Sabah Govt upholds religious freedom – CM

Ewon (sixth from left) with Bishop Melter (seventh left), Poon (fourth left) and Jannie (fifth left) and ohter guests at the Anglican Diocese of Sabah’s Christmas Open House yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government upholds freedom of religion and peaceful and harmonious co-existence among the people, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

“Therefore, universal values such as peace and harmony, mutual understanding and human flourishing are highly priced that any party that subscribes and promotes them will certainly get my strongest support, because it will certainly benefit Sabah and Malaysia,” he said in his speech at the Anglican Diocese of Sabah’s Christmas Open House yesterday. Shafie’s speech was delivered by Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.

Christmas, Shafie pointed out, is a festive season and a joyous celebration for Christians in Sabah.

“Not only that, we can celebrate it in peace and harmony and where Malaysians of different backgrounds can gather and celebrate together. In your holy text in the Gospel, it says: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.

“The word is Peace. Peace is priceless. Your Christmas is associated with Peace. Peace or peacefulness can mean a state of harmony, quiet or calm that is not disturbed by anything at all, like a still pond with no ripple,” he said.

The Chief Minister added, “Peace too, remains a fundamental element in our harmonious co-existence and especially in a multi – cultural, multi- religious society like ours here in Sabah.”

“I am confident that your effort to host an Open House Christmas celebration like this will continue to forge and engender genuine understanding among your flock and our people also,” he said.

Among those present at the event were Bishop Datuk Melter Jiki Tais of the Anglican Church in Sabah, Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon and Assistant Law and Native Affairs Minister Jannie Lasimbang.

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