Hindu community grateful to Sarawak govt for assisting in temple’s reconstruction

Shankar Ram Asnani. file pic.

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KUCHING, Oct 7: The rebuilding of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at the Rock Road is at the stage of bringing in sculptors from India to do the specialised works.

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Association Kuching president Shankar Ram Asnani said the reconstruction started on Jan 20, 2020, and has been ongoing for some time with some delays due to restricted movement orders imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In his statement welcoming Navaratri (the Nine Nights of Divinity) which is celebrated by the Hindu community from Oct 7 to 15, Shankar Ram reported on the project’s progress.


“Today is an auspicious day and I take this opportunity to thank the Sarawak government in helping our small Indian Community in Sarawak with our Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Kuching reconstruction.

“In October 2018, the Sarawak government gave us through Unifor (Unit for Other Religions) the sum of RM2.3 million to assist us in our temple reconstruction,” said Shankar.

On Navaratri, he said “nav” means “nine” and “ratri”, nights. It is a festival celebrating the Hindu Goddess Shakti, who is regarded as the Primal Force, the Divine Mother of all in all her different manifestations and glory.”

He said it is a popular festival that originated from India and is widely celebrated by Indians all over the world, including the small Indian community here in Kuching, Sarawak.

“The Hindus believe that it is the Devi Shakti (Feminine Energy) that manifests in everything, witnesses everything, and transforms our ailments to health, negativity to positivity.

“Irrespective of how dark times have been, Navratri is a chance for all of us to revive with the energy of the Goddess, the Devi Shakti and pray to the Mother Divine to seek her blessings for health, prosperity and happiness,” he said.

Shankar took the opportunity to wish Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, a very blessed birthday and extend his sincere gratitude to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, for their continuous support for the Sarawak Indian community as well as their generous contributions to the construction and upgrading costs for the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Rock Road.

“Let us continue to strive to build our rapport and maintain harmony amongst the various communities in Sarawak, and we pray that Sarawak continues to be blessed with peace, diversity and unity, which is uniquely Sarawakian,” said Shankar. — DayakDaily