Dato Sri Dr James J Masing

KUCHING: PRS president Dato Sri Dr James Masing considers Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s call for Muslims to declare a “crusade against ungrateful Christians” as extreme and detrimental to the 1Malaysia concept.

“Ibrahim Ali’s view is an extremist view by Perkasa. It is very unhealthy as it is against the Prime Minister’s 1Malaysia concept,” Masing told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

Masing said Ibrahim’s view should be rejected by all Malaysians “with the right frame of mind”.

Recently, Ibrahim made the call following an allegation that certain quarters were trying to usurp Islam as the official religion of the country and install a Christian prime minister.

Masing, who is also the minister of Land Development, said there was no place for extremism in a multi-racial country like Malaysia.

However, he said he believed the authorities did not take any action against Ibrahim as it wanted to show that there is freedom of speech in the country.

“But I must warn him that the Dayak community in Sarawak also has certain phrases such as ‘Pumpung pala’ (chopping the heads of the enemies) to use against someone they don’t like. This phrase is no longer used as it could be very offensive to others,” said Masing, who is an anthropologist by training.

On another issue, Masing clarified that the number of teachers in Sarawak was more than 41,000, comprising 33,546 Sarawakians and 6,847 from the peninsula.

He was quoted in newspaper reports on Tuesday that there were already 30,000 teachers from the peninsula serving in the state.

Masing hoped that the number of teachers from Sarawak serving in the state should not be surpassed by teachers from the peninsula so that they would have better chances to be promoted.

He highlighted a concern over an alleged move by the Ministry of Education to transfer 80,000 teachers from the peninsula to the state next year.

– The Borneo Post

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