MELAKA: The allocation of RM2.64 million for the maintenance of non-Islamic houses of worship (RIBI) initiative in Melaka proves that the Federal government is committed to safeguarding the welfare of non-Muslims in the state.

Minister of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Nga Kor Ming said the allocation, from the total amount of RM50 million to RIBI nationwide, would be distributed to 20 houses of worship in Melaka this month.

“I believe this RM2.64 million allocation is the biggest in Melaka’s history for the maintenance and upgrading of places of worship such as temples and churches.

“This clearly proves that the diversity of culture, religion and ethnicity is our nation’s strength. It also shows that the MADANI government celebrates diversity and unity while, at the same time, rejecting accusations and slander claiming that communities are being marginalised,” he said.

He told reporters this after presenting the financial aid to the Aw Hai Thian Chinese Temple on Jalan Kampung Pantai here today. Also present were KPKT secretary-general Datuk M Noor Azman Taib and state Housing, Local Government, Drainage, Climate Change and Disaster Management Committee chairman Datuk Rais Yasin.

Elaborating, Nga said the KPKT received 254 applications for RIBI financial assistance nationwide as of May 15, totalling RM26.86 million.

He said that all applications for repair works, modifications, maintenance and emergency works at places of worship will be evaluated by the Monitoring and Evaluation Team and considered by the task force that has been set up, besides having to comply with the RIBI Maintenance Initiative guidelines approved by the Ministry of Finance.