KOTA SAMARAHAN: The state government has agreed in principle with the four prescribed legal mechanisms by the federal government regarding the proposed loan offer amounting to RM1 billion, which will be allocated for the repairs of dilapidated schools in the state.
Speaking to reporters after the PBB Youth Ramah Tamah Mesra event here today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg commented that the recent statement by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was correct.
“We had a meeting with the Ministry of Education (MoE) recently because MoE is acting as the implementing agency and we did say that we agree with the legal mechanisms prescribed by the federal government,” he explained when he was asked about the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) statement that it had not provided any official feedback to the federal government with regards to the proposed RM1 billion loan offer.
On July 6, the Sarawak government denied it had not provided any official feedback to the federal government with regards to the proposed RM1 billion loan offer for the repairs of dilapidated schools in the state.
Abang Johari had said that the Sarawak government had in fact responded through Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and sent a letter to the MoF regarding the matter.
However, Abang Johari was cautious when answering reporters’ questions about the four legal mechanisms stipulated in the MoF statement.
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen the details yet. It’s not fair for me to comment on that because I have not read it yet,” Abang Johari stated on Saturday.
He thus commented today that the matter is now solved and the state will communicate with the federal government as soon as possible, now that he knew about the prescribed legal mechanisms by the federal government.
In its statement, MoF also insisted that the Sarawak still owed as much as RM2.375 billion to the federal government, and if the RM1 billion was repaid, the Sarawak government would still owe the federal government RM1.375 billion.
“The prescribed legal mechanisms are as follows: First, the Sarawak government must repay up to RM1 billion from the total debt to the federal government into the Consolidated Fund of the Federal Government. This is in line with the provisions of the law and the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.
“Secondly, the federal government will channel the same amount as an allocation for use for the repair projects of dilapidated schools in Sarawak.
“Thirdly, the repair works of the schools in Sarawak should be offered by open tender, to ensure transparency and value for money based on current federal government financial arrangements (tatacara).
“Fourthly, the federal government is willing to consider the priority of the Sarawak government in determining the schools to be repaired,” the statement read.
Also present during the PBB Youth Ramah Tamah Mesra event which was held at the Kota Samarahan Civic Centre were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Parti Sarawak (GPS) parliamentary chief whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and others.