Sarawak PH hits back at CM for not doing homework on dilapidated schools claim

SARAWAK Pakatan Harapan has turned the tables on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang after the latter blamed the Federal Government for the delay in repairing dilapidated schools in the State.

State PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the Education Ministry had last August authorised the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) to carry out the repair works.

He added that checks with Sarawak JKR – which came under the State government – showed that works for two school projects had been awarded last month.

Repair work is expected to be completed in July next year.

Tenders involving another six school projects were awarded last Friday (Feb 14), with work expected to be completed between August and September 2021.

A check with the Sarawak JKR also revealed that 15 projects will be awarded next month.

Meanwhile, 16 other projects would be reviewed by JKR and the Education Department due to the high costs.

“I think the Chief Minister should be more honorable. Stop acting like an immature politician.

“He can always check with the state JKR as well rather than making baseless accusation against the PH government,” Chong said in a statement here today.

The first payment (RM350 million) has been allocated for repairs of dilapidated schools in Sarawak, which would be utilised during the first half of the year, benefiting 37 schools in the State.

Chong reminded the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) that the previous BN government’s failure in addressing the issue had resulted in over 1,000 dilapidated schools in the state.

On Tuesday, Abang Johari had threatened to hold payments to a contra loan with the Federal government as he was unhappy “not a single” dilapidated school had been fixed.

Last year, the Finance Ministry and state government had reached an agreement where the state would pay the first package of RM350 million out of the RM1 billion (federal loan) to the Federal Government Consolidated Fund before disbursing the money to the Education Ministry for the redevelopment of schools in Sarawak.