Hornbill Unleashed

January 8, 2018

See Chee How : Disclose details of school repair 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 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 said yesterday.

Disclosing the federal government’s plan to commence the first phase of school renovation and restoration works involving 130 schools at a press conference here last Friday, Fadillah had also revealed that he would monitor the two federal agencies – Public Works Department and 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 asserted.

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

See added, 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 were 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, the biggest and most critical concern is the blow to the Sarawak state government’s quest for fiscal and administrative autonomy in education.”

In fact, See added, the Works Minister himself was well aware of the shortcomings in allowing the federal government to handle the school renovation and reconstruction projects in Sarawak, having himself stepped 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.

“Local Sarawakian sub-contractors who are the ones doing the works will only be paid a fraction of the projects cost but they have to endure delay and late payment for the work done.”

See said he could therefore understand the frustration and annoyance of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg when the latter 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 at excessive costs, while we continue to suffer the long delay in the implementation and completion of the projects.”

Thus, 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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