MIRI: Sub-contractors supplying fuel to rural schools are pulling back as they claimed that they have not been paid by Bintulu-based main contractor Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd since March this year.
The Borneo Post which first broke the story on June 14 of fuel shortage affecting schools across the state last month, learnt that some had already written a letter informing those concerned that they would stop sending fuel effective July.
At least one rural primary school; SK Morek which is in Marudi state constituency had ran out of fuel earlier this week and there is a strong possibility of fuel shortage hitting more schools in the state unless the authorities intervene.
The reason of the fuel shortage is that they were weary of non-payment and therefore held back in sending the entire stock supply for the whole month.
“We are withdrawing with effect of July 16 as the expenses are too high,” stated one of the sub-contractor in the letter.
The Ministry of Education intervened last month after the issue was reported on June 14 by The Borneo Post, saying it would ensure that the State Education Department has been instructed to take the necessary steps for immediate purchase of the fuel.
Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd is one of the 31 contractors supplying diesel and maintaining generator sets for 14 schools under Baram 2 zone for 2015 to 2016 as well as schools in Mukah and Dalat but it was awarded the contract to supply fuel for all the 369 schools in Sarawak from 2017 onward.
Meanwhile, its managing director, lawyer of the contractor and a former special officer to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had been remanded by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to facilitate investigation into the project to install solar panels in Sarawak schools.
The Borneo Post is trying to contact the managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd to comment on the sub-contractors claims.