PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has urged the education and finance ministries to ensure that no “bureaucratic interference” will affect efforts to repair dilapidated schools in the country.
He said he has instructed the two ministries to fast track rebuilding works on these schools, and he did not want any administrative hassles to obstruct the government’s initiative.
Anwar, who is also the finance minister, questioned why some students were still studying without basic facilities like toilets when Malaysia had experienced impressive economic growth.
“We used to record remarkable (economic) achievements. But if a school has eight toilets, (chances are) four of them would be out of order.
“Do we want to teach our children without basic facilities?” he said at the launch of the national Teachers’ Day celebration in Melaka.
In February, Anwar announced that the government will prioritise repairing dilapidated schools across the country.
At the start of the year, education minister Fadhlina Sidek said more than 300 dilapidated schools required immediate repairs and maintenance.
Her ministry had identified 289 dilapidated schools in Sabah alone, with 64 deemed to be unsafe by the works department.
Anwar also announced the government’s intention to increase teachers’ allowance, citing Malaysia’s “remarkable” economic growth in the first quarter of 2023 and the savings Putrajaya has made by reviewing several projects approved by the previous government.
“This means that the revenue earned by the government (in the first quarter of this year) will be returned to the people. But do not ask for it (the increase in teacher’s allowance) now, give us some time,” he said.