By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Nov 7: Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali welcomes Sarawak’s readiness to enhance ties with the federal government.
“I am pleased that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has assured this. We believe it will help to build Sarawak as a strong state and Malaysia as a strong country,” Azmin told reporters after paying a courtesy call on Abang Johari at the State Legislative Assembly today.
Azmin said among the issues discussed were state infrastructure, utilities and schools.
“On the Pan Borneo Highway project, the federal government has agreed to continue with this project as we feel it is important for the people of Sarawak and Sabah. It will benefit greatly in terms of economic growth and employment.
“As for other projects, we will review the applications as some are deemed important,” he said when asked about projects that were put on hold or cancelled.
Meanwhile, Azmin acknowledged that there were plans to rebuild or repair 116 dilapidated schools in Sarawak this year, but, unfortunately, they were delayed or put on hold.
A total of 116 contracts were issued for 116 schools in Sarawak by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government on Feb 29 this year to repair and rebuild dilapidated schools using the Industrialised Building System (IBS).
Out of the 116 schools, 50 were handled by the Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak, while 66 schools were handled by the Ministry of Education.
All the schools under JKR Sarawak have been repaired, while only 16 schools under the Ministry of Education have been repaired.
“Dilapidated school development projects that were submitted and handled by JKR were repaired and completed accordingly. However, those that are under the Ministry of Education has been delayed until now.
“Therefore, I’ve proposed that JKR take over because they have the expertise in engineering, and they can complete the project according to schedule and cost,” Azmin said.
He also welcomed Abang Johari’s offer to establish a joint committee to monitor the development of schools in the state. — DayakDaily