PM announces RM2m fund to rebuild St Jude’s Church in Bunan Gega

SERIAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday announced an allocation of RM2 million to rebuild St Jude’s Church in Bunan Gega.

He said this decision was made following requests from the village folk in Bunan Gega, where Kedup BN candidate Martin Ben hails from.

St Jude’s Bunan Gega is the Roman Catholic parish administering 46 other churches and chapels in the Mongkos and Tebedu regions. The current building was built almost 50 years ago.

Najib also explained RM1 million will come from the federal government while the state government will come up with the other RM1 million.

“The RM2 million will jointly come from the federal and state governments, and this symbolises the close working relationship between the federal government and state government in the wspirit of Barisan Nasional solidarity.

“We are being fair to everyone in the principle of religious freedom in Malaysia. Barisan Nasional respects the beliefs and cultures of all ethnic groups in the country,” he said.

Najib, who is also BN chairman, was in Bunan Gega for a walkabout at SK St Jude’s primary school and followed by a leader-meet-the-people session. He also launched the Supplementary Food Programme (Rancangan Makanan Tambahan or RMT) for the school.

Also present yesterday were Human Resources Minister and Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot and Martin.

Najib also mentioned the visit to Bunan Gega had a sentimental meaning for him because his late father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein had come to the same village in 1966 to launch an army camp and landed on the same field where the helicopter which ferried Najib landed yesterday.

On another matter, Najib said he was very happy to see a sea of blue at Bunan Gega, in reference to the blue BN caps and blue BN T-shirts donned by those who came yesterday.

“I only see ‘dacing’ (BN symbol), I don’t see ‘rocket’ (DAP symbol) and I don’t see ‘eye’ (PKR symbol). This is because you are all strong supporters of BN,” he said.

He also claimed the BN policies have ensured that the Bidayuh community, though a minority, are successful today and the Bidayuhs now have among the highest number of educated people per capita in the country.

He said this was being acknowledged by federal government, as all three Bidayuh MPs are appointed to the cabinet – one as a full minister and the other two are deputy ministers, as well as approving an allocation of RM7 million for a Bidayuh Cultural Centre in Kuching.

For this state election, he said BN keeps up with its promise by fielding eight Bidayuh candidates.

He also concurred with points made by Penghulu Philip Aon who spoke before him, that the people in Bunan Gega should give 100 percent of their votes to the BN candidate.

“Under BN, the Bidayuhs will progress further. This election is important because it will determine the next state government.

“Therefore, give full support to the BN candidate here and also to the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem who is the ‘apai besar’ of Sarawak. This advice comes to you from me, Najib the ‘apai besar’ of Malaysia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Martin thanked the Prime Minister for the allocation which he felt would be adequate for the rebuilding of the 50-year-old church which was built during the time of the late Dutch priest Fr Leopold van Rooyen who was the parish priest at that time.

He said the church had earlier received RM400,000 under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) this year to upgrade the priest’s house and office.-Borneo Post

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