Saturday, June 25, 2011

DUN (Day Four): Be wary of extremist elements from peninsula — Lagong

Be wary of extremist elements from peninsula — Lagong
Posted on June 25, 2011, Saturday

THE only Independent assemblyman George Lagong (Pelagus) has called on the state government to be wary of extremist elements from Peninsular Malaysia.

He said that these elements were infiltrating the state “in various forms and through various means” including the mainstream media and the Internet.

“I am proud that the situation in Sarawak is different (from Peninsular Malaysia) and that we can still take pride in our inter-racial and religious tolerance and harmony,” he said when debating the speech of the Head of State here on Thursday.
Lagong said that Sarawakians, irrespective of their race and religion, had been able to live, work and play together without much problem.

“Religious freedom and tolerance have been our proud legacy since time immemorial. Religious and racial consciousness have never overtaken us and caused division among us,” he said.

He lauded Sarawak for being a model state of multi-racial, multi-religious, harmony and unity that all states in Peninsular Malaysia should emulate.

He also gave a pat on the back to the Methodist Church for its vast contributions to the development of the Upper Rajang basin since the pre-war years.

“The majority of Ibans in the (Pelagus) constituency are Christians from the Methodist denomination. I have personally benefited much from the mission and social work of the Methodist Church since the past 70 years.

“I am a Methodist Christian and I am proud to acknowledge that my family and I are products of the Methodist Church.

“I have served as a Lay Leader of the Sarawak Iban Annual Conference of the Methodist Church for four years from 2006 to 2010,” he said.

Lagong said through education and various initiatives pioneered by the mission, many parents and grandparents had been ‘transformed’ from the old, nomadic and pagan way of life to a life where they found, among others, hope.

“Today, many Iban from Upper Rajang who have benefited from the good work of the mission are holding important positions in the government and private sector. A handful of them are here in the State Legislative Assembly.

“Many have gone on to pursue university studies overseas under the sponsorship of the Methodist Mission.

“Without the support and guidance of the mission, many new generation of Ibans from Upper Rajang would not be where they are today,” he said.

He thus expressed gratitude towards the mission for the good work it has brought to the people in Upper Rajang especially in Pelagus.

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