Sarawak minister says dispute with Putrajaya over dilapidated schools resolved

Sulok Tawie

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin says dilapidated schools issue has been settled with Putrajaya. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Sept 6 — Sarawak has settled its disagreement with the federal government over the delayed repairs to dilapidated schools in the state, Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said today.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg will officiate at the groundbreaking ceremony for upgrades to Sekolah Kerajaan (SK) Sungai Tisang in Bintulu on September 11.

“The school is among the first batch of five schools to be upgraded this year,” Manyin told reporters here, after chairing the organising committee of the Worldskills Malaysia Sarawak competition.

The upgrade will involv the replacement of a two-storey block with a four-storey block, he said, adding that work on five other schools will start next month once the contracts are awarded.

He then praised Education Minister Mazslee Malik and officials from the Finance Ministry and Education Ministry for their cooperation in the matter.

“I have had five meetings with the minister to sort out issues relating to the upgrading of the schools. He is very concerned with the dilapidated schools which need to be repaired as soon as possible,” Manyin said.

The state minister said Sarawak has proposed 37 schools in the state be refurbished over the next three years.

The state Education Department has identified 1,002 schools in Sarawak in various degrees of dilapidation, of which 415 were critical.

Manyin said the state government learned of the problem during a briefing by the state Education Department after he was appointed as minister on May 2017.

He said the estimated cost to repair or replace all these was around RM3 billion.

Manyin said the state government previously offered to lend RM1 billion to Putrajaya to help kickstart the efforts but then prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, rejected this and instead allocated RM1 billion each to Sabah and Sarawak.

The deal was not honoured after the change of government in the 14th general election, he said.

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