Participants of the Harmony Travelogue and Walk visiting a church, Hindu temple and a mosque at Bukit Padang near Kota Kinabalu on Saturday.
KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds of city folk, transcending race and religion, visited places of worship to promote national unity through the inaugural Harmony Travelogue and Walk event here.
Starting out at the Sikh Gurdwara at Sembulan, they dropped by at Buddhist and Taoist temples in Penampang before joining a wedding at the Catholic Church of Mary Immaculate in Bukit Padang yesterday.
The 9am ceremony was held back for about 30 minutes – but nobody minded the delay.
The group, led by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and state Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid, was greeted by family and friends of Joe Liew and his bride Tracy Ho. Along with Kurup and Jainab were imams and Buddhist monks.
“This is a pleasant surprise,” Joseph Ho, the father of the bride, said.
“We don’t mind the delay because it’s great to see so many people of different faiths visiting our church.”
The group also included National Service trainees later stopped by the Sri Pasupathinath Alayam Hindu temple nearby before concluding their walk at the Nurul Hikmah mosque.
Kurup told reporters later that the National Unity Department was asked to organise more such events to foster better rapport among groups of other faiths.
For a start, he said, the department would liaise with the state governments to organise similar events.
“Events like this serve as an icebreaker among people of different faiths,” said Kurup, who chairs the Committee on the Promotion of Understanding and Harmony among Religious Organisations.
“This is an opportunity for members of different communities to better understand each other’s faiths,” said the minister, who led panel members and representatives of 18 religious organisations in a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman on Friday.
Meanwhile, Musa said Sabah had set a good example for peace and harmony despite the diversity in ethnicity, religion and cultures.
“We, in Sabah, never had problems with religious issues,” he pointed out.
“We live in a society where inter-marriage is common, visiting each other’s open houses during festivities is normal and to sit and drink together is part of our daily lives.”