KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Council of Churches said the passing of the hudud law by the Kelantan government was against the spirit and assurance given to the people during the formation of Malaysia.
Council president Datuk Jerry Dusing said the Kelantan government's move is deemed as a betrayal to the people, especially to Sabahans on religious freedom.
He said that it was made clear by the founding fathers of Malaysia that Islam would be the religion of the federation and would in no way jeopardise freedom of religion in the federation, which in effect would be secular.
In a statement, Dusing quoted various assurances made at the Cobbold Commission, which was set up for the formation of Malaysia, on issues of religion that was raised by Sabah and Sarawak.
"A betrayal of the trust placed by Sabah's forefathers in the Federation of Malaysia.
"Kelantan's hudud law will have a huge impact on the public as well as upon the multi-religious Malaysian society as a whole," he added.
He said the Federation of Malaysia was made up of a pluralistic society with a rich mix of cultures, tribes and peoples of Sabah and Sarawak.
"It is our common duty to defend, and not to undermine, the very foundation of our beloved country, this blessed land in which we have come to appreciate and respect the beauty of each others' religions, faiths and cultures," he said.
"The Sabah Council of Churches calls upon all patriotic Malaysians, irrespective of religious persuasions and the Kelantan government, to honour and defend the original intention of our founding fathers, and to strengthen the foundation of our Federation, and above all to focus and build on what unites us, rather than what divides us," he said.