Govt supports Wong Tai Sin Temple project in Kuala Penyu – Teo

KOTA KINABALU: Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang said the State Government would support the Wong Tai Sin Temple project in Kuala Penyu.

He said the State Government welcomed the plan to bring the world-famous Wong Tai Sin Temple into Sabah.

Teo said the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon, Hong Kong attracted close to six million worshippers, tourists and visitors annually.

“If the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kuala Penyu is able to attract five per cent of the six million worshippers or tourists, it will certainly bring significant benefits to the district and even Sabah,” Teo said this during a courtesy call by the Wong Tai Sin Temple delegation from Hong Kong, led by Kuala Penyu assemblyman Limus bin Jury here yesterday.

Limus briefed Teo on the plan to build the temple in his district and also sought the State Government’s support for the project.

The temple will be built on a five-acre site donated by Limus.

Upon completion, the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kuala Penyu will be the first in Southeast Asia, and the third in the world located beyond the original temple in Hong Kong. The other two Wong Tai Sin Temples are located in Vancouver, Canada and Macau.

Teo informed the delegation that the State Government allocated a budget of RM32 million for temples, churches, Chinese and mission schools every year – RM20 million to non-Islamic religious bodies and RM12 million to schools.

“The State Government has been providing financial allocation to the religious bodies and schools for the past 20 to 30 years.”

But in order to be eligible for the state grant, Teo said the association responsible for building the Wong Tai Sin Temple must be registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) while the land for the temple must be owned by the association.

Additionally, he said the development plan (DP) must be approved by the local authority before the association could apply for the State Government’s allocation.

Nonetheless, Teo hoped that the temple could commence construction soon, adding that the State Government would support the project.

He also commended Limus’ huge support for the Wong Tai Sin Temple despite not being a Chinese.

Present at the courtesy call were Lee Yiu Fai, the abbot of Sik Sik Yuen which manages the Wong Tai Sin Temple, secretary-general of the preparatory committee of the project, Fred S.K. Lee, Federation of Taoist Association of Sabah president Chang Kon Sin, Kuala Penyu Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Fung Tack Fui and Sipitang Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Yeo Boun Kiat.

 

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