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Friday, December 17, 2010

Inter-religious forum on 'My neighbour, my family'

Deacon David Aloysius Garaman (centre)
Sandakan : The Department of National Unity and Integration, Sabah hosted the inter-religious forum with  the theme on 'My neighbor, my family'  on Tuesday December 14, 2010 at Kampung Sim-Sim Community Hall. The department as its name implies is tasked at fostering stronger integration and enhancing unity among the multi-racial and multi-religious communities in the country.
Charles Pang in his Opening Address
The event, graced by Charles Pang on behalf of YB Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Assistant Minister in the Prime Minister Department cum Member of Parliament P186 Sandakan was attended by some 60 people, mostly residents of Kg Sim Sim. The three panelists for the forum were from the Muslim, Taoism and Christian religions. Deacon David Aloysius Garaman of St Mary's Cathedral represented the Christian faith in the panel.

Pang in his opening address cited article 11 of the Malaysian Constitution which guarantees that every person has the right to profess and practice his own religion. Every person has the right to propagate his religion, but state law and, in respect of the Federal Territory, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religion, doctrine or belief among persons professing the Muslim religion. There is, however, freedom to carry on missionary work among non-Muslims.

He also touched on the 1Malaysia concept which if upheld by every citizen, together can co-exist harmoniously and peacefully. Such concept has long been established in Sabah and integration is well in place. He urged the people to nurture and enhance the well accepted 'integration' concept of living together aimed at stronger unity.
Pn Nurul Akmalina, Director of the National Unity and Integration Dept Sabah presenting a memento to Charles Pang

Esther Dingkawan, the moderator of the forum


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