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Tamil schools to bar PWD from their premises

 | June 8, 2012

They’ll do this unless Najib agrees to channel budget funds directly to them.

KUALA LUMPUR: Governors of Tamil schools today pleaded with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to channel government allocations directly to the schools instead of through the Public Works Department (PWD).

R Kannan, who chairs the Committee of Tamil School Boards of Governors, told reporters  the various school boards had agreed to bar PWD officials, workers or representatives from all Tamil schools if the government remained adamant about distributing the 2012 budget allocations through the department.

The 2012 budget set aside RM100 million for partially aided Tamil schools from a total of RM1 billion allocated for upgrading the infrastructure of primary schools.

Kannan said it was unfair of the government to treat Tamil schools differently from Chinese, missionary and religious schools, which get their funds directly.

He said his committee was concerned with overpricing by PWD.

“Cost estimates set by PWD are really absurd,” he said. “For example, in the case of Highland Tamil School, the department has fixed RM3.8 million for an additional building with 18 classrooms. This means each classroom costs around RM210,000, which is really too much.”

According to Kannan, parents who built the school two years ago, spent only RM350,000 for six classrooms.

Kannan also informed reporters that nearly 75% of Tamil schools had appointed governing boards.

“So, it would not be a headache for the government to allocate the funds directly to the boards. They are the authorised parties in the matter of land and infrastructure in partially aided schools.”

“The boards also have the right to prohibit PWD from entering the school,” he added.

He urged Najib to take the plea seriously if he did not want to be accused of enriching BN cronies in the matter of school infrastructure projects.


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