Julau church needs RM2 mln to complete new building


(From third to fifth right) Rolland, Bishop Hii, Father Oniz and others pose for a group photograph beside the under- construction new church building and priest’s quarters.

JULAU: The St Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church here is still short of about RM2 million to complete its new building.

That is after they had spent about RM3 million on the main structure of the building estimated to cost a total of RM5 million, said Bishop Joseph Hii who is the church building committee chairman.

Of the RM3 million already spent on the project, RM550,000 was contributed by the state government through Unit For Other Religion (Unifor) and another RM500,000 was from Meluan assemblyman Rolland Duat which was disbursed under the Rural Transformation Project (RTP) fund.

“Now we are trying to raise RM2 million to complete the two-storey new church building located a few metres from the old church,” he told Rolland who visited the project’s site to see its progress yesterday morning.

Towards that end they had raised about RM800,000, throughout last year, he disclosed, adding, the fund raising for the church was ongoing.

To that, Rolland expressed his readiness to help make up the shortfall.

“I will help the church committee to bring up the problem to the attention of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg,” he said, adding he would set aside part of his annual RTP allocation to the church building fund.

According to St Alphonsus’s Priest In-Charge, Reverend Father Oniz Kihokolho, the new church has a capacity to accomodate 2,000 people.

The present building could only accommodate 1,000 people, hence during big occasions like Christmas and Easter, some of the worshipers had to stand outside, he said.

Among those present during the visit were a political secretary to the chief minister, Brian Fung, Assistant Engineer from Meradong/Julau District Council, Robin Roy William, Penghulu Joseph Wong King Said, Penghulu Balawan Gerinang and other local community leaders.