KOTA KINABALU: The state government has allocated RM500,000 to help the Sabah Theological Seminary (STS) save its century-old chapel amid the threat of landslips along its slopes on Signal Hill here.
The STS had earlier sent out an SOS to the state government, which was heeded with Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor approving the allocation for remedial works on the failing slopes that had worsened with recent heavy rains.
STS officials feared that serious land slips would eventually affect the safety of the infrastructure and buildings on the campus and estimated the overall cost of remedial works to cost more than RM2 million.
In a statement Sunday (Oct 10), STS principal Dr Thu En Yu and Bishop James Wong of the Basel Christian Church of Malaysia said they had approached Hajiji for a grant and he immediately sent his political secretary, Datuk Dr Roland Chia, to look into the situation and the seminary had received a generous grant of RM500,000 earlier this year.
“As a Christian community, we can testify to the fact that Sabah is a place of unity in diversity, where the needs of every religious group are treated with urgency and support.
“The quick response and the generous grant from the Chief Minister is evidence of the Malaysian Family spirit in Sabah,” said Dr Thu.
On behalf of STS and all the partner churches of STS, Bishop James Wong thanked the Chief Minister and the Sabah State Government for walking the extra mile in assisting STS in this very challenging pandemic time.
STS was also thankful to friends, individuals, institutions and particularly to Sabah MCA women’s chief Datuk Dr Pamela Yong and local Community Development Leader (PPM) for the Likas constituency Dr Chang Kee Ying who had applied for funds from the National Unity Ministry.
The Ministry responded with a sum of RM150,000 to help STS in its predicament.
They said that remedial work was scheduled to commence in Nov 2021 and will be completed in nine months.
STS is an inter-denominational seminary that offers a wide range of Christian academic and practical courses to train pastors and community leaders to enable graduates to contribute to socio-economic development in rural communities.
The chapel was once used as an informal medical facility during the World War II era and is now part of the STS campus.