Religious schools not IS breeding grounds

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (seated) accompanied by Exco members behind him from right : Datuk Ku Abdul Rahman Ku Ismail and Datuk Dr Leong Yong Kong speaking to journalists on the pay rise of Mentri Besar, State Assemblymen, Speaker and Deputy Speaker and other related issues of the State Assembly Meeting during a press conference after the postponement of the State Assembly Meeting at Wisma Negeri in Alor Setar, Kedah yesterday.(Captioned by photographer G.C.TAN / THE STAR- 20th August 2015)

ISLAMIC religious schools or sekolah pondok are not breeding grounds of Islamic State (IS) militants, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said.

“It is absolutely incorrect to see Islamic religious schools as such.

“I have had discussions with many sekolah pondok heads (in Kedah) and they reject the IS ideology because they feel it is unIslamic.

“And there is no trend anywhere in the world that IS militants come from Islamic religious schools.

“The recruits come from mixed backgrounds; some are professionals and highly educated.

“There are also those who are petty thieves and even drug addicts,” he said yesterday.

“IS does not represent the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Islam does not teach believers to kill others.

“Kedah rejects IS ideology,” he told a press conference after tabling the state’s 2016 Budget at the Kedah State Assembly in Wisma Darul Aman.

During the assembly sitting earlier, Mukhriz tabled a higher deficit Budget for 2016 at RM72.48mil compared with RM68.46mil in 2015.

Mukhriz said Budget 2016 would see a more realistic and prudent expenditure for Kedah where administration and development costs were down by 2% and 6% respectively.

He said RM794.10mil had been allocated for administration expenditure and RM261mil for development expenditure.

“This Budget is realistic based on the state’s ability is generate income and the real expenditure needed,” he added.

“We expect the revenue to increase following several upcoming projects such as housing, mixed developments and new industrial sites in the state,” he said.

He said Kedah recorded RM344.09mil revenue up to Nov 4, compared with the projected revenue of RM743.65mil.

“Kedah spent RM384.87mil on administration costs compared with the projected RM804.6mil, while another RM85mil was spent on development projects.

“The state government estimates revenue next year to be RM721.62mil with tax revenue as the main contributor with 61%,” he said.

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