KUCHING: The Sarawak government is still in the process of identifying an appropriate site for the construction of SMK Serian No. 2, says Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin.
He told reporters yesterday that the school project has been put on hold because the Mineral and Geoscience Department’s investigation work discovered the previous site in Seroban was unsafe for construction.
“It is not that the federal government has decided not to build. The land was acquired in 2005, supposed to build SMK Serian No. 2 – 40 acres, about RM1.25 million, already paid compensation.
“But unfortunately when it came to investigation, the (Mineral and) Geoscience (Department) pointed out that there is a stream underneath. So it has been abandoned, otherwise it would have been built a long time ago,” he said.
Manyin said he had been directed by the then Education Minister when Barisan Nasional (BN) was still in power to identify a new site.
“But then there was a change of government, so there is a bit of problem today. We are actually in the process of identifying a new site because that (previous) site cannot be used (due to) a stream underneath.
“It is dangerous, according to Geoscience. But the land belongs to the state, it has not been fully transferred to federal,” he said.
Manyin said the Sarawak government could offer the land back to the owner if the owner wanted it so.
“According to the law, if we want to offer to the public, the owner will be given the priority but the owner will have to pay for it, cannot be free. If the owner doesn’t want it, we can offer to anybody,” he said, adding that the price would be determined by the state Land and Survey Department.
“Actually it is a good piece of land, you can plant durian (with the) 40 acres,” he quipped.
It was previously announced that the new school would have 36 classrooms, boarding facilities for 1,000 students, and also teachers’ quarters.
The approval for SMK Serian No. 2 was announced in Parliament on Aug 23, 2008.