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Deputy Premier, Datuk Amar Dr. Sim Kui Hian. Photo: TVS

Wesak Day Unites Sarawakians despite religious differences

ByAhmad Azlan Shah

KUCHING, May 22: Hundreds were seen gathered at the Sarawak Buddhist Association in conjunction with Wesak Day.

Deputy Premier, Datuk Amar Dr. Sim Kui Hian noted that the congregation did not only consist of Buddhist, but from those who have different religious backgrounds.

“This is something that is uniquely Sarawak that cannot be seen at other place and unites us.

“The sense of respecting and celebrating each others festival plays an integral part to build a strong and united nation,” said Sim at the celebration.

The event was organised jointly between the Sarawak Buddhist Asssociation and Unit for Other Religions (UNIFOR) under the Sarawak Premier’s Department, making it more than just another festival.

Sim also raised an issue that has been wildly discussed by many which states that Sarawak is given ’special treatment’.

“Recently, some people have been asking, ‘Why always Sarawak? Why only Sarawak?’

“My answer is simple – Sarawak has been here for a long time, but it’s the people and our cherished values that we showcase.

“That’s why many admire our state, respect us, and hold us in high regard,” he emphasized.

Sim also expressed gratitude to those who respect and admire Sarawak but hoped that this sentiment does not turn into envy.

Rather those who are critical should try to emulate Sarawak’s success by being living in harmony and more sincere with each other especially when there are stark differences in cultural or religious background.

At the celebration, devotees gathered as early at 7.00AM which slowly progressed in a procession within the vicinity of the temple.

Some were heard singing hymns while others were seen deep in their prayers as the air was filled with the smell of burning incense and lotus shaped candles.

Among those present at the celebration were the Mayor of Kuching South City Council, Dato Wee Hong Seng, and the Director of UKAS, Samuel Simon. – TVS

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