UNIT for Other Religions (Unifor) in the Chief Minister’s Department has given out RM165mil in financial assistance to Sarawak’s schools and churches since its establishment in 2017.
In the second last leg of distribution on Nov 18, 23 Catholic mission schools under Sibu Diocese received a total of RM2.76mil for the upkeep and upgrading of their institutions.
Of the number, four were secondary schools while the rest comprised primary schools in Sibu division.
The next disbursement involving RM2mil will be given to 28 schools in Kapit division.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sarawak Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan said Unifor was set up by former Sarawak chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to promote inter-religious harmony, including formulating policies of other religions in the state.
“We are the only state in Malaysia to have such a unit because Sarawak is unique; multi-racial people can live in peace and harmony for decades and respect each other.
“We are proud to have this unit as we have Christian, Hindu, Bahai, Buddhist and other faiths,” said Snowdan.
He said the “Satu Malaysia” (One Malaysia) and now “Keluarga Malaysia” (Malaysian Family) concepts of togetherness had long existed in the state.
“Sarawak was already inculcating the spirit of togetherness before that and we can be a role model to other states.
“Even leaders from peninsular Malaysia have been praising Sarawak for the ‘Satu Keluarga’ concept where interracial marriages are very common,” added Snowdan, who is also advisor to Mission Authority, Roman Catholic Diocese of Sibu.
Among those present at the event were Sacred Heart Cathedral rector Bishop Joseph Hii, Unifor director Richard Lon as well as principals and headmasters of the schools involved.