Workers prepare new graves to replace the old ones. The operation started last Monday.

SPAOH: A total of 227 old graves in the Serai Islamic Cemetery here will be relocated starting today (March 16) following the efforts of Spaoh Islamic Khairat Trust Board (Lakis) with the support of the state government.

Its chairman Dr Abang Ismail Abang Julhi said some old graves in the cemetery slipped into a nearby river due to erosion several years ago.

“So, for those that can still be saved, we will work hard with Lakis to relocate the rest. Although it has taken a long time, it should be understood that it involves many procedures. Thankfully, starting tomorrow (Monday) some of the old graves will be moved to a new area,” he told reporters yesterday.

He explained that the transfer of 227 old graves will take five days (from Mar 16 to 20).

“Tomorrow (Monday) is dedicated to the relocation of 63 graves of those from the Muslim community of Kampung Tanjung Assam.

“The following day is for the relocation of 56 graves belonging to Muslims from Kampung Bungin; Kampung Sebemban (55), Kampung Belingan (21) and Kampung Buda (14).

“On the last day, they will relocate 12 and six old tombs belonging to Muslims from Kampung Spaoh and Serembang respectively” he said.

According to Abang Ismail, Lakis hopes that the process could be carried out perfectly despite the threat of erosion which had long affected the cemetery.

“Once again I ask all the descendants or families of the deceased to give their full cooperation. We do not want the relocation delayed,” he said, adding that the programme was originally proposed in December 2019.

He revealed that the state government had facilitated the relocation by allocating RM243,000 for the purpose.

The government also provided a 12.6-acre lot which was gazetted as an additional area for the cemetery to accommodate future needs.