KOTA KINABALU: Gabungan Rakyat Sabah component leaders should emulate their coalition partner Parti Bersatu Sabah in reprimanding a state PAS representative over remarks on segregating shopping trolleys, a Warisan leader said today.
Warisan treasurer-general Terrence Siambun said Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), in particular, should follow PBS which had rebuked nominated assemblyman Aliakbar Gulasan of PAS for his comments.
Aliakbar had said trolleys should be segregated for non-halal products in local shops, to which Siambun said the PAS rep had attempted to divide the people through religious bigotry instead of highlighting Sabah’s unique brand of religious coexistence.
He said STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan, who is deputy chief minister, “must now show some leadership in schooling his component partner by educating PAS as how PBS had done a few days ago”.
“Kitingan should emulate Sarawak deputy chief minister James Masing who showed strong leadership and had shown that he is not easily intimidated when anyone challenges Sarawak’s unique social fabric.”
Aliakbar’s call for the segregation of trolleys came after an incident at a supermarket in the interior Keningau district which, according to him, was selling pork without segregating the trolleys used by its customers.
He said this was an insult to the sensitivities of the Muslim community, adding that the supermarket should have checked with the religious authorities first.
PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun subsequently said he was concerned over what he described as “the beginning of signs of extremism creeping into the state”.
Meanwhile, Siambun also said there had been no news from GRS on the proposed Control and Restriction on the Propagation of Non-Muslim Religions Bill to be tabled in Parliament by Perikatan Nasional, as announced by the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (religious affairs) Ahmad Marzuki Shaary last March.
“The time will come when Kitingan, (chief minister) Hajiji Noor or deputy chief minister Bung Moktar Radin will eventually retire but unfortunately it will be our children and grandchildren who will have to bear a myriad of issues relating to racial and religious division because of weak leadership,” he said.