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KOTA KINABALU: A total of RM131 million has been allocated for the development and operation of Islamic religious schools and mosques, along with spiritual programmes under the supervision of the Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAINS) throughout 2024, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

He said it was part of the state government’s efforts to support programmes related to the development of dakwah and upholding the principles of Islam in Sabah.

“These programmes can be further strengthened with the solid support from federal government agencies such as the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM), the Malaysian Islamic Dakwah Foundation (YADIM) and others,” he said at the breaking-of-fast event and opening ceremony of the Al-Falah Mosque, Kepayan, here today.

According to Hajiji, the state government is fully committed to programmes related to Islamic propagation in Sabah.

“I want JHEAINS to always take proactive measures in assessing and monitoring the needs of mosques and surau in the state, including the welfare and requirements of imams and muezzins.

“We want to ensure their welfare and needs are well cared for. Insya-Allah, the state government will continue to monitor and make necessary considerations to ensure the mosque institutions in this state can operate effectively and excellently,” he added.

The chief minister also emphasised the importance of empowering mosques in line with ongoing modernisation efforts to effectively contribute to the development of individuals and society towards greater progressiveness and civilisation.

Hajiji said several approaches need to be adopted and prioritised in making mosques centres for human development, such as enhancing their role as hubs for Islamic knowledge and activities.

“Additionally, mosques should organise educational classes in various subjects such as computer, science and mathematics. They should also serve as centres for women, youth and children’s affairs, as well as economic hubs in the local community,” he added.