Uggah (front fifth left) with Jaul (front fourth left), state cabinet ministers, state legislative assembly members and parliament members posing for a photograph during the Unifor Fund Assistance Cheque 2020 (Phase 1) handing over ceremony at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya, Kuching. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

BY TANIA LAM & SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA

KUCHING: The Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) today disbursed a total of RM38.747 million in the first phase of its financial assistance for this year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas presented the cheques to 52 elected representatives who will then disburse the funds to recipients in their respective constituencies.

He revealed that 298 applications were approved under the first phase and financial assistance for the second phase was being processed. 

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had approved RM50 million to Unifor for distribution to various non-Muslim houses of worship this year.

Uggah pointed out that the funds allocated to Unifor had been increasing each year since the unit’s establishment – RM15 million in 2017, RM20 million in 2018, RM30 million last year and RM50 million this year for the construction, renovation, and repair of non-Islamic houses of worship.

“Today, I cannot help but observe the mix of various races, religions, and colours all coming to receive these Unifor cheques – this is unique to Sarawak and this is the Sarawak that we are all very proud of,” he said.

Uggah, who is also the minister in charge of Unifor, said that these elected representatives of all races and religions in Sarawak deserved the support of the people at the incoming state election.

“This is to ensure that we can continue to serve our people; to bring prosperity, peace, and happiness to Sarawak. Only Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) can do it,” he said.

He also expressed gratitude to the chief minister for allocating RM70 million for the construction of Unifor Complex.

He described the upcoming complex as a landmark symbol of the unity and inclusiveness of the Sarawak government.

He said that this unique character of Sarawak should be a unifying factor that bound its people together and helped them in persevering through rough times such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am sure that if we keep this in mind, the future will be very bright,” said Uggah. 

Also present were the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to East Asia Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) deputy speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala and Unifor director Richard Lon.