Repairs to Sarawak’s dilapidated schools going smoothly, says Maszlee

Education Minister Maszlee Malik (in blue) visits the construction site of SMK Sungai Tapang’s new classroom block in Sarawak today.

KUCHING: The project to upgrade and repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak is running smoothly, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said today.

He said repairs to 32 schools in the state, costing RM100 million, were expected to be completed by Dec 16.

A total of 69 schools have been identified for repair and upgrading.

Money for work on the other 37 schools, which is expected to begin once the tender process is over, comes from the RM350 million which had been repaid by the Sarawak government to Putrajaya as part of the settlement of its debts.

Maszlee said tenders for seven of the 37 schools had been awarded and the rest would be awarded by December.

He said his visit to SMK Sungai Tapang today was part of the federal government’s effort to monitor the construction of schools in Sarawak and ensure that the construction and repair projects would not become “sick projects”.

“I found that there were a lot of ‘sick projects’ from the previous administration when I took over as education minister,” he said.

According to an education ministry report, there were 19 “sick projects” in Sarawak since 2013. This year, there were two.

“The ministry wants all teachers and students to enjoy better school infrastructure. We will go above politics when it comes to education,” he told reporters after visiting the construction site of SMK Sungai Tapang’s new classroom block here.

The construction, costing RM34.8 million under the 11th Malaysia Plan, is expected to be completed by November.