Cover Story, Current Affairs, Featured

GRS, where is the remaining RM6.29 million in financial aid due to non-Muslim bodies in Sabah?

Press Statement
3rd February 2021

Sabah State Government is reminded to fully disburse 2020 funds previously allocated to non-Islamic bodies and schools

In a statement today, DAP Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin reminded the GRS Sabah State Government to fully disburse the financial aid allocated by the Warisan Plus state government back in 2020 to non-Islamic bodies including churches, Chinese temples, Hindu and Sikh places of worship, and schools.

Chan, who is also the Secretary for DAP Sabah, noted that before the state election last year, an additional sum of RM8 million was added to the RM35 million allocated by the Warisan Plus state government under former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal for such purposes, making it a grand total of RM43 million to be distributed for 2020. The closing date for applications for the said financial aid from the State Government had also been extended to June 18 due to the Movement Control Order.

“According to news reports, a total of RM19.7 million for 2020 had been disbursed on February 1 during a presentation ceremony in the State Administrative Centre. Out of that amount, a total of RM13.5 million was given to Chinese schools, RM5.29 million was approved for development and maintenance of 145 temples in Sabah, and RM1 million was allocated to assist various Chinese associations in Sabah to hold their activities in conjunction with Chinese New Year,” said Chan.

Chan further noted that in December 16 last year, a sum of RM16.92 million was distributed to the Sabah Council of Churches (SCC), also at the State Administrative Centre.

“RM19.7 million plus RM16.92 million equals to RM36.62million. This means that there is about RM7 million in undistributed funds for non-Islamic bodies and schools from the RM43 million allocated for the year of 2020,” Chan remarked.

Chan said that it is important for the allocated financial funding to be fully distributed in a timely manner, so that beneficiaries can benefit from them through their activities throughout the year.

“The funds for 2020 should have been distributed sooner in 2020, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, understandably there have been administrative delays,” Chan said.

Chan added that he is glad that the GRS state government has continued to allocate funds for the non-Muslim community in 2021 as well as uphold the right of minorities to freedom of religion.

“It’s good to see both political sides maintaining the budget for the non-Muslim community, especially for education and religious association purposes,” said Chan.

Unlike his counterpart from Kedah, PAS Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor who cancelled the Thaipusam public holiday in the state, a festival celebrated by the Tamil Hindu community, Chan acknowledged that the GRS Chief Minister Datuk Seri Haji Hajiji Noor treated members of all races fairly, even those who had not voted for GRS.

“Even though we are from different sides of the political arena, I would like to give credit where it is due. I would like to thank Chief Minister Hajiji for giving the green light so that the P.172 Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary Office could hang Chinese lanterns at the Kota Kinabalu Central Market to celebrate Chinese New Year together with the people here.”

Chan Foong Hin
MP for Kota Kinabalu
DAP Sabah Secretary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *