Hornbill Unleashed

January 8, 2018

‘Disclose details of 130 schools involved in first phase of school renovation, restoration works’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Image result for Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee HowBatu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has urged Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to disclose the details of the 130 schools involved in the first phase of school renovation and restoration works which is said to commence next month.

“The Federal Works Minister must also explain and justify why the federal government is not giving the RM1 billion budgetary allocation to the Sarawak government to manage and implement the projects,” See, who is state PKR vice chairman said today.

Disclosing the federal government’s plan to commence the first phase of school renovation and restoration works involving 130 schools at press conference held here on last Friday, Fadillah had also revealed that he will monitor the two federal agencies, which are the Public Works Department and the Education Department tasked to implement the projects.

“With all due respect, the Works Minister who is also a Sarawakian should have helped to convince his counterparts in Putrajaya to avail the RM1 billion budgetary allocation to the Sarawak government to fully manage and implement the projects,” See said.

He said the state government and particularly the state Education Department has through the past one year, identified the 1,020 schools which are being classified as being in deplorable state, while another 415 are said to be in critically dilapidated states.

Further, See said Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong had also said that his department had already identified the 110 critically-dilapidated schools which are to be rebuilt with the RM1 billion federal budgetary allocation for 2018.

“The State is ahead of the federal government which is still trying to meet the agencies to identify the schools and to determine whether to rebuild and renovate the schools through IBS (Industrialised Building System) or conventional methods.

“Not only will it result in unnecessary delay in the commencement of the works, the biggest and most critical concern is the blow to the Sarawak state government in our quest for fiscal and administrative autonomy in education.”

In fact, See said the Works Minister himself is well aware of the shortcomings in allowing the federal government to handle the school renovation and reconstruction projects in Sarawak, having himself to step in to help complete the long-delayed SK Pulau Seduku in Sri Aman.

“Such projects are usually over-priced, awarded to companies in Peninsular Malaysia with main contractors also from across the South China Sea. The local Sarawakian sub-contractors who were the ones doing the works will only be paid a fraction of the projects costs but they have to endure delay and late payment for the works done.”

See said he could therefore understand the frustration and annoyance of the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg when he said in Betong last Saturday, that he “would become agitated whenever speaking about schools”.

“I am sure that his frustration and annoyance is shared by his cabinet colleagues and all Sarawakians. Those project packages for the building and renovation of dilapidated schools in Sarawak are highly questionable.

“Without proper and effective monitoring, transparency and accountability, the school building and renovation projects in Sarawak will continue to be carried out with excessive costs, we will still have to suffer the long delay in the implementation and completion of the projects.”

See said: “I must therefore urge the Chief Minister and the state government to stand firm and demand from Putrajaya that the RM1 billion budgetary allocation must be given to Sarawak to manage and implement the projects.”

Source : The Borneo Post Online



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