Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili says that there are sufficient laws in the country to deal with religious extremism and warned religious non-governmental organisations (NGOs) against destabilising the country by taking the law in their own hands. Pix by YAZIT RAZALI.

KOTA MARUDU: Stern action should be taken against individuals who try to create instability, especially when their statements contradicts the Federal Constitution and is seditious in nature.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said that there were sufficient laws in the country to deal with religious extremism and warned religious non-governmental organisations (NGOs) against destabilising the country by taking the law in their own hands.

Maximus, who is Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president, made the call following a provocative proposal by a coalition of Islamic NGOs to ban Christian evangelicalism in Malaysia.

“We treasure the existing religious peace and harmony that we have enjoyed since the formation of Malaysia.

“Today’s harmonious situation has been achieved through respect to the Federal Constitution and practise of moderation and tolerance towards each other’s religion,” he said in a statement.

The Kota Marudu MP said religious freedom and practise were guaranteed under the Federal Constitution, adding religious congregations are allowed, subject to certain laws.

“No group, especially religious NGOs, can take the laws into their own hands.

“If such (thing) happens, it would only lead to misunderstanding and tension, thus resulting in instability in our country,” he said, adding these NGOs must respect the other’s religions.

Recently, the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy’s (Centhra) chief executive officer Azril Mohd Amin described evangelicalism as a ‘dangerous movement’ and urged for it to be kept in check as it threatens religious harmony in Malaysia.

Azril said the government should consider introducing anti-evangelicalism laws to ensure attempts by evangelicals to dominate the Christian narrative do not occur.

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