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By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, Dec 3: Armed with umbrellas and raincoats, more than 40,000 participants from 17 churches braced the rain and converged at Miri City Fan Urban Park for the Miri City Christmas Parade.
Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah represented Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to officiate at the parade, where he read his text speech.
“In Sarawak, we have this proud standing record where religion has never been an issue among our multi-racial and multi-religious society. Whether we are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Sikhs or other faiths, we have always upheld and even continuously enhanced and strengthened the existing warm ties, mutual respect, and the spirit of brotherhood among us.
“We may differ in opinion and perception, which is only natural, but we continue to remain harmonious and united,” he said.
“This approval (of the allocation) is to cope with the ever-increasing requests from all over the State. This very kind gesture from the government only happens in Sarawak,” he said, adding that it is a testimony that the State government is committed to its policy of inclusivity.
With the chosen theme ‘Jesus, Joy of Christmas’ this year, the parade saw the involvement of 17 churches, with the Roman Catholic Church heading the organising committee.
Other participating churches were the Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) Church, Anglican Church, Methodist Church, Calvary Charismatic Centre, New Creation Church, Christ the Livingstone, Seventh Day Adventist, Full Gospel Assembly, Miri Gospel Chapel, All Nations Gospel Church, Full Gospel Tabernacle, Baptist Church, Glory Place, Open Heaven Tabernacle, Miri Latter Rain Church, and Cornerstone Community Church.
The parade kicked off at 7.30pm from Miri City Fan, passing through Jalan Sylvia, Jalan Brooke, Jalan Kingsway, Jalan Puchong, Jalan Padang, Jalan Melayu, Jalan Nahkhoda Gampar, Jalan Cina, Jalan Bendahara, Jalan North Yu Seng, Jalan South Yu Seng, Jalan Merpati, Jalan Kipas, and back to Miri City Fan.
At the event, Kinosis Sarawak Drug Rehab, Prison Fellowship Ministry (Miri), Persatuan Pendidikan Inspirasi Miri, and Miri Ability Service Association received RM5,000 each from the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS).
Also present at the event were Sibuti MP Lukanisaman Awang Sauni, Miri MP Chiew Choon Man, Sarawak Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, Sarawak Deputy Minister for Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Mangil, Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk Gerawat Gala, Pujut assemblyman cum Miri Mayor Adam Yii Siew Sang, and Bishop Richard Ng who is the event co-organising chairman. — DayakDaily