KOTA KINABALU (Jan 13): The State Government has allocated RM164.12 million for the implementation of educational and religious development programmes in this year’s State Budget.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said the funds were channeled to the relevant government agencies, religious and educational bodies, as part of the State Government’s efforts to enhance the quality of human capital and to ensure the people’s wellbeing.
“In line with the Malaysian Family (Keluarga Malaysia) spirit, the allocation benefits all religions and races in the state,” he said at the presentation ceremony of financial assistance to vernacular and mission schools, churches and temples for the year 2021 and handing over of lions in conjunction with the 2022 Chinese New Year celebrations.
Minister of Local Government and Housing and Finance Minister II, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun delivered the Chief Minister’s speech at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here on Thursday.
For this year, Hajiji said the State Government has agreed to allocate a total of RM47 million, the largest ever for non-Muslim religious bodies as well as for the vernacular, mission and independent schools.
“The amount is the biggest ever approved by the Sabah Government and this reflected our sincerity to ensure the welfare of all races and religions in Sabah will be taken care of,” he said.
The State Government had also allocated RM1 million for the lions that will be distributed to the various associations and lion dance troupes in conjunction with the Chinese New Year throughout the state.
“The presentation of financial assistance and lion heads clearly demonstrates the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) State Government’s commitment to implement a fair and equitable policy in all aspects,” he said.
The State Government realised the importance of educational institutions and religious bodies in producing a knowledgeable populace as well as inculcating noble virtues and positive values who are able to drive the state’s development”.
Hajiji said last year the State Government allocated RM43 million for the non-Muslim religious bodies, vernacular, mission and independent schools in Sabah.
According to him, in the same period last year, the State Government also approved a total of RM24.99 million for the construction and repair of non-Muslim houses of worship in the state.