Tuesday, July 14

Chong suggests Fadillah, Manyin sort out issues


Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING: Former Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin should sort out the issues on the reported 85 per cent delay in the use of Industrialised Building System (IBS) to upgrade dilapidated schools in Sarawak instead of resorting to finger-pointing.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who suggested this yesterday, pointed out that the issue was highlighted by The Borneo Post last Tuesday (June 12) under the headline ‘85 per cent behind schedule’.

Director-general of Implementation and Co-ordination Unit (ICU) in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Ahmad Zaki Ansore was quoted as saying that the projects were awarded to a company via a package costing RM21.6 million, he said.

“In the report, some schools were specifically mentioned. On June 14, I commented on The Borneo Post’s report and the unsuitability of the IBS system to upgrade some of the rural schools.

“On June 15, Manyin denied responsibility for the delay in IBS school repair projects. On June 17, Fadillah accused me of making baseless claim about the 85 per cent delay in the implementation of the project,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

Chong, who is Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said he was not questioning the delay in the implementation of the projects.

“I am only stating a fact reported in the papers. It was Manyin who pushed the responsibility to Fadillah. Instead of gunning his comment at me, Fadillah should sort it out with Manyin who is to be responsible for the reported 85 per cent delay.

“Therefore, between the two of them in PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu), it is better that they sort it out amongst themselves and come up with a joint statement as to who was culpable for the delay,” he said.

On the rest of the upgrading projects, Chong said the PH government is obligated to clean up the mess that was created by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

“Though the mess was created by the BN government, now that we, the Pakatan Harapan, have become the federal government, it is our duty then to take up the responsibility of cleaning the mess of the BN government. That we shall do,” he added.

In the June 12 report, work to repair SK Asajaya Ulu, Kota Samarahan was reportedly supposed to be completed last March but was found to have progressed only 19 per cent.

Other projects that were mentioned were at SK Kampung Melayu and SK Endap, Kota Samarahan, which were supposed to be completed this month but found to have progressed only 16 and 15 per cent respectively.

Another school was SK Matang Jaya here which was supposed to be completed last May but only found to have progressed by 15 per cent.

On Sunday, Fadillah said Chong’s claims (made last Thursday) were baseless as the Stampin MP did not understand the facts of the project’s development in the state.

“Chong can make accusations but I have to check which projects he claimed are behind schedule because some of them are under JKR and some are under the Ministry of Education,” he said when met at his Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the CIDB Convention Centre Sarawak.