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Dompok scares Christians with hudud


PENAMPANG: Embattled Upko chief, Bernard Dompok, has raised the “Islamic state” bogeyman to scare Christians in Sabah and Sarawak into voting for the ruling Barisan Nasional in the coming general election.

Worried that support for Upko (United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation) and the ruling coalition is plunging, Dompok warned the Christian community in both states that voting in BN would prevent the shift towards a more Islamised country as desired by opposition PAS, a partner in the Pakatan Rakyat pact.

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister stressed that there is no reason for Christians to believe that BN will go the same route as PAS in changing the religious makeup of the country.


“But I think the Christian community also recognises that the present government is always trying its best to see that the interests of everybody are looked after… [because] if you look at the alternative, what is there?” he said during the Penampang-level BN annual Chinese New Year walkabouts in Lido, here, over the weekend.

Dompok was commenting on a news report that quoted a local university researcher as saying that Sabah and Sarawak are no longer fixed deposits for BN because the Christian community in the two states have risen against the coalition.

Bernard Dompok

He said the “Allah” issue raised by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was “actually a non-issue.”

“The government has solved the issue by allowing the importation and reprinting of the Bibles into Sabah.

“So if you are allowed to import then certainly you are allowed to use it. So it is already a non-issue,” said Dompok who is Penampang MP.

He also took a swipe at Pakatan for its stand on the “Allah” issue.

“All the Pakatan partners got together and said it is okay [for non-Muslims] to use the word ‘Allah’, but three days later PAS changed its mind.

“And there was a time a DAP leader [reportedly] said [impose] the hudud over his dead body. But PAS does not want to respect his body because the next day it said it wants to implement it because it has already implemented it in Kelantan.”

“And this is the thing that PAS wants because religion is part of its constitution,” said Dompok.

Christians furious

Dompok said once PAS comes to power it is certain it will move to set up an Islamic state.

“And I think all of us will not want that…because Malaysia was formed on secularism and not as an Islamic state,” he said.

He reiterated that the Christian community must support the current government because it does not want an Islamic state.

“There is no reason for the Christian community to fear the BN going anywhere near what the PAS is going to do.

“We are all here, I mean there are so many Christian parties and Bumiputera leaders of Sabah and Sarawak who are all in unison with the BN,” he said.

He said that even in Sarawak, although not much is said in the newspapers, everybody is solidly behind the idea that the founding fathers had meant Malaysia to be a secular state and “we want to protect it”.

“We do not want any party such as PAS trying to dismantle what has been decided by the founding fathers,” he said.

Asked on the Penampang Chinese community’s support for BN, Dompok said that in his constituency the people know that they have an open government that is looking after their interests.

“There is a lot of cooperation from the various communities with the government. We want to see all members of the business community in Penampang succeed.

“Of course, the government development programmes and projects carried out in Penampang will spill over to the economy. Once the economy moves everybody has a share in it,” he added.

The BN is worried that Christians in both states are furious with the Umno-led government which over the years has throttled religious rights in both the Bornean states.

They are also furious that the government has re-engineered the population of Sabah merely to win votes as is being testified in an ongoing inquiry into a citizenship-for-votes scandal and the state’s booming Muslim population.