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Taib: No Reason For Religious Conflict
During the interview at his residence in Demak Jaya here, Abdul Taib reminded the state's people of all races and religions to practise tolerance and to respect each other's religion and culture.
"Religion is religion, it teaches good things and not bad things. There is no need to quarrel over religion," stressed Taib.
He said people of all races and different religious beliefs in the state had all along been able to mix freely and nicely.
"Religion teaches society to live in peace for a better life, so there is no reason for conflict," he added.
Taib said he wished to see Muslims in Sarawak sharing their belief in their religion with the idea of adjusting it to modern times.
He said all religions, whether Islam, Christianity or Buddishism taught the same things for society to live in peace and harmony and to struggle to better themselves.
Thus, he said, there was no reason why they should quarrel over religion, and also why one race should not enjoy the celebrations of the other races.
"There is no reason why I should not enjoy the Chinese New Year celebration and no reason why the Chinese should not enjoy Hari Raya and Gawai Dayak.
"In Sarawak, we have had the Chinese community for a long time.
"They are not fanatical about religion and Confucianism has taught them to be more practical in life," said Taib, adding that it guided their life with elements of tolerance.
Towards that, Taib said it was a matter of looking at life with less prejudices.
Hence, he hoped his successor Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who had said that "he is a chief minister for all races", would continue to be fair to all.
Taib also called for all the communities in Sarawak to continue to uphold their strong spirit of unity, and urged all leaders under the new chief minister to strive harder to propel Sarawak to become the most developed state in Malaysia by 2020.
He also called on Sarawakians to prepare themselves in facing more challenging days ahead and to equip themselves with the necessary skills.
"Sarawak is changing towards becoming an industrialised state with the development of SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy).
"There are plenty of opportunities in SCORE which will make us a prosperous society in Malaysia. We still have plenty of resources for us to develop," he added.
He anticipated that in years to come, Sarawak would receive more investments from developed nations like Japan, Korea, China and the United States.
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