivity,” he added.
Before this apology, Parti Warisan Sabah and Sabah PKR was reported to have denied involvement of their Tawau and Kalabakan division to be part of the joint memorandum and lodged a report with the Tawau Police Headquarters yesterday (2nd January). Ismail Senang of Kalabakan division had also demanded for the group to issue a public apology within three days for using Parti Warisan’s name in the memorandum or he would take legal action.
“They totally didn’t respect the people of Sabah who value harmony regardless of race and religion. We, in Sabah, are known for accepting anyone regardless of their race and religion. So, why did they have to cause the people to be suspicious of one another?” Ismail asked.
Ismail Senang is a Muslim convert, and had said that despite being a convert, he never faced issues about religion in his family, he believes many families in Sabah is the same.
by Bob Tan
3rd January 2019 16:45