KUCHING, July 12 — The issue on the proposed RM1 billion contra loan from the federal government to be allocated for repairs of dilapidated schools in Sarawak is expected to be resolved soon, said state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin.
He said the Sarawak government had officially replied to the federal government on the arrangement to offer the RM1 billion as contra payment to the state loan of some RM2.4 billion, which had been agreed in principle by both parties.
“My ministry has already made an arrangement to have a meeting with the officers from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Education by next week.
“We don’t want to talk through the newspapers (media) anymore; we sit down and resolve the issue. I think it will be resolved very soon,” he told reporters after attending the officiating of the Mind & STEM Festival 2019 here today.
He said the matter should not be politicised by certain quarters because the children would suffer the dire consequences.
Last July 6, the MOF said in a statement that the state government had yet to provide any official feedback to the federal government on the matter and outlined the four prescribed legal mechanisms on the methods to repair the dilapidated schools.
In response Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg said the matter had been discussed with the federal government through Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and a letter was also sent to MOF.
He also said the state government agreed to the four legal mechanisms that firstly, the Sarawak government must repay up to RM1 billion from its total debt from the federal government into the Federal Government Consolidated Fund in accordance with the law and the Federal Constitution.
Secondly, the federal government will channel the same amount as repaid by the state government as allocation for use for projects to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak.
Thirdly, the repair works of the dilapidated schools in Sarawak should be offered by open tender, to ensure transparency and fair value based on the current federal government financial arrangements.
Fourthly, the federal government is willing to take into account the priority of the Sarawak government in determining the schools to be repaired. — Bernama