MIRI (November 6): Unit for Other Religion (Unifor) has set aside a RM 5 million House of Worship fund to help churches, temples and chapels financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many people financially. Churches, temples and chapels that depend on voluntary contributions from their faithful are no different. I would like to declare here that Unifor will come to their aid, ”said Minister responsible for Unifor Chief Deputy Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in his address at the dedication ceremony of Holy Spirit Church in Tudan yesterday.
In the text of the speech read by Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin,
Uggah went on to say that the government has not forgotten about mission schools with approved funds of RM 15 million for the repair, reconstruction or modernization of 123 mission schools in the state.
To date, 30 schools in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kuching have received 3.84 million RM while seven schools in the Archdiocese of Miri have received 840,000 RM and 2.76 million have been allocated to 23 schools. by Sibu.
RM 6 million was approved for 50 schools in the Anglican Diocese of Kuching, while eight schools in the Sarawak Iban Annual Conference (SIAC) received RM 960,000.
“The Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference (SCAC) also received an allocation of RM 600,000,” he said.
The new Church of the Holy Spirit, when completed, will serve approximately 800 Catholic families from the Orang Ulu, Iban and Melanau communities residing around Permyjaya, Senadin, Vista Perdana, Kuala Baram and Tudan.
“When he is ready, may he be a beacon of your continued faith, goodwill and unity and the creation of a new God-fearing generation,” Uggah said.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Miri, The Right Reverend Bishop Richard Ng, said the new church is timely as the old chapel of a residential house was closed due to Covid restrictions.
“This new church is made possible by the efforts of YB Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin who secured a RM2 million grant from Unifor for its construction,” he said.
Ng informed that the first phase, which cost around RM 2.5 million, will see the construction of the main church building to accommodate 800 people and a funeral home.
“As a service to the community, the funeral home will be open to everyone as most homes in the area are small with limited parking and hard to find.
“The Fire Department (Bomba) and Lands and Surveys have approved the drawings and we are waiting for Miri City Council (MCC) to give their approval to start work early next year,” he said. he declared.
Ng revealed that phase two of building a Sunday school classroom block and multi-purpose hall will begin once funding becomes available.
During the event, land titles were also handed over to the Bishop of Miri and to the Association of Churches, Miri for the extension of SMK St Joseph, Miri; the Catholic cemetery of Lambir; the new Saint Joseph Cathedral on the Miri bypass; and the Ecumenical Center of the Association of Churches of the Miri bypass.
“We are grateful to the late CM Tan Sri Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, our current CM Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari, Department of Lands and Surveys, and the many people who assisted with our application for these land titles,” Ng added.
Also present were the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Sebastian Ting; Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf, resident of Miri; Miri the mayor Adam Yii; Unifor Director Richard Lon and Sarawak Association of Churches President Pastor Andrew Ganya.