Saturday, January 23, 2016


23 JANUARY 2016

I returned to Kuching from my constituency last night to the rude shock of reading the most insensitive, arrogant and unsubstantiated statement of Hadi Awang’s, which was reportedly published in Harakah, his party’s official bulletin. This is the classic example of a West Malaysian who has no knowledge of the history of the people of Malaysia, particularly Sarawak, and who has no interest in acquiring such knowledge. I cannot understand what he has to gain by making such hateful and bigoted comments except perhaps he is doing the bidding for UMNO because he certainly sounds like one of them.

To prevent further shaming of himself, I would invite Hadi Awang to read two books ‘Drunk Before Dawn’ by Shirley Lees and ‘Unchartered Waters’ by C.H. Southwell, both of which chronicle the stories of missionaries in Sarawak during the early 1900’s. The Lun Bawangs in Sarawak were reputed to be the most filthy and perpetually drunk people of Borneo, and in danger of extinction by self destruction, until the whole tribe was spiritually transformed by Christian missionaries in the space of 5 years. There was no promise of wealth and riches, only the promise of the goodness of life and the miracles of God. I am one of the descendants of these people, and I challenge him to prove that we were bought by money.

The majority of the population of Sarawak is Christian, and it is no coincidence that Sarawak is known to be the most moderate and harmonious state, compared to West Malaysia. It is in Sarawak that incidents of forced and surreptitious conversions by Muslims from West Malaysian are reported and highlighted in the media once in a while. What does Hadi Awang have to say to this, besides issuing a blanket denial, as is the wont of the BN politicians and Islamic authorities?

By making these ignorant statements, Hadi Awang has shown that he does not have the wisdom nor the foresight to be called a leader, whether it be in politics or religion. A real leader seeks to unite, whereas a ruthless and unprincipled opportunist seeks to cause division amongst the population. I do not claim to be an expert on Islam, but Hadi Awang’s words are an abomination of his own religion, and excusable only if he is proven to be suffering from senility or an unbalanced mind.

As usual, the Prime Minister and his ministers, who proudly and loudly sell this country internationally as a moderate and liberal Islamic country, are silent. If a Christian had said the same things about Islam, there would be uproar, turmoil, arrests and charges for sedition. I believe Hadi Awang’s statement provides a classic case for sedition but the leadership of Malaysia once again proves its failure as a government for all Malaysians.

Baru Bian

ADUN, N70 Ba’ Kelalan

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