KUCHING, Sept 30: The Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) to date has received 667 applications for assistance from non-Islamic religious bodies in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said since Unifor’s inception in 2017 till 2018, it had also approved 373 applications for church construction, renovation or upgrading works alone costing RM50 million.
“We are continuing to receive even more (applications) each month now that Unifor is a very well known organisation. I will have to appeal to the state government to make available even more funds.
“This year, it has so far approved another RM60 million worth of applications including those announced (and approved) by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during his visits statewide,” he disclosed during the St Francis’ Anglican Church Consecration Dinner here last night (Sept 29).
Uggah, who is the minister in charge of Unifor, said Sarawakians of non-Islamic faiths were very fortunate to have Unifor which was conceived by the late Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
He added, Adenan’s successor and current Chief Minister Abang Johari continued it because he believed in having an inclusive government.
“His Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is not just advocating this policy but actually practising it.
“Through Unifor, our people’s unity and harmony could be further strengthened,” said Uggah.
Meanwhile, Uggah also called on all Sarawakians to continue to zealously preserve their very strong racial unity and religious harmony.
“We have these trying times elsewhere where people are having problems living together. There are tensions which can harm them and impede their development process.
“We in Sarawak we are very fortunate because of our tradition of strong racial and religious unity and harmony. We are in fact a model state in the nation,” he said.
Uggah also pointed out that Unifor was in the process of setting up its trustee board to help the different religious groups implement their socio economic activities. — DayakDaily