IPOH: A total of RM40mil will be allocated to cover operating costs of tahfiz schools forced to close following the movement control order (MCO), says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Idris Ahmad.
He said the amount was the balance of the allocation for infrastructure facilities after RM60mil had been channelled to cater to the needs of the relevant institutions.
"The remaining RM40mil was meant for infrastructure and development but after consulting the Finance Minister, it was requested that the surplus be distributed instead to cover operating costs.
"The approval was given only for registered tahfiz and pondok schools but we will try to help those unregistered in the hope that they will register to get assistance," he told reporters after handing over Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim) Perak branch aid at Kampung Sri Aman, Menglembu here on Sunday (Nov 14).
Idris said so far there have been no reports of tahfiz school closures as they were operating as usual according to standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the Health Ministry and National Security Council.
In August, it was reported that 64.7% of tahfiz schools in Malaysia were closed on the government's instructions.
The matter was disclosed by Permata Al-Quran president Manolito Mohd Dahlan, who stated that this was revealed following a survey conducted at 512 tahfiz schools nationwide.
Manolito reportedly said that through the study, it was found that 11.7% of tahfiz schools had to lay off all staff, 52% could afford to pay their staff only half salary, and 34.4% could last no more than three months.
Earlier, Idris presented a mock house key to hawker and aid recipient Azidi Sudin, 53, for a RM40,000 house under the Inspirasiku MyHAUS Programme.
Azidi, who sells drinks and fried bananas and only earns RM1,300 a month to support six children, was also given RM5,000 through a business aid programme and another RM5,000 for his children's education. – Bernama