KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is keen to see the controversial Mazu statue issue in the Kudat district settled amicably.
“I am always hoping for a settlement out of court,” the Prime Minister said when asked about the issue.
Najib said the door “is always open for us to settle the matter.”
The issue ended up in court after former chief minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat, who headed the Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation, sued Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman and three other state government officers for ordering the withdrawal of the approval for the Mazu statue project on Nov 15, 2007.
Chong had abruptly resigned from Musa’s Cabinet on April 13, 2007.
Last week, the Court of Appeal granted a stay of proceedings on the Mazu statue project trial until the disposal of an appeal to overturn a previous High Court decision.
The High Court had, on April 21, dismissed an application by Musa and three others to declare the foundation illegal.
On Dec 30, 2007, Najib, who was then deputy prime minister, had expressed hope that the Mazu issue would be resolved as Sabah’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious people had a high level of religious and racial tolerance.
On his trip to Sabah, Najib said he found that the people’s response very positive, adding that it was an indication that the people were still strongly with the Barisan Nasional.