Ministry will push for Sarawak’s open house culture to be recognised under Unesco, says Abdul Karim

Hindu Sangam Sarawak chairman Kripa Sindhu Krishna greets one of the nuns at the open house. Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will be looking into the process of getting Sarawak’s ‘open house’ culture to be recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), said its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“We will see how is the process of getting this to be recognised by Unesco. There is definitely a process to do it.

“I am very supportive of the proposal,” he told reporters at the Catholic Open House at the Archbishop’s Curia & Cathedral Pastoral Centre (ACCPC) Wednesday.

Abdul Karim noted that the proposal, which was brought up by his assistant minister Datuk Sebastian Ting in Miri on Sunday, should be world-recognised.

“Looking at the beautiful way we celebrate festivals in Sarawak. We can see it very clearly whether it is Christmas, Chinese New Year, so on.

“(Festivals) are celebrated so nicely together by everyone of different faiths. It is something that should be promoted and recognised by Unesco and the world,” he enthused.

Meanwhile, Catholic Archbishop of Kuching Simon Poh said the open house culture is something very unique to Malaysians, in particularly in Sarawak.

Members of the public queue for food at the buffet line.

“We pray that when this is presented to Unesco it will be something that is unique.

“Here we have all races, all religions sharing festivities with everyone. This is how we get to know one another and build friendships.

“Our open house welcomes everyone, it is open to friends of other faiths. We want to build a society based on doing common good,” he said.

Poh took the opportunity to wish everyone a blessed Christmas filled with love, joy and peace and also hopes that 2020 will be a year of blessing for everyone.

Also present at the open house were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, State Legal Adviser Dato Sri JC Fong, representatives from various faiths, Archbishops Emeritus Peter Chung and Dato John Ha and other guests.

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