28th June, 2010
LABUAN: The Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (PERKIM) will not spread its wings to Sabah but has pledged to work with other non-government organisations in the state such as the United Sabah Islamic Association (USIA).
Usia secretary general, Datuk Abdullah Hussin said the president of Perkim, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had informed them that the organisation will not set up base in Sabah to prevent possible disunity among Muslims.
The president of Usia, Tun Sakaran Dandai and two supreme council members of Usia met with Dr Mahathir recently.
Sakaran gave a full explanation to Perkim and the decision was finally made not to extend Perkim to the state
Abdullah was speaking to reporters after officiating at the 24th Usia delegates meeting for the Labuan division held here yesterday morning.
Also present were deputy permanent chairman of Usia, Haji Abdul Rahman Lamudin, who is also the deputy divisional chief of Usia in Labuan. Others included Labuan Usia chief, Mohd Ali Asmaran Haji Mohd Bledram and vice chief of Labuan Usia, Sahari Hamdan.
According to the secretary general, the proposal to bring Perkim to Sabah not only did not get the blessing of Dr Mahathir but it was also done without his knowledge.
The central Usia committee was also not invited to any discussion by quarters planning on the move and this resulted in confusion among Usia members.
He stressed that Usia was not afraid of Perkim’s presence in Sabah but rather that it could lead to disunity among Muslims because the functions of the two bodies were similar.
After re-registration the membership of Usia now stands to nearly 40,000 from the 25 divisions in Sabah including Labuan.
Refuting claims that the association was not open, Abdullah said it was always prepared to work with other Muslim bodies and NGOs for the benefit of Muslims in the state.
“We welcome collaborations with other organisations because we realise that Usia cannot possibly do everything on its own. The more, the stronger,” he said.