By Selangor Journal Team
SHAH ALAM, May 14 — The Selangor government has disbursed almost RM70 million in allocation to the non-Islamic bodies in the state from 2009 until this year, says Dato’ Teng Chang Khim.
The Special Committee for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism (Limas) chairman said that the allocated figure disbursed were used for repairing religious houses, carrying out religious activities and special assistance for festivals observed by the non-Muslim communities.
“The allocation by the state government is channelled based on the needs and not according to the state constituencies. A total of RM69,494,990 has been allocated by the state administration to the non-Islamic associations in the state from 2099 until 2022.
“Every year, the state government through the Limas committee would also celebrate the religious festivals observed by the non-Muslim communities such as Wesak Day, Deepavali, and Christmas.
“The contributions and celebration of festivals is a show of appreciation by the state government in acknowledging the help and donations by the non-Islamic religious bodies which had kept the harmony in the state,” said Teng in his speech during the state-level Wesak Day celebration at Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, today.
Teng said that the allocation had been disbursed based on the number of primary religious houses in Selangor where the population data of the believers were obtained from the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
“Based on the data at hand, the percentage of distribution to Buddhist, Taoist and other religious associations totals 60.47 per cent, Hindu associations at 28.75 per cent, Christian associations at 9.42 per cent and 1.36 per cent for the Sikh associations.
“The Selangor government had also added an allocation of RM1 million in 2021 into the existing annual allocation, which totals up to RM7 million. In 2022, a total of RM 6.3 million has been allocated,” he said.
Meanwhile, Teng said the state administration had also channelled an annual contribution of RM250 to each young Buddhists who attends Sunday Dhamma Schools that are managed by the Buddhist associations in Selangor.
“The state administration acknowledges the need for the Buddhist community to conduct religious classes for their youths. Therefore, in the past few years until today, the state government has disbursed an allocation of RM250 yearly to each young Buddhists attending the Sunday Dhamma School,” he said.
The Selangor Wesak Day Festival is held for two days this year on May 14 and 15, after the state-level celebration had been called off for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two-day programme, which expects to see some 5,000 visitors, also marks the 60th anniversary of Wesak Day declared a public holiday in Malaysia.