The Finance Ministry has disbursed RM121 million to Islamic religious education institutions, Chinese Independent High Schools, and non-profit higher education institutions in the last three days.
On Wednesday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng handed over RM100 million to de facto Religious Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa for upgrading and maintaining tahfiz schools (RM50 million), Sekolah Agama Rakyat and Persendirian (RM25 million), and registered Pondok Schools (RM25 million).
“The allocation was increased by RM50 million compared to the previous government in the Budget 2018, which did not allocate any money for Sekolah Agama Rakyat and Pondok Schools.
“The RM100 million allocation shows federal government continuous commitment to ensure every student enjoys a safe and comfortable learning environment in Tahfiz schools, Sekolah Agama Rakyat dan Persendirian, and registered Pondok School.”
On the same day, Lim said the Chinese colleges Southern University College, New Era University College, the Han Chiang University College of Communication received RM6 million in total, while 61 Chinese Independent High Schools received a total of RM15 million.
Gov't wins praise from Dong Zong
Referring to the government funding for Chinese educational institutions the United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) praised the government for disbursing the money.
“After 2019, the Finance Ministry disbursed RM20 million to Southern University College, New Era University College, the Han Chiang University College respectively, while Chinese Independent High Schools nationwide received RM15 million.
“This is a pre-Chinese New Year gift to reduce the financial burden of the three university colleges.
"Compared to last year, the government increased funding for Chinese Independent High Schools by RM3 million. This shows the Harapan government appreciates non-profit educational institutions,” it said in a statement today.
The three university colleges and Chinese Independent High Schools, according to Dong Zong, contributed to the nation by educating people and should thus receive government support.
"We hope the government appreciates the importance of investing in education to raise national competitiveness and improve human capital.
"Since it has made the unprecedented move to allocate public funds for university colleges and Chinese Independent High Schools, it should continue to ensure fair treatment of various streams of schools, and institutionalise the funding in the future so that non-profit educational institutions can continue to contribute to the nation's development," it said.
RM735 million for schools
In 2020 budget, Lim announced an allocation of RM735 million for Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools, National Schools, National-type Secondary Schools, Chinese Independent High Schools, and Islamic Schools.
According to the Chinese daily Oriental Daily, the Finance Ministry, together with the Education Ministry, allocated RM94.24 million to 39 Chinese Independent High Schools in Peninsular Malaysia.
Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said all allocations have been wired to the board of directors of Chinese Independent High Schools.
This afternoon, Lim travelled to Kuching to hand out the rest of the allocations to Sabah and Sarawak's Chinese Independent High Schools.