ALOR SETAR – Kedah Barisan Nasional (BN) will retain Thaipusam as an annual special holiday for the state if it is given the mandate in the 14th General Election (GE14).
The matter was announced by Kedah Menteri Besar, who is also state BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, at the launch of the Kedah BN Manifesto themed “‘Continuing Development, Propelling Dreams’ for the GE14 at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium tonight.
The state government was previously unable to gazette Thaipusam as a public holiday as the four quota for the state public holidays have been filled up, but since 2014 it was declared as a special holiday.
Besides that, Ahmad Bashah said BN would also offer a special quota for the Kedah Barakah tuition annually to 150 Chinese, Indian and Siamese students sitting for the Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia examination beginning in 2019.
“A special fund to celebrate religious festivals of the Chinese, Indian and Siamese will also be provided as well as Mandarin, Tamil and Siamese languages classes will be established to promote cross-cultural process, and to further strengthen inter-ethnic understanding,” he said.
In an effort to uphold Islam, BN pledged to build another branch of the Darul Aman Science Tahfiz school in Kubang Pasu.
“We will also offer Royal Scholarship to 50 Kedah-born students pursuing Master’s and doctorate degrees in the field of Islamic studies at leading universities in the Middle East involving an allocation of RM10 million.
“The National Imam Training Centre, costing RM120 million, will also be built in Yan and a Kedah Barakah Tuition Centre will also be set up in every 36 state constituencies involving a cost of RM5 million,” he said.
For the younger generation who made up 42 per cent of Kedah’s population, Ahmad Bashah said BN would build a new football stadium worth RM200 million; set up the Kedah Youth State Assembly; and provide 30 per cent quota of licences or business permits at premises under the local authorities.
The Kedah BN also pledged to provide electric bus services in major cities in the state involving an allocation of RM10 million for a better public transportation system, he added. – BERNAMA