Monday, September 26, 2005

Tuaran pagoda has huge tourism potential

Tuaran: The newly-opened nine-storey Loong San Pagoda Temple here has huge tourism potential given its characteristics as a symbol of harmony and understanding of the various customs, cultures and religions in Malaysia.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the dragon-decorated pagoda is also unique as it presents the rich heritage of the Chinese community.

"Hence, we hope all tourists arriving in Kota Kinabalu will visit the pagoda," he said when opening the State Government-funded pagoda, Sunday.

The construction of the building began about 10 years ago with an allocation of about RM1.5 million from the Government that was distributed in three phases.

Pairin said the Government realised the importance of the pagoda and thus the allocation.

"I believe the Government's willingness to channel allocation for the construction of the pagoda is in line with its objectives to promote culture," he said.

"It also shows the Government is sincere in advocating freedom in practising religion," he added.

According to Chinese traditions, Pairin said the pagoda is a symbol of harmony and understanding of community living.

In the context of Malaysia, he said the structure symbolises the harmony of the people with diverse races and religions.

As a society that appreciates the intricacies of culture, a visit to the pagoda would give the visitor better knowledge of the Chinese traditions and spiritual aspects, he said.

Historically, Pairin said the Chinese traditions and arts are very unique and dynamic and are considered among the oldest in the world.

"The pagoda is a fusion of two important aspects in the Chinese art that combines traditions and Buddhist teachings," he added.

Also present were Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Jahid Jahim, Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Louis Rampas and Sabah Progressive Party President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

Courtesy of Daily Express

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