Wednesday, November 13

Sarawak Teachers’ Union visualises branch offices statewide

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SIBU: The Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) wants to set up a branch office in all divisions of the state within the next 15 years to better serve its members.

STU vice-president Tan Kuang Wui, who heads the central zone, expressed optimism that this vision can be achieved, provided they start working towards it now.

He added that they had realised the first of their two visions of establishing three regional offices to serve members across the vast state of Sarawak.

“We are going to set up the third regional office in Miri this year, and the building is currently about 95 per cent complete. Now, they are touching up the interior and we hope to be ready by September, before the union celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“We want to see the northern office started so that we can serve our members throughout Sarawak.

“All three regional offices are linked for members to obtain services conveniently,” Tan, who is also Sibu division chairman, told reporters yesterday.

He explained that all three offices belonged to them and were not rented from others. He said that the Sibu office building was bought at RM1.14 million and that the market value had appreciated to about RM1.5 million. The union’s Miri office, he disclosed, was bought at about RM1.6 million and its value has risen to about

RM2 million while their headquarters in Kuching was purchased at about RM2.3 million and has appreciated to about RM3 million. He pointed out that the southern zone comprised   Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Betong and Sri Aman while the central zone covered Mukah, Kapit, Sibu and Sarikei. The northern zone encompasses Bintulu, Miri and Limbang, he revealed. He added that they planned to have a building to serve members even in Kapit.

“STU needs to be financially strong to better serve its members. We are working very hard to seek funds. We are very confident of realising our second vision,” he said.

STU, which was established in 1965, is the biggest union in East Malaysia with some 25,000 members. Tan said they would be having their soft launching of STU’s 50th anniversary here on May 2.

Meanwhile, STU president Jisin Nyud revealed that there about 43,000 teachers in Sarawak and about 400,000 throughout Malaysia.