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State-federal ties strong — Manyin
Posted on : 07 Sep 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

State-federal ties strong — Manyin

BY SAMUEL AUBREY ON SEPTEMBER 7, 2019, SATURDAY AT 12:01 AMNEWSSARAWAK

Manyin (centre) shares a light moment during the press conference. On his right is the ministry’s permanent secretary Datu William Nyigor.

KUCHING: The ties between Sarawak government and  Pakatan Harapan-led federal government remain strong despite some ‘ding-dong’ in allocation of funds to repair dilapidated schools in the state.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin said the ministry maintains excellent relationship with the Ministry of Education (MoE) despite Sarawak being an opposition at the federal level.

He also expressed his appreciation to the officials of MoE and Ministry of Finance (MoF), who have worked hard to resolve the dilapidated schools issue together with the state government.

“We are opposition at federal level since Pakatan Harapan took over but since Dr Maszlee Malik became Minister of Education, I have met him four or five times. In other words, our relationship with the Ministry of Education is excellent today.

“Those who do not know what is going on are those who said this and said that. For us in the ministry, we have been meeting officials from MoE and MoF to resolve the dilapidated schools issue,” he told reporters after a press conference to announce Worldskills Malaysia Sarawak (WMS) 2019 yesterday.

Now that the first payment of RM350 million as contra loan deal with the federal government has been settled, he said the repairs of the first 37 critically dilapidated schools could start this year.

He said the projects for five schools are already in the tender process, while the second phase of tenders for the other schools will be out in October.

He also said that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg would officiate at the launch of repair works at SK Sungai Tisang in Bintulu, one of schools in the second phase, on Sept 11.

According to Manyin again, the repair works on these critically dilapidated schools would also include building new classroom blocks. In the case of SK Sungai Tisang, it would involve replacing a wooden block with a four-storey concrete building.

He was also happy to announce that SK Kujang Mawang in Tebedu District would be the first in Sarawak to become a centralised school, as it is included in the list of 37 schools to undergo repairs.

He added that the school (SK Kujang Mawang), which would be equipped with better facilities and has bigger capacity, would be a model for other schools in Sarawak.

The ministry, he added, was trying to promote the centralised school concept to merge the many under-enrolled schools in the state.

“There are 651 of such schools throughout Sarawak, with only about 10 pupils in each while the minimum number of teachers in such school is 13, which means teachers are sometimes more than pupils in some schools,” he said.

He also said that many schools in Sarawak were built before the formation of Malaysia more than 50 years ago,  and many had not been repaired all these years.

Some of the schools were built near rivers when rivers were the main mode of transportation in the olden days, but were now prone to damages from floods, he added.

He said only after the formation of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research on May 7, 2017 that the Sarawak government received information from the Department of Education that 1,020 schools were in dilapidated condition, including 415 critically dilapidated ones.

“The previous Barisan Nasional government agreed to pledge RM1 billion to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak, starting with RM500 million in 2018 and 2019. But after the change of government, the PH did not honour the pledge (made by BN).

Abang Johari, in a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office on Aug 27, had expressed his appreciation to the Finance and Education ministries for the commencement of the projects to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak.

The statement added that the process of tendering the works had just begun, and the committee would submit the progress report to the State-Federal Development Committee chaired jointly by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Works Minister Baru Bian.

The RM350 million is the first phase of loan payment amounting to RM1 billion from Sarawak as contra loan payment for funds to repair dilapidated schools in the state.

Credit to : The Borneo Post