Will Opposition remove Islam as Sabah’s official religion? Pandikar asks
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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today challenges those quarters who are purportedly championing the rights of Sabah to prove the sincerity of their struggle to the people in the state, or concede it is just their political agenda.
This included a challenge to Parti Warisan whether it would amend Article 5A in the Sabah State Constitution, namely, Islam would no longer be the official religion of Sabah if the party ruled the state.
Pandikar, in a media statement, said the same challenges and issues were aimed at STAR Party president, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who also claimed he (Pandikar) was twisting the facts regarding the Malaysia Agreement 1963 or MA63.
The challenges, he said was because the quarters concerned had misinterpreted the history of the independence and the creation of Malaysia and its related laws to suit their respective tastes and political agenda.
“Since lately, the issues of the rights of Sabah and Sarawak are very much touted by those who had their own political agenda. I am compelled to make this statement in my capacity as a Sabahan and not as a Speaker of Dewan Rakyat because this issue is very serious.
“The quarters who are riding on this issue, made a statement purportedly it is at the behest of the people of Sabah, as if their opinions are supported by all the people of Sabah.
“Because these quarters are so vehement in upholding the rights of Sabah as purportedly agreed to under Malaysia Agreement 1963, I dare them to prove the sincerity of their struggle to the people of Sabah,” he said. He stressed, the challenge was based on what was generally understood that before 1976, Sabah did not have an official religion in line with what was agreed to in the Malaysian Agreement 1963.
However, Pandikar said, in 1976, the USNO government had changed the situation by amending the Sabah State Constitution by including a new article — Article 5A — which provided that Islam was the official religion of the state.
“Before I answer the statement of the (Yang Berhormat) Darell Leiking, who is also deputy president of Parti Warisan, which was published by the The Borneo Post today (14 Nov 2017) , I want (Yang Berhormat) Darell Leiking to state clearly, namely :
“Will Parti Warisan amend Article 5A in the Sabah State Constitution, namely, Islam will no longer be the official religion of Sabah if it (Parti Warisan) rules the state?” he said, aiming the same question to Jeffrey Kitingan. — Bernama