By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Nov 15: The Sarawak government has approved a RM30 million allocation for Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) for 2019.
Minister-in-charge of the unit, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said the allocation was approved during the last State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, which adjourned sine die yesterday.
Speaking during the blessing of Unifor’s new temporary office at Wisma Satok here today, he said he had purposely missed out announcing it during his winding-up speech at the august House, preferring to announce it at today’s event.
“In 2017, the allocation was RM15 million and in 2018, it was RM20 million. I’m sure after we earn some sales tax from our petroleum products, maybe for 2020, we can ask for RM50 million,” he said in front of the religious leaders in attendance.
As such, Uggah urged Unifor members from the various religious bodies to support and pray for the success of the state government and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s endeavour to find extra revenue for development for the benefit of the people, regardless of their racial and religious backgrounds.
“So, let us support each other. I hope all of you will pray that all development plans laid out by our chief minister, especially his plans to get additional revenue from our petroleum.
“It is projected that with the five per cent sales tax imposed on petroleum-based products, Sarawak could earn an additional RM3.9 billion revenue in addition to other revenues that we have. Let us all pray that it will materialise for our benefit,” he reiterated.
Uggah also urged the various religious bodies to refrain from amplifying religious issues in the state.
He explained that was what Unifor was for, adding that through the unit, it would become a mediator between the religious bodies and the state government.
Uggah assured that Abang Johari is a man who would listen to any issue raised by other religious bodies.
“I can assure you the chief minister is a man who listens, and when there is a good proposal, he will solve the problems. Some of you are lucky. During his walkabouts, he gave additional allocation in addition to the normal allocation.
“So, let us move forward, contributing to the unity and to the prosperity of Sarawak,” he said. — DayakDaily