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KOTA KINABALU – The Sabah government has allocated RM31.44 million in financial aid to non-Islamic bodies and schools throughout the state this year.
The financial assistance will benefit 551 religious bodies, including churches, Chinese temples, Hindu and Sikh places of worship, and schools.
Of the sum, RM14.005 million is allocated for schools and another RM17.435 million will be distributed among the non-Islamic organisations, of which RM11,870,000 is for churches, RM5,295,000 for Chinese temples, and RM270,000 for Hindu and Sikh temples.
Aman said he was pleased to receive feedback that past allocations have been used efficiently, allowing places of worship and schools to make necessary repairs and extensions among others.
“We acknowledge that we cannot meet the amount for the total sum, which the schools and religious bodies have requested for, but let me assure you we have done our best to allocate what we can.
“With prudent financial management, the state government has been able to steadily increase this annual allocation,” he told attendees at the ceremony at which he handed over the 2017 financial assistance to the schools and non-Islamic bodies at the Hakka Hall here on 19 Sept 2017.
He noted that the special financial aid from state government has increased over the past 13 years.
According to records, the government had disbursed RM7.085 million financial aids to non-Islamic religious bodies and schools throughout Sabah in 2004. Last year, the government allocated RM31.398 million.
Musa handed over RM16.832 million to representatives of schools and non-Islamic religious bodies from the west coast division and RM1.22 million to the lower interior region.
“Along with Islamic bodies, you play an important role in promoting positive values in society,” he pointed out to the beneficiaries.
“I also encourage you to keep up your good work and to continue serving your schools and religious institutions to the best of your abilities,” he said.
Among those present were Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, Bishop Melter Tais of Sabah Council of Churches, Deputy Chief Ministers Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, other Cabinet Ministers, Assistant Ministers, and other community leaders. – various sources