SIBU: Works to repair the dilapidated schools in Sarawak using the RM1 billion allocation have begun last month and is expected to be completed next year, said Works Minister Baru Bian.
According to him, the repair works been divided into three phases and for the first phase, 37 dilapidated schools in Sarawak would be fixed this year using the RM350 million allocated by the Ministry of Finance.
“For the implementation of the phase 1 of RM1 billion programme, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has agreed to allocate RM350 million to fix 37 dilapidated schools in Sarawak this year.
“In addition to that, the access to quality education will also be enhanced through the upgrading and rebuilding project involving 32 dilapidated schools in Sarawak with an allocation of RM100 million through development allocation,” he said when officiating at the Selangau district-level Malaysia Day Celebration dinner in Selangau near here last night.
Besides stressing on the importance of inclusive development, Baru highlighted that equivalent accessibility in terms of education, health and other infrastructural facilities such as clean water and electricity supplies would be intensified for the well-being of Sarawakians.
He further pointed out that in line with the newly-introduced Shared Prosperity Vision policy by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Works Ministry has initiated to build road network connecting Sarawak and Sabah without going through Brunei.
“The Sarawak-Sabah link road (will) benefit one million users, besides continuing with the construction of Pan Borneo Highway,” the Ba Kalalan assemblyman added.
Baru said road infrastructure would provide an efficient highway link in Sarawak in particular, which would also excite the surrounding areas’ economic activities.
Besides that, he disclosed that health facilities would be given attention by the federal government through three hospital projects in Lawas, Miri and Petrajaya in Kuching.
Baru hoped that through the upgrading of basic infrastructure, it would provide better and more comfortable facilities and eventually, elevate the standard of living of Sarawakians.
In line with the Shared Prosperity Vision policy, Baru said more focus would be given to Sarawak and Sabah to be on par with the development in Peninsular Malaysia.
He said the federal government was committed in developing Sarawak and ready to cooperate with state government in the development agenda in Sarawak to ensure Sarawakians enjoy the benefits of development.
Baru cited the federal/state joint action committee which is jointly chaired by himself and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas to study and plan as well as to implement Sarawak development as evidence of such commitment.
Through the cooperation between federal and state governments, he hoped that development projects could be planned more efficiently and effectively.
On this note, he said: “Development project for people should not be politicised because the main focus is to ensure the federal projects planned will be go smoothly for the well-being of Sarawakians in line with the shared prosperity introduced by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.”
On this year’s Malaysia Day celebration, he said it emphasised on the importance of unity and spirit of love for the country, besides cultivating the value of integrity and identity among Malaysians of diverse background.
“It is important for all to avoid sensitive issues and stay clear of politicising issues related to race and religion to preserve racial harmony and unity,” Baru stressed.
At the function, he said he was made to understand there were presentation of prizes to excellent Primary Six pupils for 2019 from several schools, namely SK Batu 36, SK Nanga Selangau and SK Nanga Kua.
Also present were event organising chairman Jimmy Ludan, main committee advisors comprising Matthew Banyui, Simon Joseph and Joshua Jabeng.