KOTA KINABALU (June 20): The Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (MACMA) Sabah plans to build a cultural center to showcase the uniqueness of the community’s culture.
MACMA National Chairman Prof. Datuk Dr. Taufiq Yap Yun Hin said the association met with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor and submitted its proposal for the cultural center to him for consideration.
Dr Taufiq, who was met at MACMA’s welcome dinner for delegates to its 28th Annual General Meeting here on Sunday evening, said the project is expected to cost RM15 million.
“This Chinese Muslim cultural center will be located in the state capital and during our courtesy visit to the chief minister, we conveyed the proposed construction plans as well as the location of the center,” he said. .
The location is strategic because MACMA wants the center to be easily accessible to national and international visitors.
“We want them to visit the center so they can learn about our culture and our traditions which are very unique. We are Muslims but we still hold firmly to our Chinese culture and preserve it.
“By visiting the center, they can learn and understand the life of a Chinese Muslim,” he said, adding that the chief minister had responded positively to the proposal.
Dr Taufiq said funds for the building, which they hope to be able to start construction by next year, would come from MACMA as well as its members in Sabah.
“We will also apply for a grant from the government and organize a fundraising campaign,” he said.
Meanwhile, Special Tasks Minister Datuk Arifin Mohd Arif, who represented the chief minister as the guest of honor at the dinner, said he would follow up on the proposal of association of a cultural center in Kota Kinabalu.
Arifin, when met after dinner and asked to comment on the matter, said that MACMA’s proposal was good because not only would the center be a reference center for the cultural practices of the Chinese Muslim community in Sabah, but it would also serve as tourism. attraction.
“What is important is that the cultural center symbolizes the value of religious tolerance in our state and our country which is multiracial, multicultural and multireligious.
“I believe the cultural center supports efforts to maintain civilization and cultural values that are harmonious and consistent regardless of religion. It symbolizes a union of Chinese civilization and art in Sabah,” he said.
Earlier, Arifin delivered Hajiji’s speech at the dinner where the latter said that the Muslim community plays an important role through the MACMA platform as a bridge to unity between the local Muslim and non-Muslim communities in the national, national and global levels.
Hajiji pointed out that Sabah’s rakyat are seen as the best model for maintaining the spirit of unity that transcends differences in political ideology, culture and beliefs.
“The attitude of mutual tolerance, respect and acceptance of religious and cultural differences are among the factors that strengthen unity between people of different races in the state,” he said, adding that the MACMA delegates from across the country can see for themselves the unity that exists in the state.
The Chief Minister said that all noble practices are important characteristics that are always cared for and nurtured by the community to be responsible for enhancing mutual friendship without borders.
“Therefore, in this case, I have high hopes that all kinds of efforts and measures taken specifically to form a society with a spirit of unity will always have added value so that cross-cultural functions always color harmony. and societal well-being.
“It is important for the attitude of mutual respect to grow in the soul of the community and at the same time become the backbone and core of forming a plural society in Malaysia,” he said. declared.
Hajiji called on all communities to work together to strengthen unity among people of different races and religions in the country.