Sandakan: The large allocation to non Muslim religious bodies demonstrates the Barisan Nasional government's commitment in supporting religious freedom.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said in this country, particularly in Sabah, the people live in peace and harmony despite being of different races, ethnicity and religion and that their religious teachings can still be carried out without worry.
"I hope that through the provision of assistance they will continue to mobilise and facilitate the implementation of programmes among their members," he said after the cheque presentation to schools and religious bodies (non-Muslim) for East Coast Region at Indah Jaya Recreation Club at Batu 4, here, on Monday.
"I also believe that this provision will be used by recipients in further strengthening the teachings and learning in schools in accordance to the government's goal," he said.
Nearly RM31 million in allocation was given by the government to 140 non-Muslim religious bodies and 266 schools in the State.
Religious bodies, including churches, Chinese temples, and other non-Muslim religious bodies would receive about RM18 million whereas schools will be allocated over RM12 million.
Of the total, the Sandakan and Tawau districts received over RM3 million, while 82 Chinese private schools and mission schools in the same districts received an allocation of RM3 million.
Provision of financial assistance, among others is to allow religious bodies and schools implement their teaching and learning more effectively and with quality.
Also in attendance were Batu Sapi MP Datin Linda Tsen, Libaran MP Datuk Juslie Ajirol, Gum-Gum Assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Mohd Edris, Elopura Assemblyman, Au Kam Wah, Tanjung Papat Assemblyman Datuk Raymond Tan, Karamunting Assemblyman Datuk Peter Pang, Dong Zhong Association Sabah Chairman Tan Sri Andrew Liew and representatives of non-Muslim religious bodies and schools from Tawau, Kunak, Semporna, Lahad Datu and Sandakan.
Meanwhile, Musa said the Government is also aware of the needs of some of the schools in the rural areas and that the government is firmly committed to working with the Education Ministry in finding solutions to allow students to continue having access to proper education with conducive and comfortable facilities.
Meanwhile, Liew in his speech extended his appreciation for the allocations from the government.
"Not only will it ease the burden, it is also helpful for the development of education in Chinese schools," he said.--Courtesy of The Daily Express