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SIBU, Nov 18: Twenty-three Catholic mission schools under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sibu today received a total of RM2.76 million in financial assistance from the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) for the upkeep and upgrading of the schools.
Of the recipients, four are secondary schools while the rest are primary schools in Sibu Division. The next tranch of funds amounting to RM2 million will be given to 28 schools in Kapit Division.
Speaking at the ceremony, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan said overall a total of RM165 million have been given out to schools and churches since Unifor was established in 2017.
“We are the only State in the country to have such a unit because Sarawak is unique as the multiple races can live in peace and harmony together for decades and respect each other. We are proud to have this unit as we have Christian, Hindu, Baháʼí, Buddhists and (people of) other faiths,” he said.
Snowdan who is the advisor of Mission Authority for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sibu said the ‘Satu Malaysia’ and now ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ concepts of togetherness had long existed in the State.
“‘Keluarga Malaysia’ is similar to ‘Satu Malaysia’ but Sarawak was already inculcating the spirit of togetherness before that so we can be a role model to other states. Even leaders from Semenanjung Malaysia has been praising Sarawak for such ‘Satu Keluarga’ concept where inter-marriages are very common,” he said.
Under this scenario, he said, it was timely for Unifor to be set up to safeguard the interest of other religions.
“When we see other religions need help, we will step in,” he said.
Among those present at the function were Sacred Heart Cathedral rector Bishop Joseph Hii, director of Unifor, Richard Lon, and principals and headmasters of the recipient schools. — DayakDaily