FCAS hails state govt’s boosting of annual allocation for Chinese and mission schools, as well as non-Islamic religious organizations in Sabah

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KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) today welcomed the State government’s recent announcement on allocation of RM54 million to help Chinese and mission schools, as well as non-Islamic religious organisations in Sabah next year.

Its President, Tan Sri T.C Goh also commended the State government for officially listing the said allocation in the 2023 State Budget, describing it as reflecting well on the State government’s sincerity and commitment towards helping the Chinese and the non Muslim communities in Sabah.

He also commended the State government for increasing the said allocation from this year’s RM 47 million, to RM 54 million next year, an increase of RM 7 million, to better assist the recipients.

Goh who is also President of The Federation of Sabah and Labuan Hokkien Associations (FSLHA) was glad that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor had during his speech while officiating at the SJK (C.) Chung Hwa 100th anniversary celebrations, recently, announced that the state government has included the said allocation in its state Budget for 2023. Besides this, Goh also fully supported Hajiji’s remark that, “the State government does not practice favouritism in giving aid, and will help according to the needs of the people in this state.”.

Goh who is also President of The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) acknowledged that, despite changes of various state governments in the recent years, the state government has continued to give allocation to non Muslim communities in Sabah, without favouritism, and such allocation too has been increasing annually, from RM33 million to RM43 million previously, to RM47 million this year, and to RM54 million next year.

Meanwhile, he also welcomed the Chief Minister’s tabling of the 2023 State Budget themed ‘Ekonomi Diperkasa, Rakyat Sejahtera’ with an estimated surplus of RM130.47 million, and a projected economic growth of between 4% to 5% next year. The said Budget also estimated next year’s state revenue collection at RM5.268 billion compared with next year’s expenditure of RM5.138 billion.

However, he opined that the State government should further boost its expenditure for next year, which was estimated at RM792.28 million. He hoped this can be achieved with the RM650 million of allocation expected from the Federal government, for the state to accelerate the implementation of various development projects which are much needed.

While noting that the State government’s operating expenditure has been increased from this year’s RM4.597 billion to RM5.138 billion next year, an increase of RM541.23 million or an equivalent of 11.7%, he was nonetheless optimistic that with rising commodity prices, a projected strong revenues collection, revival of the state tourism industry and steady recovery of various economic sectors, the economic outlook for the state, is a promising one.