Friday, March 22

Chong questions the exorbitant RM80 mln relocation cost of two rural schools


Chong (centre, seated), flanked by DAP state assembly persons, speaks at the conference. – Photo by Jonathan Chia

KUCHING: An opposition member of the august House has challenged Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong to tell Sarawakians why the Sarawak government set aside over RM80 million for the relocation of two schools.

Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) said the allocated fund of over RM80 million for the relocation of SK Ulu Segan and SK Maludam could be better utilised to benefit more schools.

The Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs said the hefty amount could be used to build eight to 10 schools rather than only two schools.

“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government has budgeted RM40.1 million for the relocation of SK Ulu Segan and RM48.2 million for SK Maludam.

“Half of these budgets are included in the State Budget 2019 as these two projects are state projects,” he told a news conference in the State Legislative Assembly’s Media Centre today.

Chong insisted that setting aside RM40 million to build one school “is way above the norm and has tripled or quadrupled the amount”.

As such, he challenged Manyin to disclose fully the specifications for the two schools including how many classrooms, laboratories and the equipment to be installed.

Chong said even “Class A” type schools that has at least 1,000 students does not even see such a high construction cost.

“And according to a source, one of the two schools has only 235 students. This is a clear abuse (of power). GPS should not treat development projects as ATM (automated teller machine) for their cronies,” he added.