The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) prayed for greater religious freedom during the 53rd Malaysia Day celebration.
ACS chairman Reverend Datuk Dr Justin Wan said currently there was some flux to religious freedom in the country.
“Right now, we sense a little bit of instability, where freedom of religion may not be that firm,” he said, when met by The Borneo Post after attending the joint Malaysia Day Service on Sept 16, hosted by Anglican Church and St Columba Church Miri.
“In the last few years, there have been religious issues, like restricted use of the word Allah, conversion, and Hudud.”
Justin, who is also Borneo Evangelical Mission (SIB) president, rated religious freedom as among the big challenges facing the nation now.
“Malaysia is at the crossroads, and there is also a need to take a relook at the Federation Constitution, the Cobbold Commission Report, and even the 18/20 points,” he said.
“We need to uphold the Malaysia Agreement, whereby Sarawak and Sabah are in equal partners with Malaya to form Malaysia.”
Justin said ACS believed one of the main reasons why Sarawak and Sabah agreed to team up with Malaya and Singapore to form Malaysia was because the proposed federation was supposed to be secular, not Islamic.
Overall, ACS, he opined, was happy that the federal and state governments were doing very well on all aspects of development. He also commended the recent establishment of the non-Islamic affairs unit by the state government.
“It (unit) augurs well in overseeing and defending religious freedom and ensuring a voice in the government to stand fervently for righteousness and religious harmony.”
Meanwhile, ACS secretary Ambrose Linang said the prayer service held across the state was an annual ritual.
More than 200 Christians from various denominations attended the ACS Malaysia Day prayer service here.
Among them were Bishop Richard Ng of the Roman Catholic of Miri Diocese and Right Reverend Solomon Cheong.
The Borneo Post Online