The Federal Government must stop using civil servants or teachers to carry out any form of Islamisation in Sarawak and Sabah, says the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS).
The ACS said it was “deeply concerned” about Education Minister Maszlee Malik’s recent statement in Parliament appealing to religious teachers from Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah who were teaching in Sabah and Sarawak not to return to Peninsular Malaysia.
He urged them to make Sabah and Sarawak their Islamic propagation field (“medan dakwah“).
“The statement by the Education Minister is not in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and appears to be sanctioning Islamic religious teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to promote Islamisation and propagation to local students in non-religious schools in Sabah and Sarawak,” ACS said in a statement.
“While the practice of sending teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to serve in Sabah and Sarawak may alleviate teacher shortage in the interim, teachers who are public servants should not be used as a tool to promote Islamisation in Sabah and Sarawak,” it added.
The ACS called on the federal government to honour the undertakings of religious freedom and Borneanisation of the public service as guaranteed in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report 1963, the Malaysia Agreement and the Federal Constitution.
“The majority of the people of Sarawak are non-Muslims, and the Sarawak Constitution provides for a secular government and society where Islam is not the state religion of Sarawak.
“It is clearly stated in the IGC report that there should be no application to the Borneo states of any federal requirements regarding religious education,” it said.
In addition, the ACS said the IGC report also called for the Borneonisation of public services in Sarawak and Sabah as a major policy objective to protect the interests of the indigenous peoples of both states.
“Fifty-five years after the formation of Malaysia, the promises and assurance of Borneonisation have yet to be fulfilled.
“There would be sufficient qualified Islamic religious teachers from Sabah and Sarawak by now to teach in local schools if the government had honoured their promise of Borneonisation of the public service in Sabah and Sarawak,” the ACS said. – The Star