KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has allocated grants totalling RM54.05 million  to schools and non-Muslim religious bodies in this year’s Budget that marked an increase  of RM7.05 million compared to last year’s amount, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri  Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor. 

“This shows that the State Government is very sensitive to the needs of the people and  serious in assisting them irrespective of race and religion,” he said at the presentation  ceremony of lion heads to various associations and temples in the state at the Magellan  Sutera Resort and Spa here today. 

His speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Industrial Development,  Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Joachim Gunsalam. 

This year, the State Government is giving out lion heads worth RM1.5 million that will be  distributed through the respective State and Parliamentary constituencies. 

“The presentation of the lion heads to the Sabah Chinese community in conjunction with  the Chinese New Year celebration shows the commitment of the State Government to  continue supporting and assisting the multi-racial community,” he said. 

The Chief Minister said the Government is committed to the policy of equality and fairness  in all aspects. 

“The State Government will always assist the people of all races and religions in ensuring  they will be able to celebrate their respective celebrations,” he said. 

Hajiji hoped that the assistance would further spark the spirit of the Chinese New Year  celebrations and at the same time continue to nurture the spirit of camaraderie and unity  among the multi-racial and religious people in the state. 

“In conjunction with the New Year, I call upon people in the state including the Chinese  community to work hand-in-hand with the Government to develop the state and ensure  that Sabah will continue to progress and move forward,” he said.