By S. Harrish
AN UMBRELLA body will be set up to better manage Sarawak Chinese temples and also to coordinate with the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor).
Kuching Chinese Community Charitable Trust chairman Datuk Richard Wee said while other religions have such bodies, only Chinese temples did not have such a body to represent them.
According to the Borneo Post, he said the lack of a proper umbrella body for Sarawak Chinese temples had created difficulties for the state government in terms of allocation of funds to the temples.
Speaking at the committee installation ceremony of the Kuching Chinese Community Charitable Trust last night, he said Unifor had suggested such a body to act as a communication channel with them.
Meanwhile, Unifor director Richard Lon said the umbrella body could assist the state government in disseminating important information such as the standard operating procedure for the Hungry Ghost Festival.
He also called the religious associations in the state to continue to give their support to the state government in championing for an inclusive society and to bring the objectives of Unifor to a higher level.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who was also present at the ceremony, pointed out the unity and harmonious relationship between people of different races and background were the key ingredients for the state to prosper and advance in the future.
Unlike Peninsular Malaysia where divisive and controversial statements were made by certain parties, Dr Sim said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak state government was committed in looking after the welfare of the people, irrespective of religion, adding that any extremist views were outright rejected in the state.