Still no signs of promised repairs to schools, Sarawak minister to meet PM

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg says repair works have yet to start for dilapidated schools in Sarawak.

KUCHING: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has failed to fulfil its agreement with the Sarawak government to repair dilapidated schools in the state, Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg charged today.

The project to upgrade and repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak had not started even though former education minister Maszlee Malik had claimed the project was “running smoothly” in September last year.

Abang Johari said the state government had expected the repair works to commence after it paid the first package of RM350 million to Putrajaya in August last year as part of its RM1 billion loan repayment.

The Sarawak government had agreed to repay the loan to Putrajaya so that the federal government would give allocations to fix the dilapidated schools in the state.

It made a second payment of RM350 million on Feb 7 this year.

“Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin will be meeting Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the acting education minister, to discuss this matter on March 12,” he said after launching the “Greatness of the Al-Quran” colloquium here today.

Abang Johari said the Sarawak government would not pay the balance of RM300 million, which is due in three months, to Putrajaya if the project to upgrade and repair the dilapidated schools did not start by then.

“We fear that they might spend the money on something else. The students will be the victims,” he said, adding that the money was paid to the federal government’s consolidated account.

There are 1,020 dilapidated schools in Sarawak, with 415 of them categorised as critically dilapidated.