A model of the proposed building complex for the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee, Kuching.

KUCHING: A paragon of fortitude and solidarity, the soon-to-be-built Unifor Complex building will be the centre for all faithful of various religions to worship their Gods in better comfort.

The Unifor Complex building, according to Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is the minister-in-charge of Unifor, is a resemblance of the formerly destitute worshipping places in Sarawak.

“Unifor has built the roof, paved the floor, and put up walls, lights and furniture of the formerly empty churches, temples and chapels. 

“With this building, it is now their beacon of hope for assistance and deliverance,” Uggah expressed in his speech at the earth-breaking ceremony of the Unifor complex at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee here this afternoon.

For religious leaders, Unifor Complex is more than just a smart and green building concept.

Danald Jute

Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, the Right Reverend Datuk Danald Jute held the view that the construction of the complex would augur a significant meaning in upholding unity and solidarity.

“This reflects the inclusiveness of our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, and that he cares for everyone irrespective of religion or race.

“And his achievement has indeed made me and other people proud of him as our state leader. This is a very good effort to ensure the welfare of the entire community is taken care of,” he said.

Dr Kalwinder Singh

Sarawak Sikh Temple Association president Dr Kalwinder Singh said that Unifor had not only helped with the physical building of houses of worship, but more importantly, in the development and enhancement of respectful and honourable co-existence among all.

“It will have a positive impact as this would allow us, the non-Islamic community, to hold our own religious functions and events comfortably which will benefit the entire community.

“I am very pleased with the efforts made by the state government.

“Without a doubt, this is a means to increase solidarity of Sarawakian citizens and I hope Unifor will continue to grow and embark more great achievements in future,” he said.

Balachandran Annamalai

For Balachandran Annamalai, the secretary of Malaysian Hindu Sangam Sarawak branch, the Unifor Complex building is an important landmark to reflect Sarawak’s religious harmony, unique culture, and distinctive values of Sarawakians.

“Having a significant and respectable premises for all other religions will certainly further enhance and promote the religious freedom and harmony which we are so proud of in Sarawak.

“We are so thankful to have a chief minister like Abang Johari. His inclusiveness is the backbone of the growth of Sarawak,” he said.

­­­­In Sarawak, Christian is the largest religious group with 42.6 percent, according to the state’s statistic population in 2013.

This is followed by Muslims as the second largest group with 32.2 percent, 13.5 percent are Buddhists and 11.7 percent are those practising other faiths including Hindu, Baha’i, Taiosm, Sikh and Confucianism.

Based on the information above, the construction of Unifor Complex is indeed vital as an appreciation to take care of the wellbeing of the non-Islamic groups — the largest population with 67.8 percent in Sarawak.