MoRA proposes budget of $249 million

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) yesterday proposed a $249 million budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, approximately $11 million less than the previous year.

The Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman said the budget will be used to ensure smooth operations of the ministry’s five main functions.

“The first is to ensure the overall management and administration to operate efficiently and effectively and to ensure the dissemination of Islam is effective to empower the culture and practice of religion as a complete way of life.”

The third is to mobilise and coordinate the full implementation of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.

The budget, said the minister, will also ensure the effectiveness of religious schools in the sultanate.

“This includes Arabic schools, Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and the Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College in order to produce a knowledgeable and pious generation to support and uphold the nation’s social and political philosophy, the Malay Muslim Monarchy (MIB),” said the minister.

YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin said the budget will be used to strengthen Brunei’s halal certification and ensure its integrity as well as to promote and support the country’s halal products internationally.

Of the total budget, $208 million will be allocated for salaries; $38 million for recurring expenditure and $2 million for special expenditure.

The minister said funds allocated under special expenditure will be spent on upgrading buildings under the ministry and its departments as well as the maintenance and purchase of equipment for schools and higher institutions.

YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin also outlined several targets set by the ministry as key performance indicators (KPI) for 2016/2017.

For Islamic education, the ministry is targeting to produce one new PhD holder and 27 graduates in Masters of Teaching for 2016/2017.

It is also looking at a 96 per cent candidates passing the Brunei Higher Religious Education Certificate (STPUB), 61 per cent candidates passing the Brunei Islamic Studies Certificate (SPUB) and 95 per cent candidates passing the Primary Six Religious School Certificate Examination (SSSRU).

The ministry has also set a target to increase three more hafiz (memoriser of the 30 Juzu’ or sections of the Quran), a 97 per cent candidates passing the Primary School Assessment (PSR), 35 per cent students achieving more than five O-levels and 65 per cent students achieving more than three A-levels.

“For Islamic teachings specifically the propagation of Islam, the ministry is hoping for 300 new converts this year.”

MoRA is also targeting 500 restaurants to register and renew their halal certifications and for products, 80 new renewals and registration for the halal certification.

“The ministry is also targeting a in per cent increase of zakat harta (property tithe) this year,” he said.

The Brunei Times