Repairs on dilapidated schools to be completed in 2021, says Sarawak Pakatan chairman

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman Chong Chieng Jen speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUCHING, Feb 19 — Repair works on 21 dilapidated schools in Sarawak are expected to be completed by next year, while another 16 projects are currently being reviewed following the high costs placed by the state government.

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman, Chong Chieng Jen said today that a check with the state Public Works Department (JKR Sarawak) revealed that tenders for two of the projects slated for completion next year were awarded on Jan 14 this year and for another four, on Feb 14.

“(The tenders for another) 15 school projects will be awarded in March 2020 and these are expected to be completed in September 2021,” he said in a statement.

On the reviewed projects, he said the review was done by the state JKR and Education Department as it was deemed necessary as the costs attached by the state government for the projects were too high.

The statement came following a claim by Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday that the federal government had reneged on an agreement to fix dilapidated schools in the state.

Abang Johari said the federal government would not allow JKR Sarawak to be in charge of the management and implementation of the school projects.

Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman, said the Chief Minister should have asked the state JKR on the progress or delay in the implementation of the school projects, instead of making baseless accusations against the Pakatan Harapan government.

“As the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abang Johari surely has access to all the information and in fact is in control of the state JKR. Looking at the progress of these 37 school repair projects, I do not think that the state JKR is delaying the projects to sabotage federal-funded projects,” he said.

He added that it was only under Pakatan Harapan’s time that the number of dilapidated schools were reduced as it took the matter of education and rural schoolchildren’s welfare seriously. — Bernama

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