KUCHING: Sarawak Evangelical Christian Association (Seca) comprising 34 registered member churches was officially launched by Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) director Datu Dr Ngenang Janggu at a hotel here yesterday.
The association which was registered with the Registar of Societies (ROS) on March 15, 2017 aimed to offer a united voice on matters of common concern to the government.
“Our history goes back about 30 years. This is only (a) legal formalisation of that relationship network,” Seca chairman Pastor Matthew Ling told reporters on Monday night during the launch.
He added the association seeks to provide a platform for the promotion of the Christian faith, fellowship and sharing of resources.
According to Ling, the leadership of the statewide network felt the need to establish a legal entity to engage with the government after the formation of Unifor.
Formerly known as Unit for Non-Islamic Affairs, Unifor was set up under the Chief Minister’s Department in May 26 last year to look after the affairs of non-Islamic religious bodies in Sarawak.
Ngenang in his speech said the unit was the brainchild of former chief minister, the late Pehin Sri Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem and continues to get strong support and commitment of the current chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Ngenang represented Deputy Chief Minister and Unifor minister-in-charge Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the launching ceremony.
He said the Sarawak government will always strive to enhance religious freedom and harmony in the state.
Ngenang added that Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia which has a formal government agency to look after the needs of the non-Muslims in the state.
He also said that the Sarawak government had approved RM20 million this year which had benefited more than 200 houses of worship.
Ngenang later surprised the committee when he announced a RM10,000 grant for Seca.
Seca has set up six commissions focusing on evangelism and missions, leadership development, prayer, professional services, religious liberty and the next generation.
Currently, Seca has a combined congregation of 28,000 members.
Its central committee consists of Ling (chairman), Ling Nee Wen (vice chairman), Nelson Kee (secretary), Pastor David Ngu (assistant secretary), Pastor Jerry Teoh (treasurer), Pastor Greman Ujang (assistant treasurer) and committee members Pastor Abel Vincent and Pastor Christopher Tsan.