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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Jakim, national unity ministry have different functions, says Na’im


Na'im Mokhtar
Religious affairs minister Na’im Mokhtar said the RM1.9 billion allocated for the management and development of Islamic affairs in the 2024 budget was not solely for Jakim. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The government’s allocation to the Islamic development department (Jakim) marks its steadfast commitment to strengthening the position of Islam in the country, says religious affairs minister Na’im Mokhtar.

Responding to an FMT news report in which former Sungai Benut MP Tawfik Ismail said the unity ministry deserved a budget equal to or greater than that given to Jakim, Na’im said he welcomed such feedback but stressed that he viewed it as a “mere suggestion”.

He also said while the government allocated RM1.9 billion for the management and development of Islamic affairs in the 2024 budget, this sum was for all of the agencies under the Islamic affairs division of the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD).

“The Islamic affairs division of the PMD wishes to emphasise that Jakim’s function is different from that of the national unity ministry,” said Na’im in a statement.

“The national unity ministry’s mission is to enhance unity-building efforts and strengthen the spirit of harmony among the people, while Jakim’s mission is to strengthen the governance of Islamic affairs through a compassionate approach towards the welfare of the ummah.

“In this regard, the allocation provided to the Islamic affairs division is meant to develop a ‘Malaysia Madani’ that upholds the values of religion, moderation, and mutual tolerance, ultimately benefitting the nation.”

Yesterday, Tawfik said the national unity ministry should be given a bigger budget due to its role of bridging divides and fostering good rapport among Malaysians.

The national unity ministry was allocated RM635.82 million in this year’s budget.

Na’im said that apart from Jakim, the RM1.9 billion allocated in the 2024 budget was also meant for other agencies under the Islamic affairs division including the federal territories Islamic religious department (Jawi), the Malaysian syariah judiciary department (JKSM), and Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim).

He did not provide a breakdown of the amount granted to these agencies.

However, he said that in general, Jakim was allocated a total of RM730 million for Al-Quran and Fardu Ain (Kafa) teachers, takmir teachers, and imams throughout Malaysia.

He also said RM249 million had been allocated for Jakim’s management expenses and RM50 million for development expenses.

Meanwhile, RM150 million had been allocated to Jakim for the maintenance and upgrading of Islamic educational institutions, which included public religious schools, registered Islamic boarding schools, and tahfiz schools.

Na’im said the government had reinstated a grant of RM20,000 to all public religious schools registered under Jakim.

Meanwhile, RM50 million had been set aside for special contributions to more than 70,000 imams, bilals, siaks, nojas and marbuts. - FMT

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