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Malay father and son prepare vegetarian meals for devotees of Ching San Yen Temple every CNY

The epitome of racial harmony.

KUCHING – For 20 years, Saipee and his son Firdaus have served up thousands of vegetarian meals at the Ching San Yen Temple whenever Chinese New Year comes around.

The temple, which is located near a Malay fishing village known as Kampung Muara Tebas along Sungai Sarawak, is a popular spot for Buddhists devotees to perform their prayers.

Malay father and son prepare vegetarian meals for devotees of ching san yen temple every cny | weirdkaya
Source: Places of Worship & Devotion

After performing their prayers, devotees would then be invited to stay back and enjoy a vegetarian meal prepared by several helpers including Saipee and Firdaus, who are responsible for cooking and packing the meals into containers.

According to Malaysia Now, the duo wake up before sunrise to begin the day and earn about RM1,200 for each occasion, which is considered a good amount of money for low-income families such as Saipee’s.

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A symbol of harmony

Although COVID-19 has brought about many changes to the village, one thing has remained the same – the strong racial harmony between communities.

The location of the Ching San Yen Temple is a testament to this, where it is flanked by a Muslim cemetery and has a mosque nestled at the foot of the hill of which it is built upon.

Malay father and son prepare vegetarian meals for devotees of ching san yen temple every cny | weirdkaya
Picture taken from The Star

A villager named Joli Kadir told Malaysia Now that the Malays would often help to carry joss sticks and food up to the temple on the 1st and 15th day of Chinese New Year where devotees would offer several prayers.

He also added that the temple committee had even built a walkway and opened a portion of its fencing to allow access into the Muslim cemetery.

“To go to the Muslim cemetery, we have to pass through the temple. For us, there is no issue.”

Let nothing separate us from living in harmony and love this Chinese New Year!