KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) receive an early Christmas gift from the State Government to the tune of RM16,009,020 on Wednesday. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Haji Hajiji Noor witnessed the cheque presentation by State Grant Committee Chairman Datuk Masidi Manjun to SCC President Bishop James Wong (BCCM) and other heads of churches in Sabah including Archbishop Datuk John Wong (Catholic), Datuk Jerry Dusing (SIB), Bishop Datuk Melter Jiki Tais (Anglican) and Rev Dr Hii Kong Hock (Methodist).


The presentation ceremony was held during the courtesy visit by the SCC to the Chief Minister at the State Administrative Centre (PPNS) here. Expressing appreciation to SCC for extending friendship and support to the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) State Government under his leadership, Hajiji assured that the State Government would maintain the cordial relationship with the SCC.


“I want to assure the Sabah Council of Churches that the State Government strive to maintain cordial relationship with all faiths, including the Christians. The GRS State Government will uphold and protect freedom of religion, as enshrined in the Constitution. “Respecting the beliefs of one another has always been the pillar of Sabah’s strength and unity. Despite differences in religion and race, we in Sabah have lived together in peace and harmony all this while. So, we must protect this,” he said. 


Hajiji also assured the SCC that the financial assistance would be continued under the GRS State Government. “I can assure that the GRS State Government under my leadership will support programmes organised by the churches including Christmas celebrations,” he said. He assured them that the State Government will look into some of the issues raised by the SCC during the courtesy visit. Ends