Christian leaders in Kuching urge GPS to call off pact with PN

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The heads of the Catholic and Anglican churches in Kuching have added to calls for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to pull out of its pact with Perikatan Nasional (PN) to form the next government.

“The majority of Sarawakians on the ground are opposed to this move,” Anglican Bishop of Kuching Danald Jute was quoted as saying by The Vibes.

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“My position is (that) extremists cannot be allowed – let alone be encouraged and supported – to normalise their hatred of other races and people of other faiths.”

He added that more should be done to build trust and acceptance between different ethnic and religious groups.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop of Kuching, Simon Poh, said Sarawak must protect the harmony and mutual respect among ethnic groups in the state.

“Religious extremism and fundamentalism do not have a place here in Sarawak as well as in Malaysia,” he told The Vibes.

GPS is under fire from Sarawakians for its support of PN, which includes Islamic party PAS.

Earlier today, a convoy of five vehicles was seen in various parts of Kuching city blaring “Say no to PAS”, with posters urging Sarawakians to oppose and protest GPS’ decision to support PN.

Meanwhile, a petition calling for Christian MPs from GPS to reject any collaboration with PN to form the next government has garnered over 38,500 signatures as at 10pm.

Earlier today, Fadillah Yusof, a senior vice-president of GPS lynchpin Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), said GPS’ 23 MPs had not changed its stand on forming the government and will continue backing PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister. Sin Chew Daily quoted Fadillah as saying that GPS had also submitted statutory declarations to the King stating its MPs’ support for Muhyiddin.

No single coalition won a parliamentary majority in the general election on Saturday, and on Sunday, GPS chairman Abang Johari Openg said the grouping will join an alliance comprising PN, Barisan Nasional and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah to establish a government.

However, BN then said no talks had been held with GPS or PN about a coalition government. BN and PH leaders subsequently held a meeting to discuss a possible alliance. GPS later seemed to change its stand, saying it would let the King decide what was best for the people.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan has denied claims that PAS would implement policies that would oppress others if it was part of a coalition government. He said this was especially important in Sarawak and Sabah, where “its people coexist peacefully in accordance with their respective cultures and religions”. – FMT