NON-ISLAMIC houses of worship (RIBIs) in Penang, which are rich in history, are encouraged to take part in the ‘Religious Exploration’ campaign organised by the Penang Harmony Corporation (Harmonico) to share their stories with the community.
State executive councillor for Non-Islamic Religious Affairs and Social Development Chong Eng said a RM3,000 token would be given to the RIBIs participating in this programme.
“The temple committee can publish historical materials, cultures, traditions, festivals, ceremonies which are related to their temples.
“They can do it either via text or through video footage (3 to 5 minutes).
“Through these they can introduce their places of worship to the public as well as keep a record of the historical facts of their RIBIs,” Chong Eng said when she visited the Khye Sian Ong Temple in Jelutong yesterday.
Chong Eng also said the ‘Religious Exploration’ campaign would help to enhance the understanding of each other’s religion in the country.
“The campaign will reach beyond our local community and show people how we can live together harmoniously,” she added.
Apart from that, she also congratulated the Khye Sian Ong Temple for successfully completing the construction of their new archway.
“I must commend the chairman of the temple, Mr Jansen Lim Soon Hin and his committee, for spending their time and energy to find out the origin of the temple’s name, and even travelled to China and Taiwan.
“I was informed that the committee of the Khye Sian Ong Temple is keen to make the temple a tourist attraction, which coincides with the plan of Harmonico.
“I believe the temple’s rich history and cultural heritage will have the potential to become another tourist attraction in Penang.
“There are many RIBIs in Penang that are similar to the Khye Sian Ong Temple, but only few are known to the public.
“Thus, I would like to urge the temple committee of all the places of worship to record their histories so that they can be passed down to the next generation,” she said.
Chong Eng also lauded the Khye Sian Ong Temple committee for publishing the temple’s 200th anniversary booklet.
“The booklet did not only document the historical facts of the temple, but it also explored the lives of the Jelutong folks who come from different walks of life,” she added.
Meanwhile, Harmonico manager Paul Au said the ‘Religious Exploration’ programme is set to be launched officially in March.
“Houses of worship which are interested in participating in the programme can send their proposal through email to [email protected]
“The programme intends to stir people’s interest in other religions through tourism activities and encourages them to visit various houses of worship to have a better understanding of it,” he said.
Also present during the visit were state Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim and George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee.
For further information please contact Harmonico 04 – 218 9530 / 9520.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Tan Kean Ming