GEORGE TOWN, Penang -- The historical moment marking the arrival of Buddha's 2,500-year-old relics was greeted with much pomp and grandeur at the iconic Kek Lok Si Temple in Air Itam here.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the relics were brought into the country with the support of monasteries and monks from Sri Lanka.
"The occasion is an important one for Malaysia. From what I've been told, this is the first time that relics related to Buddha have been brought into the country.
"This is a great honour for Kek Lok Si as it is one of the leading centres for Buddhism in the country," he said at the installation of the two relics at the temple yesterday.
World Sangha Committee president Venerable Liao Chung said the bone relics, which arrived at the Penang International Airport on Saturday, were acquired from the Rangiri Ulpata Rajamaha Viharaya Temple in Sri Lanka.
Devotees also donated generously to the temple which is planning to build a Mahabodhi Style Stupa, modelled after an ancient temple in Bodhgaya, India, at the hill beside the statue of Kuan Yin to permanently enshrine the relics.