Chief Minister reassures Sarawakians no bibles will be seized

KUCHING: Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has repeated his government's promise not to interfere in matters of faith.

"Let me reassure my Christian friends no bible will be taken from you and there will be no restriction on the use of the bibles among Christians in Sarawak," Adenan said in his Christmas message on Thursday, delivered in English and Malay.

He said he was in "no position" to tell individuals "how to worship".

"How to manage your religion is your business. I have as well declared that Christians in Sarawak can use the word 'Allah' provided it is used with respect and reverence."

These reassurances, he added, were not mere rhetoric as in the last 20 months the Government had "provided millions of ringgit in allocation to build churches and temples".

"Living in peace and harmony with each other is our tradition. I want to thank Sarawakians for recognising the need to ensure racial and religious harmony continue to prevail.

"It is alright to have differences in opinion and in ways of doing things. I do not expect people to agree with me all the time.

"More importantly, we must respect others and different opinions. We should be open to discuss and work for the greater interest, welfare and well being of all Sarawakians."

He said the Sarawak Government would spend RM600 million next year to build rural roads and bridges not allocated for by the Federal Government.