GEORGE TOWN, June 20 ― Non-Muslim places of worship (RIBI) in Penang can now apply to the state government for allocations of up to RM50,000 each to renovate or build a new temple or church.
State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo who announced the increased funding today said the previous allocation for each place of worship was RM20,000.
“Due to the rising costs in maintaining of these places of worship and construction, the Penang state government decided to increase the ceiling price for allocation,” he said.
He said the RIBI trust fund was set up on September 9 in 2015 to allocate funding for renovation projects of old RIBI and to construct new RIBI.
“Since the setting up of the fund, a total 31 projects worth a total RM616,611.20 have been approved as at June 16 this year,” he told reporters here, adding that RM6.4 million is left in the fund for Penang RIBI.
He said the fund is available to all non-Muslim places of worship in Penang and each temple or church need only submit an application for the allocation.
The RIBI trust fund chairman called on Putrajaya to consider exempting maintenance works and construction of places of worships from the 6 per cent consumption tax.
“These are religious places that conduct charity work so the federal government should exempt these places from paying for GST for renovations or construction of buildings,” he said.