Malaysian political leader, Mohamad Husain, apologised for sending out a memorandum protesting at Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sabah state describing it as a “mistake”.
Husain, head of the Tawau PAS party, also apologised for including the names of other parties in the memorandum who had not been asked if they shared the views of the statement. At a press conference he said, “We admit the mistake and regret what happened.” He added, “It was not our intention to hurt anyone, but to just ask for an investigation ...”
The state’s Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew was among those critical of the memorandum. She commented that such actions were unacceptable in peace-loving Sabah, which has a strong Christian heritage and where more than 25% of the population are Christians.
In July 2018 Sabah’s state governor restated his pledge to help build more churches in the region.
Although Malaysia is a Muslim majority country the last official census stated that there were 2.6 million Christians in the country, most of whom are in the states of Sarawak and Sabah. In Sabah state Christians remain a substantial minority although mass immigration from Indonesia and the Philippines has since significantly increased the Muslim population.