Sarawak has contributed US$100,000 to the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) for its projects and programmes.
The financial contribution was announced by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg during a dinner hosted by FIANZ at a local hotel in Auckland yesterday.
The office of the Premier of Sarawak in a statement today said the dinner was held in conjunction with Abang Johari’s two-day visit to New Zealand as President of the Regional Islamic Da’wah Council of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP).
It is the Premier’s first official visit to member countries of RISEAP since his election as president of the regional Islamic association in January this year.
In his speech at the event, Abang Johari pointed out that he had chosen New Zealand as the first stop in a series of visits to member countries considering Sarawak’s long-standing relationship with the Kiwi country through the Commonwealth Colombo plan scholarships in the 1950s.
He said Sarawakian students used to be sent to study in universities in New Zealand under the scholarship programme including those who were later elected to high office as state and federal ministers.
“Therefore, knowledge acquisition and sharing between New Zealand and Sarawak was nothing new and should be rekindled in the present era through the RISEAP platform,” he said.
The Premier and his entourage will end the two-day visit on Wednesday.
RISEAP, now with 24 member countries, was formed in 1980 with the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister as its founding president, primarily to bring together Muslim-minority countries in East Asia and the Pacific in order to pursue collective ambitions in the Islamic cause.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency