By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Nov 18: The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Jalan Rock here should take a custodial role over the huge rock in its vicinity.
Minister of Local Government and Housing, Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian suggested that the temple committee should incorporate the huge rock into the new temple’s landscape.
He said that the Sarawak government will help the temple to get the land, so it will become a reality.
“The new temple will be the only one in the country that will have a big rock as part of their landscape.
“This is what the Sarawak government will do and to fulfil the promises of the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem to provide land and funding to repair and build temples,” he added.
Dr Sim made these remarks this in his speech as the guest-of-honour at the Indian Community Deepavali Gathering Dinner 2019 held at the Indian Association Kuching Hall on Sunday night.
According to locals, the huge rock in the vicinity of the temple where “Jalan Rock” got its name from, is a scared rock known as “Batu Kinyang”.
The rock has been a landmark in the area ever since people can remember.
Meanwhile, Dr Sim also encouraged the Indian community to utilise the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) trust fund the state government has set up to support the socio-economic activities and welfare of any non-Muslim community.
“The Indian community can use this charitable trust to benefit their community and they can use it to further their child’s education in the form of scholarships,” he explained.
Dr Sim lauded the Indian community for showing other races here what unity is all about and their unity is a very important part of the Sarawak culture.
He noted the Indian community has been here for five generations and they, like other races here, are “Anak Sarawak” and not “pendatang”
Dr Sim thanked the Indians of Sarawak for their years of social, economic, political and professional contributions to build Sarawak.
In his speech, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple president Shankar R.P. Asnani reminded the Indian community that Sarawak is their motherland and like other races, they must guard Sarawak and prevent infiltration of the unethical and malicious kind.
He said the Indian community here is lucky as unlike in other states in Malaysia, they are supported by the Sarawak government and they should be thankful for getting RM2.3 million to build a new Indian temple and RM3.5 million to build the new Sikh temple in the city.
Community leader, Penghulu Lucy Lingam and the organising chairman for the dinner, Anthony Ramanair were among those present. — DayakDaily