KOTA KINABALU, Nov 19 — The Sabah government gave out a total of RM30,785,000 to non-Islamic schools and religious bodies in the state today.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said from the amount, RM13,340,000 was given to mission and Chinese independent schools, while the rest amounting to RM17,445,000 was given to non-Islamic religious bodies.
He said the grants were to enable the schools and bodies to cover some of their costs in carrying out their daily activities.
“Due to prudent financial management, we have been able to steadily increase this annual allocation.
“The figures speak volumes of our commitment to schools and non-Islamic religious organisations,” he said at the handing-out of the financial assistance to 394 schools and religious bodies on the sidelines of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly sitting, here.
Musa, who is also state Finance Minister, said between 2004 and 2012, the total disbursed to schools amounted to RM75,196,019 and in the same period, RM102,552,180 was allocated to non-Islamic religious bodies.
He stressed that the state government would never back down from its commitment to assist non-Islamic schools and religious bodies although the government was also funding socio-economic and other development programmes.
“The Barisan Nasional government will continue to focus on educational development at all levels and we are also constantly striving to bridge the gap when it comes to facilities in the urban and rural areas.
“The large allocation for the non-Islamic religious bodies is reflective of the government's commitment to upholding religious freedom,” he said. — Bernama