Minister says unaware of ‘1 Malaysia Spiritual Tourism’ project

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said today that he has never heard of the “1 Malaysia Spiritual Tourism” mega project that will purportedly showcase religions like Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.

Enchant Acres Sdn Bhd, which is the company undertaking the 500-acre tourism project in Pahang, also could not be reached for comment.

“I don't know about this. I've never heard of this,” Nazri told The Malay Mail Online today.

According to Enchant Acres' website, the 1 Malaysia Spiritual Tourism project is “fully supported” by Putrajaya and will include the creation of a religious and cultural retreat in Gambang, Pahang, that promotes Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Christianity, as well as the Sai Baba and I-Kuan Tao movements.

Among the planned constructions are a 30-storey pyramid, which is supposed to be the largest pyramid in the world, the largest Kuan Yin statue in the world, and the biggest columbarium in the world.

Kuan Yin is the Goddess of Mercy that is typically worshiped by Buddhists.

The website also states that a 250-acre parcel of government land has been approved for the project.

The project - which will be started at the end of the year - will also include the construction of a recreational and commercial area that comprises hotels and resorts, food and beverage outlets, recreational facilities like clubs and entertainment centres, parks, gardens, business centres, and even a university-college, an international school, and other learning centres.

Muslim group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) criticised the project today and accused its developers of threatening the position of Islam in the country.

“If this project is successful, the image of Malaysia as a Muslim country - in terms of its population and its history - will fade as other religions are highlighted for tourism purposes,” ISMA president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman said in a statement earlier today.

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