Representing the Chief Minister, Masidi (right) receives a memento from Goh (center), meanwhile FCAS Vice President, Datuk Susan Wong (left) looks on, at the presentation ceremony.
KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has welcomed and praised the Sabah State Government for its generosity of allocating RM47 million for non-Muslim religious bodies as well as vernacular, mission and independent schools in the state this year.
Its President, Tan Sri T C Goh described the said allocation which is the largest allocation of its kind so far, as a timely move that would benefit more civil society organisations (CSOs) in the state, especially when many of them are currently struggling to stay afloat amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also opined that such a benevolent move should be emulated by the other state governments.
He said this after attending the presentation of financial assistance (for 2021) to vernacular and mission schools, churches and temples, and handing over of lion dance heads to various Chinese organisations in conjunction with the coming Chinese New Year celebrations, at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here today. State Local Government and Housing Minister cum Finance Minister II, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, represented the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor at the event.
Goh noted that the allocation of funding for vernacular and mission schools, churches and temples has been gradually increased from RM33 million during the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to RM43 million when the Warisan-led coalition government took over in 2018, and it was maintained at RM43 million in 2021 when Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition took over the helm; and it was further boosted to RM47 million this year.
He also welcomed and commended the State Government for allocating RM1 million for the purchase of lion dance heads that will be distributed to the various associations and lion dance troupes in conjunction with coming Chinese New Year celebrations throughout the state.
Goh, who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS), acknowledged that the Federation is one of the beneficiaries of such allocation where, it will be organising its Chinese New Year carnival on January 22 – 29, and its Chinese New Year gathering on the 5th day of the lunar New Year which falls on February 5.
He also welcomed and supported the State Government’s allocation of RM164.12 million for the implementation of educational and religious development programmes under this year’s state budget. He acknowledged that this reflected well on the State Government’s commitment to the development and welfare of all races and religions in the state.
Besides this, he also commended the State Government for allocating RM1.82 million to 83 Chinese primary schools and 8 Chinese independent schools in the state, late last year, where each school received RM20,000 for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) besides computer software and hardware.