KUCHING: The Sarawak government will continue to provide funds to assist houses of worship and mission schools in the state through the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor), with allocations to be doubled to RM100mil in 2023.
Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said RM50mil was allocated to Unifor in 2022, which went towards 251 projects for the construction, repair and upgrading of houses of worship.
"On top of that, the Sarawak Premier had also approved five projects this year totalling RM14.7mil under 'projek rakyat' for the same purpose," he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly during his winding-up speech on Thursday (Dec 1).
Uggah said Unifor was also allocated RM15mil this year to assist mission schools throughout the state to upkeep their buildings and grounds.
"The list of recipients is being finalised and assistance will be disbursed soon.
"Applications for fund assistance for SK St Mark and SK St Matthew Sekuau in Selangau are included under this year's allocation," he said.
In addition, he said the state government had allocated RM5mil in operational grants to 193 houses of worship this year to ease their burden in operating costs due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For construction, repair and upgrading projects, he said houses of worship could submit their applications to Unifor for assistance.
"On the request for new burial sites at Bayan Tasik and Setuan Besar, the respective houses of worship may submit their siting applications through Unifor for further investigation and recommendation before submitting them to the Land and Survey Department in Mukah," he said.
Uggah also urged Sarawakians of all races and religions to strengthen understanding, peace and religious harmony in the state and to continue supporting the state government.
"We ought to maintain our unity as without it, we cannot have continuity in the pursuit of our development agenda," he said.