KUCHING: Former Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof today rubbished claims by state Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen that there is an 85 per cent delay in projects to repair dilapidated schools in the state using the Industrialised Building System (IBS).
He said Chong’s claims were baseless without understanding the facts of the project’s development in the state.
“Chong can make accusations but I have to check first which projects he claimed are behind schedule because some of them are under the Public Works Department (JKR) and some are under the Ministry of Education,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya Open House held at CIDB Complex here today.
To clarify the issue, Fadillah later released a statement to members of the media where he explained that Phase 1 of the project, which consist of reconstruction and upgrading works, consists of 116 schools of which 50 are under JKR.
“I was given the understanding by JKR that 21 out of the 50 projects in Sarawak are currently ahead of schedule.
“Among the schools involved included SK Rentap in Sarikei which is now ahead of schedule by 27.79 per cent at 77.87 per cent compared to 50.08 per cent if based on schedule.”
Fadillah, who is also Petra Jaya MP, said JKR had also informed him that the remaining 29 projects behind schedule ranged between 0.43 per cent up to 30.76 per cent.
“Among the causes of delay include problems concerning unpredictable land sites which had an impact on piling works,” he said, adding that the piling works resumed on May 4 after the issues were addressed.
Other causes for delay include issues with contractors, supplies and weather.
Chong recently urged the government to seriously look into the use of IBS to repair dilapidated schools mostly in the rural areas.
He pointed out that a report that 85 per cent of the projects were behind schedule was a strong indication that such system was unsuitable.
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, when met recently at Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s Hari Raya Open House, denied responsibility over the delay in projects repairing dilapidated schools using IBS and said the best person to consult on this was Fadillah.