Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the state government are urged to set up a cabinet committee to look into improving educational policies, school infrastructure and the provision of facilities and basic amenities for schools in the state.
Saying this was Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, who said the improvement, in particular, should include rural schools.
“Without a doubt, all Sarawakians are annoyed and frustrated with yet another letdown by the so-called ‘irresponsible contractors’ who failed to deliver diesel to power up a number of our rural schools, disrupting the functions of these schools which means that the education of our rural children will be pegged back again.
“Are there more disappointments which have yet to be revealed? The chief minister, who is always vocal on the education of our future generations, must plan and take necessary actions to stop the rots for the sake of our rural children,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
See, who is state PKR vice-chairman, was commenting on the statement by the new contractor for supplying diesel to 369 rural schools in Sarawak who blamed some ‘irresponsible contractors’ for the diesel shortage that caused some 30 rural schools not able to use their generators on the first day of school recently.
“The delivery system in providing basic school amenities which is laced with appointment of ‘favoured and privileged’ contract suppliers is obviously flawed, resulting in wastage, incompetency and breakdown in delivery,” he said.
He said the job to deliver the fuel to power up rural schools was given to Sarawak, and it was a lucrative job that any Sarawakian contractor could make a fortune out of.
“The chief minister and the state government should put in place a register of service contractors which is open and transparent, giving an account on their eligibility and capacity.
“We must also prohibit monopoly and allow all Sarawakian contractors to participate, and have an open tender on the works to supply the different schools to ensure competitiveness and savings.”
See also suggested that the state government blacklist any and all ‘irresponsible contractors’ and reveal their identities, whether or not they were ‘favoured and privileged’ contractors related to the ruling coalition parties.
“These irresponsible contractors have tarnished the image of the state’s administration and they must be reprimanded.
“But they usually get away because their misdeeds are usually covered up as what is happening nationally. Corruption, wastage and mismanagement of public funds are Malaysian ills that have always been condoned and covered up.”
He said with Sarawak’s records in public accountability and management of the state ministries and departments the best in the country every year, the state must use this to its advantage in asking for greater education autonomy, and that more executive powers be devolved to Sarawak.
“Sarawak is vested with certain executive powers. We are asking for more as we rightfully deserve under the Malaysia Agreement, through a process of devolution of power which the state government has promised us that it is pursuing vigorously.”
See therefore called on Adenan and the state government to let the state cabinet committee be tasked and deliver, within 12 months, such proposals for change.
“At the end of the day, it is the implementation of a better educational policy and the delivery of all the necessary educational provisions to our Sarawakian school children, particularly those in the rural schools, which will ensure that Sarawak will have better and more achievements to compete globally.
“The chief minister and his administration must take all the glitches and problems seriously. We should be vocal in criticising the shortcomings of the federal administration. We must show them that we will not suffer the same misadministration and poor governance when the jobs are given to us for implementation.”
Source : Jonathan Chia @ The Borneo Post Online