Premier: Kuching astronomy centre to cost RM107 million

Abang Johari flanked by Dr Abdul Rahman (left) and Kipli at the opening ceremony of the Sarawak-level Falak (Astronomy) Seminar held at Sarawak Islamic Information Centre (SIIC) in Kuching on Dec 9, 2022.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Dec 9: The construction of an astronomy centre in this city will cost about RM107 million, says Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He explained that in the philosophy of astronomy, the rotation of the Earth influences the tidal range and whether an area is fertile.

“This knowledge is related to the way we live. That is why I supported Sarawak Mufti (Datu Kipli Yassin) in setting up an astronomy centre in Kuching despite its (high) cost of RM107 million.

“Datu Mufti proposed this to me, saya gohet ajak (I just went ahead with the project),” he said during the opening ceremony of the Sarawak-level Falak (Astronomy) Seminar held at Sarawak Islamic Information Centre (SIIC) here today.

Abang Johari also said he wishes for Muslim children to learn the science of astronomy to equip themselves with the knowledge to manage the world, especially in tackling climate change.

The centre, dubbed Pusat Astronomi Borneo (Borneo Astronomy Centre), was previously reported to be built in the Pantai Damai constituency.

On Nov 26, Deputy Minister of Utilities Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, who is also in charge of Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Islamic Affairs, revealed that the upcoming centre would be located at Damai near the foot of Mount Santubong.

The project is still in the planning stage, and construction is expected to commence in two or three years.

To date, Sarawak established its first astronomy centre in Miri, and the second one is in Bintulu, which is expected to begin operating in the first quarter of next year.

Also present at the event were Dr Abdul Rahman, Sarawak Islamic Council (SIC) president Datu Misnu Taha, Kipli and Sarawak Mufti Department director Mual Suaud. — DayakDaily