BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Penang government has allocated RM1 million for the purpose of conducting religious programmes to enliven the mosques and surau statewide this year, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said with the allocation, the state government hoped that all Islamic religious institutions to continue to foster the spirit of harmony in Penang.

“With the allocation, I have high hopes to continue to see Islamic religious institutions continue to remain harmonious and intact, thus ensuring that the ummah development efforts in the state can be realised successfully.

“Apart from that, I also hope that the mosque institution in the state can act as the liaison of community unity, especially the Muslims in Penang,” he said while officiating the state-level ‘Iftar Rakyat’ programme at the Permatang Pasir public hall, here today.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar and Permatang Pasir assemblyman Muhammad Faiz Fadzil.

Meanwhile, Chow said similar to previous years, the Penang government continued to make contribution under the ‘Ihya Ramadan’ programme to 246 mosques and surau statewide with an allocation totalling RM256,000.

He said RM5,000 was channelled to the State Mosque, RM2,000 each to five district mosques and RM1,000 each to all 207 kariah (parish) mosques, 13 jamek mosques and 19 Friday surau.

In the meantime, he said with some flexibility in standard operating procedures (SOP) given at this time, he believed that the month of Ramadan this time was more lively and meaningful for all, especially for the Muslim community.

“Similar to previous years, I took the opportunity to participate in ‘iftar’ (breaking of fast) together with the community because I believe this culture will further strengthen the relationship among us regardless of religion and race,” he said. — Bernama