Call on Sabah State Government to convene a “Spirit of Double Six” Roundtable of Sabah stakeholders to make Sabah an example of Malaysia and the world of harmony and solidarity of diverse ethnic groups, religions and cultures with zero tolerance for extremism
I have visited the Double Six Memorial several times, the first occasion some 39 years when I revisited Sabah after being banned from entering Sabah.
The Double Six Memorial commemorates the Double Six Tragedy when the Sabah Chief Minister, Tun Fuad Stephens, three Sabah Ministers Datuk Salleh Sulong (Finance Minister), Datuk Peter Mojuntin (Local Government and Housing) and Chong Thien Vun (Works and Communications), an Assistant Minister, Datuk Darius Binion, and six others perished in the Nomad aircraft crash while trying to land at the Kota Kinabalu airport on the 53rd day after Parti Berjaya won the 15th April 1975 Sabah state elections.
The Double Six Tragedy dashed the high hopes of Sabahans for reform and restoration of unity and justice and the sorry tale is told in a new book "Harris Salleh - The Rise and Fall: The Inside Story" by Paul Raffale, published recently
The eleven Double Six leaders come from different races and religions highlighting a significant fact about Sabah and Malaysia - that our real strength and success can only come from inter-racial and inter-religious harmony, tolerance, understanding and solidarity!
Recently, extremism and fanaticism have been rearing their ugly heads like demands that non-Muslims should be excluded from buka puasa events, and the spreading of lies and falsehoods about non-Muslims being the threat to Islam in the country.
Yesterday, I attended the buka puasa event in Tanjong Aru organised by the local DAP branch, and I was glad to see people from diverse ethnic groups and religions coming together to grow understanding, harmony and solidarity in the process to become good Muslims, good Buddhists, good Christians, etc.
This is why I am happy to read about the buka puasa event in Selangor yesterday attended by Muslims and Christians, including participation by the Federal Territory Mufti and representatives from influential Muslim organisations like Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), Islamic Missionary Foundation (YADIM), Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (JAWI), Allied Co-ordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs Malaysia (ACCIN) and Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS).
I have no doubt that the Spirit of Double Six includes the spirit of inter-religious harmony, understanding and solidarity and zero tolerance for extremism or fanaticism or any form.
I would call on the Sabah State Government to convene a "Spirit of Double Six" Roundtable of Sabah stakeholders - political parties, civic organisations and NGOs - to make Sabah an example of Malaysia and the world of harmony, understanding and solidarity of diverse ethnic groups, religions and cultures with zero tolerance for extremism.