Malays attend ground breaking ceremony to refurbish Chinese temple, a reflection of inclusiveness
BINTULU, Malaysia (Sin Chew Daily / ANN) - A Chinese temple which pays tribute to Malay god in Sebauh District is undergoing refurbishment. A ground-ceremony was held to mark the commencement of refurbishment work where local Malay leaders attended the ceremony and gave their blessings with prayers, a reflection of inclusiveness of race and religion in Sarawak, Malaysia.
A Chinese temple known as Datuk Temple located in the centre of Kemena River, Sebauh District here held a ground-breaking ceremony to refurbish the temple. Devotes from all walks of life were invited to attend the ceremony, including 20 Malays, local community leaders Temenggong, Pemanca and village head, a reflection of inclusiveness in culture and religion.
Local residents believed that the Chinese temple houses five datuks. ( A Malay god for the Chinese) A small boat capsized in the area many years ago. Seven days later, a small island was formed. All onboard of the boat drowned but their remains were never found.
In order to remember them, the villagers built a temple to pay tribute to them. They were Haji Salleh flanked by Mohamad Sun who was good in treating illnesses and Tunku Zilah who in charge of money then. Another two were Datuk Aman and Datuk Zuman. As they were all Muslims, the temple did not allow public or devotees to bring pork as prayer items.
Chairman of the temple Li Yu Gang said in early days the Malays held prayers in the temple while Chinese lighted joss sticks to seek peace and stability.
Malays attended the ground breaking ceremony to refurbish the temple. The Malay local community leader gave his blessings during the ceremony, a reflection of all races in Sebauh district accorded mutual respect to other races in religion, education and custom.
Li said the building of the temple had worn out. Now the committee of the temple made a decision to refurbish the entire temple which may cost more than RM1 million (US$241,545,89). Once completed, the temple is set to be a landmark in the Sebauh District. With many making selfless contribution, he believes that the temple would bless all.