Premier approves Anglican Church’s proposal for columbarium
Posted on : 26 Dec 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (centre) presenting the cheque to a representative from Rumah Seri Kenangan Kuching, while Uggah (on his right), Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman (left) and Danald look on. – Photo by Hafizah Abd Hamid

KUCHING (Dec 26): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has approved a proposal from the Anglican Church for a columbarium.

“Your proposed columbarium is okay. You will get it from (Datuk Amar) Douglas Uggah (Embas),” he told Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, Datuk Danald Jute at the Anglican Christmas Open House event at the St Thomas’ Cathedral Parish Hall here today.

Meanwhile, Uggah, who is Deputy Premier and minister-in-charge of Unit for Other Religions (Unifor), said the Premier had approved two projects undertaken by the Anglican Church.

“One is the RM3 million for the furniture for House of the Epiphany, which is nearing completion.

“Then the columbarium that costs RM8.5 million. It is already approved so Unifor will process it. The planning will start next year,” he told reporters when met at the end of the event.

Danald, when asked to elaborate further on the proposed columbarium, said it came about after looking at how lands are becoming scarce for cemeteries and because the Anglican Church had received requests for such facility.

Once completed, he said the new columbarium will be the second facility after the one at St Peter’s Church.

“The highest decision-making body of the Church sought advice and we reached the decision last year. We worked on (the proposal) and sent it to SPA (State Planning Authority) for approval and it has been approved.

“In September, I went to see the Premier and I shared with him the project and justified its need. It was then (that) he said yes, it’s a good move because in the years to come that really is the way forward rather than the traditional burial,” he said adding that the Anglican Church is grateful to Abang Johari for understanding the need and gave them the financial backing.

He said the columbarium will have 14,000 niches and the opening of tender for the project will start next April, with the construction expected to start before the end of the year.

“It is expected to be completed in 18 months to two years,” he said, adding that the site is between St Thomas’ School and the Sarawak Museum.

In addition, he said it is not just a facility for the Anglican communion.

“If there is request from other non-Anglican (Christians), we welcome them,” he added.

Also at the event, Abang Johari presented cheques to five charitable organisations, namely the Society of The Blind, Sarawak Cheshire Home, Society for Cancer Advocacy and Awareness (SCAN), Kuching Autistic Association and Rumah Seri Kenangan Kuching.