Santubong MP: Village extension project will not affect historical Bongkissam shrine

ADIB POVERA


SANTUBONG: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has allayed fears surrounding a village extension project allegedly being carried out within vicinity of the historical Bongkissam shrine in the Santubong parliamentary constituency.

Wan Junaidi, who is Santubong MP, assured the people that the project will not affect the shrine since the historical site is located far away from the village.

He believed that those who had raised the matter was given the wrong information and were confused between the actual historical shrine and the shrine believed to have been built by villagers.

“I have referred the matter to the State Museum Department and they have conducted a site visit to the location of the project.

“According to the department director, a small shrine, which is located at a junction near the project site, is not the Bongkissam shrine.

“The historical shrine is located on the opposite side of the site,” Junaidi, who is also the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, told the New Straits Times, today.

He was responding to claims made by Sarawak 4 Sarawakians campaigner Karen Shepherd, who had alleged that project was implemented without conducting any archaeological investigation.

She had told an English local daily that she feared the project would lead to the destruction of historical artefacts at the site.

The historical shrine of Buddhist origin was discovered by Tom Harrison, who was the former Sarawak Museum curator, in 1996.

The shrine is believed to have been built between the 10th and 13th century, and house a silver ritual box.