‘Govt remains committed to supporting mission schools’

Posted on : 06 Aug 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

Manyin (third left) makes a toast at the anniversary dinner on Saturday. With him are (from left) Empiang, Evelyn and Danald.

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will continue to support the progress and development of mission schools in the state which now caters to students of various racial and religious backgrounds.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said maintaining such harmony and unity is key to preserving the state’s stability and socio-economic strength.

“As Sarawak treads into the future, it needs to maintain its religious and racial harmony. Harmony and unity are the foundation of stability and socio-economic strength for Sarawak,” said Abang Johari, whose text-of-speech was read by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong at the 170th anniversary celebration of St Mary’s School here on Saturday.

The chief minister added that a person’s character is developed in school – their likes and dislikes, habits, behaviour, perspective, respect for each other, as well as tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences.

He said apart from continuing to support mission schools, the Sarawak government has shown its commitment in ensuring that the spiritual needs and development of non-Muslims through the setting-up of the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor).

“Every faith deserves to have decent and safe places of worship. That is the stand of the government now and the state will continue to provide annual grants for such purpose,” he said, adding that RM15 million was allocated to Unifor last year which will be increased to RM20 million this year.

“This is only happening in Sarawak as other states do not have such commitment (to assist other religions to build or upgrade houses of worship),” he said.

Meanwhile, organising chairperson Datin Evelyn Ritikos Jaul said for the past 170 years, St Mary’s School has always been an institution associated with academic and non-academic excellence, and an institution that all Marians have fond memories of.

The anniversary dinner was organised by the Old Marians Association on behalf of St Mary’s Board of Management.

Among those present at the dinner were former St Mary’s teacher Tan Sri Dato Sri Empiang Jabu and Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, the Right Reverend Danald Jute.