KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has won praise for allocating another RM31.4 million this year for schools and non-Islamic religious bodies in the state.
The chairman of the Sabah Dong Zong, Jimmy Yong, noted that over the past decade, Musa had disbursed RM333,999,199 to non-Islamic religious bodies, Chinese independent schools and mission schools in Sabah.
“We are thankful for the generous contribution on the state government’s part,” he said in a statement today.
Yong added: “However, it didn’t come as a surprise to us as the chief minister has always shown tremendous commitment towards uplifting the lives of the people of Sabah, regardless of their race and religion.”
In announcing the latest allocation on Sept 19, Musa had said RM14 million from that amount would go to various schools in the state, including Chinese independent and mission schools.
He set aside RM17.4 million for non-Islamic religious bodies, such as churches, and Chinese, Hindu and Sikh temples.
Musa had said that 551 institutions would benefit from this “large allocation” which was “reflective of the state government’s commitment to upholding religious freedom”.
Saying the RM333,999,199 allocation was a significant amount, Yong added that it reflected Musa’s policy of ensuring that Sabah retained its multiracial harmony.
“The state government has never neglected the people of Sabah and as a result, we have become the role model for other states, especially when it comes to unity.We have no doubt these policies will continue under the chief minister.
“Our requests for assistance have never been turned down. We can see the effects clearly, with both Chinese primary and secondary schools equipped with everything we need to ensure our children have access to good education.”
Yong was confident the Chinese community would continue to prosper under Musa’s leadership.
Yong said Musa’s support and fairness towards everyone had resulted in Sabah maintaining unity, with its people of various racial and religious backgrounds respecting each other.
“I believe the people of Sabah under Musa will continue living harmoniously, embracing the diversity in race, religion and cultures,” he said.