LOCALS, students, and tourists can look forward to an upcoming programme, aimed at highlighting the various houses of worship in Penang next year.
The programme, called ‘Religious Exploration’, will encourage people to visit houses of worship in the state.
Harmonico manager Paul Au said the initial idea was for more people to visit and know the many houses of worship that Penang has.
“We have the Street of Harmony (Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling) on Penang island. However, there are also many other streets with interesting houses of worship in Penang.
“The ‘Religious Exploration’ can be a new tourism product where tourists or even students who come to Penang can visit places of worship and learn something about these premises. We are not just focusing on the Street of Harmony. Every state constituency has its own significant places of worship,” Au told Buletin Mutiara recently.
The Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, which is also known as the Street of Harmony, is where visitors can witness four different houses of worship – Masjid Kapitan Keling, Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Goddess of Mercy Temple and the St George’s Church – in one location.
He said that Penang has always been known for its mouth-watering street food.
“However, houses of worship in Penang are also the state’s assets. We are unique for the various houses of worship.
“A harmonious and inclusive society begins with understanding,” he said, adding that the programme was an initiative by state Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Chong Eng’s office.
Au said that Harmonico would implement the programme.
“We are now in discussion with several parties such as the Penang Tourist Guides Association, state assemblymen, religious bodies and Penang Global Tourism (PGT).
“We hope to run the programme by the first half of next year.
Chong Eng said the people in Penang lived together harmoniously.
“We have to continuously promote and maintain harmony. Understanding the different religious and cultural background can promote togetherness.
“In Penang, the state government not only provides monetary assistance to the various religious bodies, but also work with them to elevate harmony.
“The Penang government collaborates with the various stakeholders to ensure that the objective of a harmonious and inclusive society is achieved,” she said.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Alissala Thian