Panel to look into non-Muslim houses of worship


A JOINT committee at the federal level has been formed to look into issues involving non-Muslim houses of worship, says Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique.

The National Unity Minister said the setting up of the committee came in the wake of the demolition of a Hindu temple in Kedah by the Alor Setar City Council on Dec 1.

“I have discussed the issue in Kedah with the Housing and Local Government Minister and a joint committee on non-Muslim houses of worship in areas under the local councils has been set up.

“This is to determine between registered and non-registered non-Muslim houses of worship and the follow-up action based on the law taken by state governments and local councils, ” she said when answering a question by Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah).

The Sri Raja Muniswarar Temple in Taman Bersatu, Kuala Kedah, said to be over 50 years old, is the second temple to be torn down in Kedah in the last six months.

In July, the council demolished a century-old shrine in Jalan Keretapi which is a historic site used by Indian labourers working on the Malayan railway during the colonial days.

On a separate matter, Halimah said a total of 51,380 feedback and 510,000 data input were received to help draft the National Unity Action Plan for 2021-25.

She said the feedback and input were from the public, non-governmental organisations and civil servants.

“The plan aims to foster and strengthen unity among Malaysians, ” she said, adding that it was in the final stage of completion and expected to be unveiled early next year.

To a question by Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PAS-Kuala Krai), Halimah said the ministry would table a Bill to rebrand the Rukun Tetangga next year.

Currently, there are 8,274 Rukun Tetangga areas nationwide with 59 more to be set up next year.

She said RM50mil was allocated under Budget 2021.

Each Rukun Tetangga area would be given RM6,000, the minister added.

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