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Anwar's govt protects interests of all Malaysians, says Sabah leader – Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) secretary-general Masidi Manjun insists that the decision by Sabah Bersatu leaders to leave the party was made in the best interest of the state and the greater good of Malaysia.
“GRS will support any leader or coalition who commits to the preservation of the Malaysian way of life which has a place for everyone, and that is why we are wholeheartedly behind Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim,” he said in a statement.
Noting the “increasing racial and religious rhetoric” of some peninsula-based parties, especially in the run-up to the 15th general election (GE15), Masidi said this was inconsistent with the values of a multi-racial and multi-religious Sabah and Sarawak.
He stressed how multi-ethnic and multi-religious Sabahans have lived in harmony for centuries, saying that they want to continue protecting their cultural and social heritage from being “adulterated with non-Sabahan values”.
“It’s difficult for GRS and many Sabahans to accept what is now marketed as ‘political Islam’.
“As a Muslim, I am proud of Islam, but I do not think any party can claim to be a genuine representative of this great religion.
“Islam is a universal religion that is inclusive and respectful of all beliefs and cultures. It is a religion of compassion and humanity that respects the rights of others including that of minorities,” he said.
Masidi added that many Sabahans and Sarawakians have family members of different religious faiths, with marriages between people of different faiths being common in both states.
“Hence, many people in Sabah and Sarawak don’t identify themselves by their ethnicity or religion.”
Earlier today, GRS chairman and Sabah chief minister Hajiji Noor said that he and other Sabah Bersatu leaders would leave the party. He added that they would form a new local party.
Hajiji said that their “unanimous decision” to leave the party was based on the premise that the status quo is “no longer tenable”.
He added that all former Sabah Bersatu leaders, including elected representatives, would continue to support the unity government led by Anwar, under a new local party that is to be established.
While GRS has pledged its support for Anwar’s unity government at the federal level, Bersatu is in the opposition as part of Perikatan Nasional.
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