Friday, July 10

Abang Johari: Sarawak to pump in RM40.5 mln for dilapidated schools repair, federal allocation insufficient


File photo shows a classroom in a dilapidated primary school in Sarawak.

KUCHING: The state government will continue to provide funds to fix and rebuild critically dilapidated schools in the state as the allocation form the federal government is insufficient, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said when tabling the 2020 State Budget this morning that the state government was proposing an allocation of RM40.5 million for this purpose.

He said RM20 million would be for the construction of SMK Maludam in Betong, RM15 million for the construction of SMK Ulu Segan in Bintulu, and RM5.5 million to repair and improve all rural schools throughout the state.

Abang Johari said by next year, the state government would connect 128 rural schools to the main electricity grid, provide treated water supply connection to 41 schools and the Regional Corridor Development Authority will upgrade 62 schools.

“Under the 2019 Federal Budget, the federal government has allocated RM100 million to rebuild 32 dilapidated schools in Sarawak. We acknowledge this effort of the federal government. But, it is sad to mention here that this amount is not enough,” said Abang Johari.

Due to the urgent and pressing needs to rebuild and upgrade Sarawak’s dilapidated schools, he said the state government had decided to make advance repayment of the state’s public loan of RM1 billion with the Federal Government.

“It is made clear to the federal government that this advance repayment must be solely used for rebuilding and upgrading of dilapidated schools in Sarawak.

“I wish to inform this august House that out of the advance repayment of RM1 billion, the State has paid the first tranche of RM350 million this year and the balance of RM650 million will be paid in the year 2020,” he said.