Rep calls for faster approval of school-upgrading RTP projects in Sarawak

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Dennis (fifth right) about to perform the cake-cutting ceremony at the event in SMK Long Lama.

MIRI (Sept 19): The Education Ministry needs to expedite the process of approving projects under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) meant to improve school facilities in Sarawak.

In voicing out this call, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau says although the Sarawak government has its funds under the RTP grant meant for this purpose, it would still require federal approval.

“We must ask permission from the Education Ministry to develop any school infrastructure. This is a new requirement this year, and I don’t know why they set such condition – they may have their reasons.

“Nonetheless, I hope that the ministry could speed up the approval process for project implementation; otherwise, it would only raise a thousand questions from the parents and the PTAs (parent-teacher association), wanting to know why the projects promised by the YB (people’s elected representative) have yet to be implemented,” he said.

He was speaking when officiating at a Sarawak Public Communication Unit’s (Ukas) community outreach programme ‘Ziarah Ukas Sarawak Maju Makmur Daerah Telang Usan’ at SMK Long Lama last weekend.

His remarks were made in response to enquiries about the improvement works on sports infrastructure of SMK Long Lama that had yet to kick off, despite the announcement of the approved allocation from the Sarawak government under the RTP grant.

On the outreach programme, Dennis called upon Ukas to continue providing information to the people, especially those living in the rural areas.

“Our people who live far inland also need the support and guidance to progress as much as the other communities living in urban Sarawak.

“We are very grateful to the Sarawak Premier for establishing Ukas in 2018. It has succeeded in its key role of disseminating accurate information about the government’s efforts and programmes meant for the people.

“Like other government agencies, I hope that Ukas would continue to grow in building a media-literate society that can determine which information is accurate and which is not,” he added.

Also present at the event were Ukas special administrative officer Datu Takun Sunggah, Telang Usan District officer’s representative Mike Athur Nakabok, SMK Long Lama principal Bawie Mamat, Ukas Miri officer Dayang Norazelina Hamdan, Penghulu Desmond Yap and Kampung Kayan Long Lama Ketua Kaum (village chief) Paul Paren.

The outreach programme, which involved more than 200 students, was carried out in connection with Malaysia Day 2023 celebration.