Kuching to welcome City of Unity park

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (fifth left) and other invited guests at the launching of the 2017 City of Unity Workshop.

KUCHING, Dec 11: Kuching Reservoir Park will be developed as “Unity Park”, incorporating multicultural elements to complement the state capital’s ‘City of Unity’ image.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state would allocate funds to materialize the City of Unity park project.

Without disclosing the amount of funds allocated for the project, Abang Johari emphasised that Kuching can become a ‘City of Unity’ because of trust, tolerance, mutual understanding and respect among all groups.

“Mutual respect and trust among all ethnic groups is very important,” he said at the launching of the 2017 City of Unity Workshop here today.

Highlighting the religious harmony in Kuching, Abang Jo emphasised the fact that all ethnic groups can dine in the same coffee shop together and churches, mosques, temples and other religious places are all located in close proximity.

Due to the religious harmony, interracial marriages are very common which lead to multiple races and religions in one family, he added.

“We see a lot of arguments (about religion and cultures) on Facebook, we should not waste time on this,” he said, adding that efforts should be focused on looking for ways to unite all.

Meanwhile, he said the state government fully supports 1Malaysia Foundation’s initiative and proposal to get Unesco to recognise Kuching as a “City of Unity” under its heritage list.

The aim of the two-day workshop is on the process and work required to expedite the proposal.

Kuching was proclaimed as the country’s first “City of Unity” in August 2015, in conjunction with its 27th anniversary as a city by 1Malaysia Foundation chairman Dr Chandra Muzaffar.

Dr Chandra said the foundation was looking to initiate the move by writing to the Unesco Permanent Delegation of Malaysia to submit the proposal.

The 1Malaysia Foundation, a civil society group set up to promote unity among the nation’s diverse communities, initiated the move.

Dr Chandra said interaction among the multi-diverse community in Kuching, with its 700,000 population should qualify the state capital to be called City of Unity. — DayakDaily