GEORGE TOWN, Nov 21 — Penang will be allocating RM75.08 million to Islamic development in its state Budget 2023 which includes building and upgrading of mosques, surau, religious schools, and management of Islamic religious affairs department.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in tabling the state Budget today, said Penang was picked to host the National Majlis Tilawah Al-Quran 2023 and the state has allocated RM3.52 million (out of the RM75.08 million) for the event.

Other than the mosques that are currently under construction, also in the plans was the construction of seven mosques between 2022 and 2025.

The mosques, to cost RM18 million in total, are Masjid Papan in Seberang Jaya, Masjid Sungai Lokan and Masjid Sungai Dua Utama in Butterworth, Masjid Bandar Raya Seberang Perai in Bandar Cassia, Masjid Lama Sungai Bakap and Masjid Lama Sungai Kechil in Nibong Tebal and Masjid Bandar Putra Bertam in Bertam.


Chow also announced the approval of an increase in allowance to be paid to village community management councils (MPKK) committee members from July 1 this year onwards.

He said a total 375 MPKK were set up in the state this year at a cost of RM9.15 million and taking into account the increase in allowance paid to the committee members, the state has allocated RM12.98 million for the MPKK in 2023.

“The state has also set up Penangn2030 centres in 15 state constituencies and another nine to be set up soon,”he said.


He said the centres are based on a shared space concept and can be optimised to hold community and social activities.

“These centres will be fully equipped with digital learning materials such as computers, broadband services and others,” he said.

On homestays in Penang, Chow said the state is now finalising the guidelines on the operations of private homestays in stratified properties and bylaws for homestays in landed properties in Penang.

“The purpose of the guidelines and by-laws are to prepare a policy to empower the local authorities to license and control the operations of private homestays in Penang,” he said.

He said both the guidelines and by-laws are expected to be enforced in the whole state by 2023.

Penang will also be continuing with its i-Sejahtera welfare programmes, consisting of annual cash aids given to senior citizens, the disabled, single mothers and stay-home mothers, with an allocation of RM53 million for 2023.

“Realising the importance of having a disaster management depot to provide fast and effective disaster relief, the state has approved a total RM1.5 million for the early works and setting up of a disaster humanitarian logistic centre in 2023,” he said.

He said the whole project will cost RM6.5 million and is expected to complete within three years.

On the state’s Penang Transport Master Plan, Chow said a total RM17.23 million was approved to implement projects under the plan in 2023.

“The state is confident of obtaining approval for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the Penang South Reclamation and will prepare sufficient allocation to implement some of the projects identified including compensation to the affected parties,” he said.

He said package two of the undersea tunnel and three paired roads project involving the carriageway from Ayer Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway started work in July this year.

“The work progress of Package two as of the end of September is at 20 per cent as planned,” he said.

He said the construction of Package Two is not in full swing yet as the contractor is yet to obtain approval from the federal government as the alignment involved federal lands despite the alignment being part of the Penang Outer Ring Road alignment.

“Discussions are being held with the relevant federal agencies and ministries and it is hoped that the issues will be resolved by the end of this year,” he said.