THE state government has allocated RM60,000 to the Kek Lok Si Temple after one of its temples was destroyed in an early morning fire yesterday.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who visited the temple this afternoon, said the allocation would be disbursed from the RIBI (places of worship other than Islam) fund.
He also clarified that the damage did not involve 70% of the Kek Lok Si Temple complex as reported by some sources , but only a small portion of it.
“The fire actually took place at one of the prayer rooms at the temple complex and the damage only affected a minor part of it.
“The Kek Lok Si Temple’s abbot Venerable Xian Guan and its trustee Datuk Seri Steven Ooi have also clarified the matter.
“Luckily, there were no severe damage and injuries due to the incident,” Chow told a press conference during his visit.
Meanwhile, Ooi said the allocation would be used for the minor repair works at the temple that was damaged.
“The partitions were made of hard wood and not cement. Thus, it would be difficult to replace those materials.
“At the moment, we would make some minor repairs to ensure safety for the devotees and the visitors,” said Ooi.
According to Venerable Xian Guan, the Kek Lok Si Temple is currently closed until further notice.
On a separate matter, Chow said the state government would continue to stay vigilant to ensure that the tourist influx to Penang does not worsen the Covid-19 situation in the state.
“Following the lift on the interstate travel ban, the state government will be on guard to ensure that the arrival of visitors to Penang does not impact the healthcare capacity in the state.
“The number of Covid-19 cases in Penang is showing a downward trend. And the usage of beds at the Covid-19 wards as well as at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is also being reduced.
“Penang is yet to enter the phase three of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), but we are showing a good progress,” Chow added.
Also accompanying Chow during the visit were state executive councillor for Non-Islamic Religious Affairs and Social Development Chong Eng, state Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng and Air Itam assemblyman Joseph Ng.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix Law Suun Ting
Video Chan Kok Kuan