SIBU, Dec 31 — The Sarawak government has pioneered the approach of giving recognition to Chinese Independent Schools (CIS) in a bid to further strengthen its pool of human capital and talent development, said Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee.

According to Deputy Minister I for Education, Innovation and Talent Development, the 14 CIS in Sarawak have been provided with an annual allocation on an incremental basis.

“The Sarawak government does not sideline these schools or treat them as ‘stepchildren’, although they are not in the national mainstream of education.

“We do not differentiate students, whether they are from national or non-national education streams. This is because the state government is aware that students from CIS can also contribute positively to the human capital and talent development of Sarawak.


“That is why the state government, since 2014, has been providing annual allocation to these schools to assist them with their operations and development, and the allocation is on an incremental basis; this year, the state government has set aside RM10 million for CIS.

“So far, the state government has allocated RM50 million to assist these schools,” he said when asked to elaborate on points highlighted in his dialogue over TVS on Thursday.

The Nangka assemblyman added that what set Sarawak apart from others in the country was that eligible students from CIS would be given scholarships by the state government.


“Furthermore, these students can later apply to join any state civil service.

“But more importantly, they can be accepted or recognised for entry into any of the state-owned universities, namely University of Technology Sarawak (UTS), Curtin University Malaysia and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus.”

Adding on, he said Sarawak never had problem with CIS using Mandarin as the medium of instruction.

“As I have said, CIS too can contribute to development and betterment of Sarawak for the future generation.

“I hope they (CIS) would continue to be successful and contribute to Sarawak. This is because they are quite fortunate, where they received such benefits, compared to other places in the country,” he said.

On the subject of establishment of Yayasan Sarawak residential international school, he said it was the noble initiative of Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to ensure that rural students and those from the less well-to-do families would have access to international-level education.

According to him, the first international school in Sarawak, situated at Petra Jaya in Kuching, has over 170 students, and currently, they are studying at Level 8.

The progress of construction of the second international school at Mile 12 of Jalan Kuching-Serian, had reached 99 per cent and likely to start accepting students next year, said Dr Annuar.

“In Sibu, the works are progressing well and (the school is) expected to take in students in 2026.

“From there, one (international school) each will be built in Bintulu and Miri, later on.”

Dr Annuar pointed out that the state government had made huge investment in setting up the five international schools, where the construction cost of each came to nearly RM70 million.

He estimated that the annual operation cost for running each school could be about RM15 million.

“The noble intention of the state government is to provide students from rural areas, and those from less well-to-do families, to be exposed early to international level education.

“And should they become successful in future, they could enrol into any renowned university in the world — this is the main intention of the state government in building such schools,” he pointed out. — Borneo Post