Over BND265 million budget for MoRA

|     Hakim Hayat     |

THE Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) yesterday tabled a proposed total budget of BND265,496,950 for the new financial year 2019/2020, a 10 per cent increase from its 2018/2019 budget as it strives to ramp up Islamic education in the country.

At the sixth day of the 15th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday, Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman in his budget read-out underscored the ministry’s commitment in ensuring optimal use of budget to support its core businesses of Islamic education, Dakwah and Islamic propagation, Islamic law, social security and also management and administration.

While breaking down the ministry’s budget allocation, the minister disclosed that Islamic education will be given the biggest allocation – about 70.6 per cent of the total proposed budget including development budget for MoRA. “This should be seen as an actual and clear sign that the government is committed to continue support our national education policy and philosophy that does not set aside Islamic learning and education, in shaping an educated and pious generations for today and tomorrow. MoRA has a big responsibility in ensuring its success.” he added.

The minister said the efforts include ensuring that Islamic education remains relevant by offering the most defined response possible to the country’s development and also the success of the generation that follows the Islamic education stream. “This requires realistic thinking and attitude by relevant parties involved in education planning.”

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s continuous concern for the development of Islamic education in the country is also very much admired and appreciated, the minister said.

A special addition of staff in Arabic schools and Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal has been approved and in the process of being filled in.

MoRA’s Mosque Construction Fund programme has also helped the ministry support the government’s policy of fiscal consolidation, the minister said, as BND7.5 million was collected between June 2015 – December 2017, where BND6.56 million has been utilised to build mosques while the rest of the donated monies were used to renovate three mosques.

The minister also informed that its five-year plan (2018-2022) to build more mosques using BND18 million from the Mosque Construction Fund programme has been approved and is awaiting open-tender offerings for its first mosque in the plan in Kampong Junjungan.

Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman. – RAHWANI ZAHARI