JOHOR BARU, July 9 — The Johor state government will increase the Johor Heritage Foundation’s RM10 million budget next year, a state executive councillor said today.

It is learnt that the budget increase will fund maintenance work on several of the state’s museums and galleries that are in urgent need of renovation and proper upkeep.

“We are definitely looking at a budget of more than RM10 million, as the existing cost for the Johor Heritage Foundation is at RM3.4 million without factoring in the RM6 million in its operating expenditure,” Johor Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar told reporters today.

Mohd Khuzzan was speaking to the media on the sidelines after officiating the Taib Andak Figura Vesatil exhibition at Muzium Tokoh Johor here today.

Present were Johor Heritage Foundation director Mohd Shahrin Rahmat and the late Tan Sri Taib Andak’s daughter, Datin Kalsom Taib.

However, Mohd Khuzzan did not state how much the funds increase would be.

He also reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to continued investment in the arts, culture and heritage sector.

“For a start, we will soon see the relaunch of the Kota Tinggi Museum in the district.

“This project under the previous state government was held back for several years and will soon see its opening again,” said Mohd Khuzzan, who is also the Semerah assemblyman.

On the Taib Andak Figura Versatil exhibition, Mohd Khuzzan said this was an opportunity for Johoreans as well as Malaysians to know the Johor-born icon.

He said the late Taib Andak was a national figure who lived in three different eras in Malaysian history.

“He lived under the British colonial rule, the Japanese occupation, the Merdeka period and also the post-independence period where he saw development of our nation.

“He was also instrumental in realising the late former Prime Minister Tun Razak’s vision which was the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda),” said Mohd Khuzzan.