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356 preachers given accreditation to teach Islam in the state

A TOTAL of 356 preachers have been given the accreditation to teach Islam in the state for a period ranging from one to two years.

According to Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, the accreditation was given under sub section 58 (1) (2) of the State Islamic Council Ordinance approved during the fourth State Islamic Council meeting in 2014.

He was replying to Datuk Juanda Jaya (BN-Jemoreng) who asked about the number of religious teachers in Sarawak and the system implemented to screen and recruit such teachers.

“The state government is aware of the current situation involving certain religious preachers who raised hatred and sectarian issues, but the government has yet to receive such issues here in Sarawak,” said Dr Abdul Rahman.

He added that from the 356 religious preachers, 141 were from states outside Sarawak, 69 from outside the country and 146 were locals.

“However the accreditation of 71 of these preachers have expired,” he explained.

Answering a supplementary question on whether religious graduates from local public university be given automatic accreditation to teach religion in the state, Dr Abdul Rahman said such qualification does not give automatic ticket to teach Islam in Sarawak.

“The state government has outlined various criteria which needed to be understood and fulfill first before any preachers be given the green light for such accreditation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil said four drainage projects have been approved and implemented for Sadong Jaya this year.

Penguang, who was answering a question from Aidel Lariwoo (BN-Sadong Jaya) said the projects involved a RM255,000 concrete drain in Kampung Semera Lot and RM204,000 similar drain at Kampung Semera Hilir.

“Another RM255,000 and RM204,000 were approved also for concrete drain projects at Kampung Semera Masjid and Kampung Ulu Semera,” he added.

Penguang also revealed that RM1.75 million has been spent by the Drainage and Irrigation Department for the Asajaya Drainage Scheme Block 4 under the Sadong Jaya constituency.

“A refurbishment of the scheme will require a budget of about RM20 million, and DID through the state government will look into applying from the federal government for funding to implement the project,” he added.