Abang Jo presents RM8 mln in annual aid for Chinese schools in Sarawak

Students of CHMS No.1 giving Abang Johari (centre, blue tie) a thunderous welcome as he takes a brief tour around the school. He is accompanied by (from left) Wee and Lau.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 2: Fulfilling the state government’s promise to Chinese education, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today presented the annual education aid of RM8 million for the 14 independent Chinese secondary schools in Sarawak this year.

Since the first RM3 million grant in 2014 under the leadership of the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, the 14 independent Chinese secondary schools have been receiving financial aid from the Sarawak government every year with an annual increment of RM1 million.

“This practice has continued until today. I feel that my policy and the state government policies are quite liberal,” he told those present at the ceremony to present educational grant for independent Chinese secondary schools at Chung Hua Middle School (CHMS) No. 1 here today.

Abang Johari (sixth left) presents the financial aid to Lau (seventh left) and Wee (eighth right).

“For instance, recognitions for UEC (Unified Examination Certificate). And there are some people who promised but until now they have yet to give recognition for the UEC,” he said, referring to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government’s apparent uncertainty in policies and promises which was causing uneasiness in the state-federal relationship.

Abang Johari reiterated that the state government will deliver what it has promised which was demonstrated in today’s gesture as well as financial support of RM3 million for the relocation fund of SJK Chung Hua Bako presented on March 29 this year.

“In total, the state government has invested RM11 million for Chinese education besides RTP (Rural Transformation Programme) grants from various GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) lawmakers,” he said.

“This is all for the children’s future because we know education is very important which is why the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Research was set up,” he added.

Abang Johari (centre, blue tie) upon arrival at the CHMS No.1 school hall.

Abang Johari emphasised that everything in life has to be based on knowledge and continuous learning to improve knowledge was the key to keep moving forward in life.

“Life is like (riding) a bicycle; you have to keep moving forward but then you must remember to keep the balance as you cycle. This means we all have to adapt to changes or else we will fall (behind),” he shared.

“And in this new era of technology, we have to acquire new knowledge to balance and move on. Now the world is emphasising on changing technology such as the 5G technology where everything can be in real time,” he said.

He thus encouraged Sarawakians to master more than one language because language skills will only enable individuals to have leverage in their career and life.

“We have to be fully equipped. We are with you as far as education is concerned,” he reassured.

Students line the hallways on each floor of the school blocks while some present traditional Chinese performances to welcome Abang Johari.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Sarawak United Association of Private Chinese Secondary Schools Management Board chairman Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau, and the Board of Management of CHMS No.1, 3 and 4 chairman Dato Richard Wee were among those present. — DayakDaily