KOTA SAMARAHAN (Sept 15): Sarawak has set up a special unit to coordinate and manage financial assistance allocated to aided Chinese primary schools in the state, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said the unit, which will be led by Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, will enable the state government to come up with an estimated budget to be allocated to the schools.
“At the moment, we have received a lot of requests for assistance (for aided Chinese primary schools) but they are not being coordinated. Therefore, we have decided to form a unit under Dato Sri Dr Sim to coordinate and supervise the financial assistance the state government is giving to Chinese schools.
“With this sort of medium, we can give assistance consistently to Chinese schools every year,” he told a press conference after officiating the opening of SJK(C) Chung Hua Bako here today.
He said for this year, the state government has allocated RM17 million to Chinese schools of which RM8 million went to aided Chinese primary schools and RM9 million to Chinese independent secondary schools.
“This is on top of the normal assistance given by our elected representatives but this is for a start.
“We will manage it properly and at least there is a body that coordinates the development of Chinese schools because Chinese schools now have a lot of multi-racial students where out of the 60,000 students, 20,000 are Bumiputera students,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari said the state government led by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has always strive to provide the best in education for Sarawakians.
“We feel that education is very important regardless of whether you’re Chinese, Malay, Iban, Orang Ulu, Bidayuh and so on. From the moment you have a child, you want your child to be educated, that is the key.
“As far as education is concerned, we feel that we must help not only the Chinese schools but also mission schools.
“This is our policy as long as we have money. If the state is stable and peaceful; the economy is good and the state gets extra revenue, why not share this with schools. We must give for the sake of Sarawakians,” he said.
Later at the ceremony, Abang Johari presented RM8 million to the special unit for aided Chinese primary schools in Sarawak which was received by Dr Sim.
He also handed over cheques to SJK Chung Hua Stampin, SJK Chung Hua No.2, SJK Chung Hua Tondong, SJK Chung Hua Batu 4 1/2, SJK Kai Nang, SJK Chung Hua Sg Jernang, SJK Chung Hua Batu 35, SJK Chung Hua Lingga, SJK Chung Hua Debak, SJK Ek Thei, SJK Yee Ting, and SJK Kai Ming as well as certificates of appreciation to main sponsors of SJK(C) Chung Hua Bako.
SJK (C) Chung Hua Bako had previously held a fund raising for the relocation of the school. Among those who contributed to the fund raising initiative were Abang Johari who donated RM3 million through state grant, Tan Guek Kee (RM780,691.10), Yung Seng Construction Sdn Bhd (RM587,240), Lee Aie Choon (RM300,000), Dahfa Foods Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (RM300,000), (Dato Richard Wee (RM200,000), Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais (RM100,000), See Chee How (RM100,000), Dr Kelvin Yii (RM100,000), Datuk Wee Kok Tiong (RM100,000), Dato Tan Jit Kee (RM100,000) and Charles Tiong (RM100,000).
Also present during the function were Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong; Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin; Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting; Naroden; and Association of the Boards of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools in Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Division president Jonathan Chai and deputy president Rodger Chan respectively.