Let there be no coercion in religion — Joe Samad

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY JOE SAMAD

THE ugly incident at the Sarawak Federal Court hearing on the apostasy case where several Muslims heckled Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuching and shouted “Allahuakbar” was a wake-up call for Sarawakians.

There could have been ugly scenes if not for peaceful Muslims brothers and police who protected the Archbishop from harm.

The Federal Court ruled on February 27 that the Sarawak Shari’ah Court has jurisdiction over the bid by four Sarawakians to leave Islam and to be officially recognised as Christians. The four had named the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department, MAIS, the National Registration Department (NRD) and the state government as respondents.

The behaviour of the group who tried to intimidate the Archbishop shows an intolerant Islam has reared its ugly head in East Malaysia. Some Sarawakians I met said it was just a matter of time. Read more

Federal Court should have referred to Malaysia Agreement on apostasy case, say Sarawak churches

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Federal Court should have referred to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the constitution before pushing the conversion cases to the shariah court, the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) said.

ACS chairman Reverend Justin Wan said the Federal Court should not have interfered because the state is independent as far as MA63 is concern.

“Islam is the official religion of Malaysia but Sabah and Sarawak are free to exercise our religious beliefs. It is one of the points of the 18-point agreement.  

“So as far as Sarawak is concerned this issue should not be decided by the Federal Court.

“All this while the civil court had said they (shariah court) have no jurisdiction on apostasy cases, and now the Federal Court says they have.

“We leave today’s decision to the court, but we still feel that it is not a wise decision. It’s not right in the context of Sarawak,” he told The Malaysian Insight. Read more

We’ll keep fighting, reminding Putrajaya of Sarawak’s rights – Adenan

Source: The Borneo Post Online

Adenan Satem

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem. Pic taken from The Borneo Post Online.

KUCHING: It is the duty of Sarawak to remind officials from Kuala Lumpur of the pertinence of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who pointed this out during Sarawak Day 2016 celebration today (July 22), conceded that “there has been constant erosion of power given to us over the last 50 over years.”

He said Sarawak was in the process of claiming its rights and there had been a response from the federal government – a committee had been formed to work out the details.

“Those officials in Kuala Lumpur were not even born in 1963. They are ignorant. It is therefore our duty to remind them of the agreement. Read more

Government to set up technical committee over east Malaysia states’ rights

Source: The Sun Daily

PETALING JAYA: A technical committee to identify the issues of non-compliance in matters relating to Sabah and Sarawak rights in Malaysia will be set up by the government.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri (pix) said it would have representatives from the federal government as well as Sabah and Sarawak state governments, and historians from the two states.

Issues of non-compliance to be identified by the committee would be based on the Inter-Governmental Committee Report, Malaysia Agreement 1963, Malaysia Act, Federal Constitution and other reports or documents such as the Cobbold Commission.

Any recommendations by the committee would then be forwarded to the federal government for considerations, she said, adding the first report is expected to be presented to the Cabinet by year end.

The issue of Sabah and Sarawak’s rights within the Malaysia federation have been hotly debated recently, especially after Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem promised Sarawakians better delegation of powers by the federal to the state.

Nancy, who is Batang Sadong MP, said the decision to form the technical committee was made during a meeting on state rights which was co-chaired by her and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman on June 13.